If you haven’t been following my blogs over the past decade and a half and you are thinking of buying, living in, renting out (or know some who is even thinking about ) a residential condo in Ontario you had better read a bunch of what you’ll find here at simplycharles.com.
Fortunately for my global readers (over a million and half a month) Sunrise Homes has been gracious enough to give us a real life, real time Case Study.
I’m not here to pick on Sunrise Homes, or any of the other players in this mess!
I’m simply reporting the situations as they manifest themselves when buying a piece of real estate these days. Sadly, it’s the way it always has been and, unless something “earth-shattering” happens it’s the way it is designed to always be.
So, I’ve been covering this new collection of eighteen luxury homes (or so they were advertised as being).
Sick of living in condominiums in downtown Toronto (actually fed up with both!) and no longer seeing investing in them ‘cost justify‘ and realizing that if I wouldn’t invest in them I couldn’t advise others to do so either, I decided to venture into “detached house land“.
In Toronto, a million dollar house these days is scary!
No slight to those who are fortunate enough to own one (I guess) but I remember these same houses not too long ago running in the $400k price point range! And today, even at a million these houses are going $100k over asking!
So, when I saw a detached house on a completely new street right at the lake in Bronte Village, I bought sight unseen over the phone having found it on the Internet (and I found it Christmas eve!).
I’ve chronicled the entire (disappointing) process. Actually it’s not disappointing in and of itself as the value of these “under-priced” homes has skyrocketed which is always the bottom line rationale in real estate (even when you get so abused by the developer/builder, you make money in the end by passing your problems off to the next family)!
Today I’m talking about after you’ve gotten the builder out of your life or at least the day to day of it.
Our Case Study addresses a POTL (“Parcel of Tied Lands“) which in lay-man’s terms is where the (new) road is a “condominium” and the homes are “detached” freehold properties.
The abuse of condominium (and detached homes apparently) buyers, continues on long after the property is turned over to the owners.
I’ve frequently written about just how exploited buyers are in Ontario.
Bronte Harbourview is more extreme than most but not outrageously more.
Buyers of homes in Bronte Harbourview have been dealt with in an unacceptable, unethical, and potentially “illegal” manner.
Today I’m picking things up from the Turn Over Meeting, where the developer/builders no longer control the site and all legal obligations, etc. are handed over to the owners.
Buyers here have been provably lied to about and by the builder “Sunrise Homes” even before they purchased while doing their due diligence and checking the “credibility” of the builder.
Sunrise Homes’ brochure is laden with lies and misrepresentations intentionally designed to mislead buyers by not fully disclosing material facts about the homes.
The builder’s (“Sunrise Homes“‘) web site proves to be a total and complete misrepresentation.
Sunrise then, broke the law by intentionally “NOT DELIVERY THE FULL DISCLOSURE DOCUMENTS PACKAGE” (specifically but not limited to the “Subdivision Agreement” between The Municipality and the Developer (“Fernbrook Homes“).
Sunrise, exploiting its possession of these “UNDISCLOSED AND UNDELIVERED DOCUMENTS” (specifically Schedule “M“ of the Subdivision Agreement) “IMPOSED OCCUPANCY” onto its purchasers DESPITE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF SCHEDULE “M” IN THE SUBDIVISION AGREEMENT.
The result was a number of buyers being forced to live in dyer conditions for over a year AFTER having paid Sunrise Homes in full and in contradiction of clauses set out to protect them which formed a part of their Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
It is my (“lay-man’s“) opinion that this constitutes potentially a “criminal act“.
Now, owners have finally taken control (allegedly) of their own community which by all manners of assessment is a catastrophic mess, a public eye-sore, and yet incomplete (1 1/2 years AFTER the proposed final closing).
So, now the owners have been handed off to a property management company (“Sunrise Homes and it’s “Ringer” property management company (I’ve taken down their name as they sent one of these ambulance chasing litigators after me)”) that has introduced two contradictory tales of events, leading up to being introduced to the owners.
They represented to buyers that they have been retained as property managers since December 14, 2014 and I have on file email confirmation of same from Sunrise Homes.
Then they reported to us that “Sunrise Homes had ‘self managed’ the site for eighteen months“.
This would make sense if it didn’t contradict “budget” and Financial Reports (which despite our new board having requested in as timely a fashion as possible following the turn over meeting two weeks ago . . . have NOT BEEN DELIVERED to the board).
A fellow board member pointed out to me a contradiction in that during that alleged ‘self-managed’ time period, Sunrise Homes and it’s “Ringer” property management company (I’ve taken down their name as they sent one of these ambulance chasing litigators after me) is shown in records (the few that our board has received) to have procured contracts on our corporation’s behalf.
