All about Condo Inspection in Canada

All about Condo Inspection in Canada

Some potential purchasers believe that since their homeowners association (HOA) would take care of numerous concerns, they don't need to get a condo inspected.

Regrettably, this is a widespread misperception that may expose new owners to unanticipated expenses.

Issues can be found with the assistance of an inspector before you commit. You may get a detailed assessment of the "walls in" of the property you are considering with a condo inspection.

After the examination and after looking over the condominium association data, you will be in a better position to decide on the property.

What is a Condo Inspection?

While a detached house and condo home inspection are similar in many ways, there are some distinctions as well.a man taking note in condo inspection

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A home inspector's main goal is to provide you with the greatest evaluation possible of everything in your house that you will eventually be liable for paying for as a homeowner. In essence, they wish to assist you in avoiding any unpleasant surprises.

With a few extras, the general idea is the same for a condo building inspection. In general, the infrastructure, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems of a condo are regarded as common features and are not your obligation as an individual homeowner to maintain or repair.

Why Should You Have a Condo Inspection?

A condo inspection is a crucial step in making sure your investment is solid, even if it differs significantly from a new home inspection in certain areas.

Examining the interior of your new apartment may make you feel better about your purchase and reveal a lot about the difficulties you can face as a condo owner.

You can be sure that your new investment is safeguarded and that your inquiries are addressed by working with a certified specialist who has a solid reputation for excellence and provides you with a condo inspection report.

Before Getting a Condo Inspection

If problems are found before you get a condo inspected, it can be a warning sign that requires more research. By heeding these suggestions, you may steer clear of a poor investment in a substandard community.

However, it doesn't mean you shouldn't have some questions ready of your own. The following are important questions to pose to your condo home inspector:

  • Do you plan to examine any shared components?
  • Which problems do you notice in condo complexes the most frequently?
  • Have you given any other apartments in this building a look?
  • When will I be receiving your report?

Apart from planning questions, there are a few more things you can do to ensure a seamless inspection procedure.

Basically, you want to make sure that the inspector can see the drywall and electrical outlets, so clear out any trash and move furniture away from the walls.

It is not mandatory for home inspectors to remove any obstructions, therefore make every effort to clear the path as much as possible for them.

If you can make the homeowner do this, even if you are unable to, it will make the inspector pleased and expedite the process.

Find out Whether There is a Technical Audit (reserve study)

Condos that wish to be eligible for FHA financing must fulfill strict requirements. A thorough assessment of the entire structure is one prerequisite.

This audit will assist in locating any issues that could soon require more expensive repairs. Request a copy if this technical audit has been completed.

You Should Examine Condo Documents as the Buyer

Minutes of condominium meetings are kept for the benefit of future generations. Get these minutes for the previous year and go over each meeting.

These meetings include maintenance and exterior concerns, so you may find any significant problems that occurred before your arrival.

Ask for documentation that issues have been resolved when you come across conversations about neighborhood issues in the minutes. Additionally, you want to search for the costs associated with the repairs.

Lastly, look for indications of inadequate maintenance in communal spaces. This might indicate a financial shortfall for the HOA.

Ask whether any litigation is now underway or pending in a similar manner. This might indicate future obligations or even issues with previous owners.

Examine Every HOA Funding Concern

The sole assets of a homeowners association are usually the dues that are gathered from condo owners.

This money is used for routine upkeep and fixing problems that arise beyond the boundaries of your apartment. Low monthly dues can sound like a great perk, but they might raise red flags when paired with other financial considerations.

Low monthly dues might become a major problem if the HOA does not have much money stored in reserves. How are they going to cover large repairs?

Additionally, you want to research postponed maintenance. You could be investing in a liability if all of these problems are present.

You should always be on the lookout for these warning indicators, but your condo inspection specialist will be able to confirm this.

Request a current reserve analysis. This will display a suggested reserve that your neighborhood needs to have. The HOA is usually in a good position if it owns at least 70% of this money.

What Does a Condo Inspector Check for?

During a condo inspection, an assessor will check for a number of concerns. Depending on the kind of condominium under consideration, different work may be required.

If you know what condo inspectors check for, you might be able to identify any possible problems when you first visit a home.

