Delayed Condo Closings

What you need:

1) Copy of agreement of sale and amendments
2) Copy of all “closing date” letters from builder
3) About 30 uninterrupted minutes
First, list the “critical dates” from your agreement, found on the Tarion schedule. Then list the date of the notice, old date and new date. Unlike homes, condos have 2 closings, occupancy (you get keys) and final (you have to pay the purchase monies, get title and stop paying occupancy rent to builder).
Tentative dates are just that, tentative. They can be extended and extended and extended pursuant to a set of rules we will call “rules for extending tentative occupancy dates”. Obviously, you should ensure your address is current with the sales office and you should monitor the builder’s website to ensure you actually get the notices.

A new set of rules we will call “rules for extending firm occupancy dates” kicks in after one of the following:

a) The builder extends a tentative date on less than 90 days notice
b) 30 days have passed after the roof of the building is completed;
c) The “outside occupancy date” in your agreement’s critical dates has passed: or
d) In the absence of (a) or (b) or (c) above, you get (90 days) notice of a “firm occupancy date”

Firm dates can also be extended and extended but on terms better for you the purchaser. By better I mean possible compensation (up to $150/day to $7500 max) for the extension of the firm date. By “possible” I mean in the absence of an “act of god” (they use the term “unavoidable delay” such as fires or trade strikes), in the absence of you signing something stupid in favour of the builder and where you can show living expenses such as rent (not sure about mental anguish for staying at your in laws) prior to closing.

One of the few rights you have as a purchaser is the ability to get your deposit back if you write the builder to cancel within 30 days after the “outside occupancy date”. Diarize this!

Lets use an example:

Date of Agreement: December 15, 2011
First Tentative Occupancy Date (in critical dates): January 2, 2014
Outside occupancy date: June 30, 2017

Date Letter Sent to Client Amended Occupancy Date
1. June 19, 2013
OK. Notice was 90 days plus prior to Jan 2, 2014.
New Tentative Occupancy June 5, 2014
2. February 18, 2014
OK. Notice was 90 days plus prior to June 5, 2014.
New Tentative Occupancy Sept. 29, 2014
3. May 15, 2014
OK. Notice was 90 days plus prior to Sept 29, 2014.
Final Tentative Occupancy Oct. 24, 2014
4. July 17, 2014 Firm Occupancy January 13, 2015
OK. Notice was 90 days plus prior to Oct 24, 2014. Either the roof was complete or builder thought that buyers would be able to move in by January, 2015.
5. December 16, 2014 Delayed Occupancy February 5, 2015
This is now a delay of a “firm” (not tentative) closing date. Under these rules even if builder gave 90 days notice (it did not), it does not matter. Buyer thought he could give up his rental in January and must either not move, rent somewhere else or get a hotel. We requested compensation from builder on notice to Tarion for $150 x each day from Jan 13 to Feb 5 inclusive.
6. January 15, 2015 New Firm Occupancy April 8, 2015
This is now a further delay of a “firm” (not tentative) closing date. We requested further compensation from builder on notice to Tarion for $150 x each day from Feb 6 to April 8 inclusive. We advised our client that his claim may be capped at the $7500 mark (50 days at $150/day). Because we are nowhere near the “outside occupancy date” client has no choice but to wait it out.

Typically, buyers are credited delayed closing compensation on their adjustments at final closing.


1 Diarize the “outside occupancy date” in your calendar;
2 If builder wants you to sign anything dealing with the agreement of sale, show your lawyer first;
3 Keep all letters / notices received from the builder and copy them to your lawyer;
4 If you are renting / couch surfing until your condo is ready, do not tell your landlord / friends / in-laws what you really think of them until you have keys and a copy of the occupancy permit for your unit.
5 There are time limits for making a claim, but they are rarely a problem. Ask your real estate lawyer what he charges to review or prepare your claim.
6 Always call Tarion and review their helpful website when dealing with delays of firm dates, unavoidable delay claims or other delayed closing questions.