I addressed the issue about high rise property managers delivering substandard property management services at outrageous fees in previous blogs.
Sunrise boasts a shockingly bad reputation with buyers in this site.
Fortunately, the “ship without a seasoned captain” that is Sunrise Homes, somehow stumbled across a talented and credible Site Supervisor (“Jason“) who, unlike most (and specifically the guy they replaced him with when he walked off the site) knew what he was doing and made sure the homes were constructed in a quality manner.
Then he walked off the site and the builder and I got into what you might call a “man-to-man talk” which resulted in me taking over as site supervisor on my own home.
If my wife and I hadn’t (she’s the “attention to detail person“) stepped in and taken over the finishing of our house would have been a total catastrophe!
To get all the nitty gritty details showing just how amazingly stupid and unethical Sunrise Homes’ directors, management and staff are, simply go to simply charles.com and search “Oakville” or “Sunrise Homes” and you will have all of my blogs in sequence.
And then, at the Turn Over Meeting it is disclosed that Sunrise Homes and it’s “Ringer” property management company (I’ve taken down their name as they sent one of these ambulance chasing litigators after me) “entered into a 3 Year Contract with heavy handed clauses for termination”, and other aspects found to be unacceptable to the new board of directors (owners) just before the Turn Over Meeting.
It is ONLY the Condo Act (specifically Clause 111) that protected the owners in Bronte Harbourside against being “manipulated into a contract“. Clause 111 of the Condo Act gives new board’s of directors the right to terminate any/all contracts entered into by the previous board with 60 written notice.
Ironically even the Disclosure Statement/Declaration state that “owners want to consider self-management” (it’s only “the road” that relates to a condominium component of these homes).
Possibly by now you are seeing why the “mixed messages” given out at the Turn Over Meeting by our condo corporation’s property manager (not for long unless they turn themselves around quickly and even then, I cannot justify keeping a property manager on at all) would give we new board members concern.
So Sunrise Homes and it’s “Ringer” property management company (I’ve taken down their name as they sent one of these ambulance chasing litigators after me) signed this “3 Year” Contract with the outgoing board on February 17th, 2017 backdating it (doesn’t this just send up red flags in your mind?) to December 1st. Now, remember the turn over meeting was scheduled for March 7th (3 weeks away!!!!)!
And many owners have been forced by this builder to live in their homes for over a year, and never once heard from this guy in the almost 4 months since he entered into the existing contract (allegedly after “a void of some 18 months“).
And prior to “Occupancy” according to the Subdivision Agreement there was supposed to be mail boxes on site and mail service, curbs (no road – just sub-road but no curbs) a fence, etc.
And all of this while we were allegedly being “managed by a professional property management company“.
The Notices for the Turn Over Meeting were received by many on that very day, requiring some to change plans to be able to attend.
The property manager had “mailed them to the owners” (despite them having no mail service on site and needing to drive quite some distance to pick up their mail – usually weekly) having never once taken the time or initiative to drive to the site and introduce himself to them.
The Condo Act has been totally disregarded by this builder!
For example the Condo Act section 43 (4) – (9) sets out documents and corporate information “to be delivered to the board elected at the meeting“. We were NOT GIVEN THESE.
And in 43(5)(j) (j) if the meeting is held after nine months following the registration of the declaration and description, the reserve fund study that is required within the year following the registration of the declaration and description“.
Upon preliminary investigation (contrary to our requests for documents they have not been made available to our new board members) there was no Performance Audit or Reserve Fund Study undertaken, thus despite the builder advancing the maintenance fees for each of the 18 Lots, his contributions prove to be inaccurate (a Reserve Fund Study would have accounted for this increase of almost 90% being passed onto owners today!
Section 44 of the Condo Act addresses the “required” Performance Audit :
Time for audit
A performance audit shall be conducted no earlier than six months, and no later than 10 months, following the registration of the declaration and description. 1998, c. 19, s. 44 (2).
This POTL was Registered in 2014 thus there should have been completed (according to Sections 43 and 44 of the Condo Act) a Reserve Fund Study and a Performance Audit (in year #1 – not #3).
This property management company is giving us misleading (either intentionally or through incompetence) “critically significant financial information”.
Their Regional Director for Sunrise Homes and it’s “Ringer” property management company (I’ve taken down their name as they sent one of these ambulance chasing litigators after me) attempted to mislead owners at the meeting by suggesting that “the Ontario Government was going to restrict “self-management” as soon as this summer“. There simply is no legitimate ground on which to make such a claim other than to influence owners to allow their 3 year contract to stand.
Apparently, the simply is no ethics anywhere along the way.