This may be able to completely spare you the expense of an inspection. Investing may prove costly if it is evident that a property is neglected. The majority of condo inspections will look like this:

  • Walls in the apartment have cracks and damage.
  • Indicators of harm from water.
  • Correctly operating smoke alarms.
  • Odors in the apartment that are unpleasant and may indicate more serious problems.
  • Making sure the drainage and water flow are sufficient.
  • Concerns with the water heater, furnace, and other appliances.
  • Problems with caulking in the restroom and kitchen.
  • Examining windows and doors might reveal more serious problems.
  • Verify that every electrical system is operating as it should.
  • Examining the attic (if the unit has a distinct attic).
  • Inspect common walls for any damage.
  • Examine the HVAC systems (if both outside and inside are present).
  • Identify inadequate upkeep and fixes from earlier problems.
  • Damage or deterioration to the railings or stairs.
  • Harm to common decks or patios.

You can find more information about the condo inspection checklist.

Only over 50% of condo owners have separate insurance for their apartments. Ideally, you should purchase insurance in case any of these internal problems develop down the road.

This is only a general summary of what your condo inspection should cover. Different state rules may require an inspector to do additional inspections.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has regulations that must be followed if you're looking for an FHA loan to purchase a condominium.

Common issues found during Condo Inspection

For people who don't want the room of a separate unit or for young families starting a new family, condos are an excellent option.

However, even when the condo is brand-new, problems may still exist behind the walls that need to be looked at and fixed.

The most common issues found during condo inspection include:

Electrical wiring errors

Condos are susceptible to various electrical issues even if they were recently built. Many times during construction, there might be several electrical risks throughout the unit's structure if the electrician does not take care of their job or maintain it up to code.

Live wires that are disconnected, overloaded circuits, and broken, cracked, or damaged wires are a few examples of this.

These may happen as a result of the electrician's carelessness or while the unit was being built.

If the condo is older, these issues can have developed over years of use or from neglected upgrades.

Finding these issue sources is crucial, as failing to do so might put you at higher danger of an electrical fire at an unexpected time.

Inadequate Plumbing

Another problem that many condo owners and tenants may have is poor plumbing. Not only is poor plumbing a problem in and of itself, but it may also lead to larger, more costly problems in the future.

Weak water pressure might cause problems for you in your daily activities, such as cleaning and taking showers, if your plumbing is not up to order. When pipes beneath the wall begin to leak, the underlying problems become apparent.

If you do not take immediate action to stop these leaks, your walls and roofs may sustain water damage. Even worse, if you have leaking pipes in these regions for an extended period of time, you can develop mold in these areas, which might be harmful to the health of your family.

In the event that a plumbing problem is overlooked during a condo inspection and becomes an expensive and time-consuming nightmare, you may also be responsible for the problems that your neighbors may experience.

External Problems

The condominium building's façade and the surrounding neighborhood should also be assessed.

The distance between trees and the structure will be examined by inspectors; if the trees are too close, they might sustain damage during a severe weather event.

Other external issues may consist of:

  • Improper sealing of stucco or external siding.
  • Sliding doors with partial shutting.
  • Windows with broken seals

All of these issues have the potential to do harm to the condo's outside, which will ultimately have an impact on the interior as well.

How Much Does Condo Inspection Cost?

For an average-sized unit (500–1,000 SF), a condo inspection will cost $200–$250; the price will go up as the square footage grows.

The cost will vary according to how many rooms your condo has, how big it is, and how intricately the areas need to be inspected.

Geographically, average condo house inspection costs vary, so you can spend more in a big metropolis like Chicago than in a little Ohio town.

image sourced from here

inspector inspecting a condo

image sourced from here


Who should pay for condo inspection; seller or buyer?

In a conventional home inspection, the cost of the examination falls on the buyer.

As a buyer, what should I check in a condo inspection report?

A comprehensive assessment of the general state of the condo should include: structural soundness (wall fissures, sloping floors) and water damage (mold, damaged walls), plumbing and electrical systems, fixtures, and appliances, and common spaces (elevators, fitness center, hallways)

How often do condos have to be inspected?

On average, you should inspect your condo every 10 years.

What are the differences between Condo Inspection and Home Inspection?

A house inspection examines a single-family home's whole property, whereas a condo inspection concentrates on the specific unit being bought. The assessment of common building systems, such as the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing, is another component of condo inspections.


If you are thinking about purchasing a new condo, you should be aware of an important step before doing that: condo inspection.

Doing this provides you with a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the condo you are buying.

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