Every condominium in Alberta is registered at Alberta Land Titles. Included in that is a Registered Condominium Plan. There are three types of condominiums, Conventional, Bare Land or Bare Land Barely Blended.
This can be either an Apartment or a Townhouse, with this type of condominium the land the structure sits on is part of the common property and the registered plan will show the overall size of the lot but also will the foot print of each level of the structure and show the measurements of the perimeter walls, as well as details about patios, balconies, basements, parking stall both indoor and out doors if titled, attached and detached garages, perimeter wall thickness, basements below grade, storage lockers and much more.
Developers and Contractors have no set rules as to what they can and do include in the registered size. Two similar complexes can have very different things included in the registered size which can bevery misleading to buyers and Realtors. For example one apartment building may include in the registered size the living area only with the measurements for the size being taken to the inside edge of the perimeter walls with title parking and storage lockers having their own separate legal descriptions and the balcony being exclusive use common areas. The other building can include in the registered size, the perimeter wall thickness, living area, balcony, patio, storage locker, parking stall and that stall could even be an outdoor titled parking stall!
Bare Land Style:
This type of condominium the plan shows the size of the lot and that is it and as the name states it includes the “Bare Land” only and no mention of the structure on the property as the lot is the condominium only. A Bare Land Condominium can have either a townhouse style structure on it or a detached single family home. The registered size is the size of the lot only! The living area size needs to be hand measured to determine the size of the structure. It is important to know that with this style of condominium the seller “Must” supply the buyer with a Real Property Report / RPR or what some people refer to as a Survey.
Bare Land Barley Blended:
This is a Bare Land Condominium that has had an apartment building on it and the same things apply as a convention style condominium. No Real Property Report is required for this type of condo.
The Calgary Real Estate Board realized many years ago that because the Developers and Contractors have no rules or regulations as to what they can include in the registered size that they would create a detailed set of Rules and Regulations for calculating the living area size of apartments, townhouses and detached homes on Bare Land Condominiums as well as making it mandatory that what is included in the registered size be shown on the MLS and that there would be two sizes shown on the MLS, registered size and living area size with the living area size being mandatory. The two sizes could either be the same or differ by a few square meters or as much as 150 square meters depending what is included in the registered size. The reason for doing this was to create “Integrity” in the database!
A few years later the Calgary Real Estate Board changed things again and decided that the living area size did not need to be shown on the MLS but if the Realtor did decide to fill in the living area size the size must be calculated using the Rules and Regulations set out by the Calgary Real Estate Board. At this point the Living Area Size was no longer the mandatory field but rather the Registered Size and what is included in the Registered Size became the mandatory fields. This meant that some listings only had the registered size and not the living area size and this meant that on Realtor.ca no size would appear on the Internet which meant that perhaps sellers would receive fewer showings because people looking at the listing would not know the size of the unit unless the Realtor put notes in the public comments section.
Again in early 2012 the Board of Directors at the Calgary Real Estate Board decided to change things up once again! Their reasoning was because the Registered Size that is registered at Land Titles should be the only size shown on the MLS and that the Registered Size would be auto-populated so that the registered size will automatically entered into the living area size! This would ensure that a size would always appear on Realtor.ca even if that size has nothing to do with the living area size! Their reasoning was that because what is included in the registered size was also to be shown that the public would know that the size includes things other than jus the living area size but that the listing Realtor was “NOT” allowed to make any mention as to the actual living area size in the comments section!
In the opinion of Alberta Real Estate Consulting Ltd. this is completely misleading to the general public and puts the seller as well as the listing and selling Realtor’s and their brokerages in harms way as they may face legal actions for misleading the living area size.
Imagine this: You purchase a condominium and the listing Realtor runs off feature sheets for the condo but the feature sheet he/she selects is a Residential Feature Sheet off the Real Estate Boards MLS system rather than a Condominium Feature sheet and this means that the Registered Size shows up as the Living Area Size and there is no mention anywhere on the feature sheet what is included in that size, which may include parking, storage lockers, patios, balconies, perimeter wall thickness, basements below grade, attached or detached garages and maybe even a titled outdoor parking stall so how is the buyer to know what the actual living area size is? The Calgary Real Estate Board says that because of agency laws it is the responsibility of the selling Realtor to verify the living area size for the buyer! Talk about messing up the integrity of the database! What a mess!
This is where our service comes in. We take all the information from the Registered Condominium Plan and put it in a detailed report and we verify what the registered size is, what is included in the registered size, if the parking is titled, leased or assigned which the Real Estate Board feels is not important enough to make mandatory, verify what the living area size is above grade and excluding all the things that are not considered living area which we consider is above grade, heated, fully developed.
Based on the Real Estate Board making these changes it is Alberta Real Estate Consulting Ltd. opinion that this allows lots of room for misleading the public!
Use the golden rule in real estate “Don’t Rely – Verify”
Feel free to contact Mike MacLean by email. text or phone at 403-616-6801 or AREC@Shaw.ca