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Real estate transactions can lead to greater responsibilities

A famous movie quote compares life to a box of chocolates and the uncertain contents that lie within. The same can be said of a building, whether a single home, or a entire apartment complex. Some real estate transactions end up leading to increased responsibilities, and possible maintenance issues. Consider the recent acquisition made by a prominent Alberta landowner.

A 102-year-old historic building was recently sold to the Katz Group. Katz also operates the nearby Rogers Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team, which is also owned by Katz. The building, currently known as the MacDonald Lofts, is being used for low-rent apartments, and is largely occupied by financially challenged individuals. It is located next door to a community services facility.

Several health code issues have plagued the structure of late, including units being closed off for water and mould damage. Cockroach and bed bug infestations have also been reported in the past. While the new owners have not finalized any plans for the building, they do understand that a significant amount of work will need to be done to make it fully serviceable, but that they won't know the full scope of the project until they get inside. Current residents of the apartments may even need to be relocated while repairs are carried out.

There is always an element of the unknown when a building is purchased, regardless of size or age. It is important for buyers to go into any real estate transactions with their eyes wide open, and to be prepared for whatever the new property may have in store. Utilizing the expertise of a firm that practices real estate law in Alberta may help to prevent any unwelcome surprises.

Source: Edmonton Journal, "Katz Group buys MacDonald Lofts, a low-rent apartment building with history of health violations", Dave Lazzarino, Nov. 23, 2016

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