Should condominium corporations disclose the existence of Kitec plumbing to potential buyers on their status certificates? That was the question Natalie asked me after she had bought and sold a condominium townhouse on Kenneth Ave. last year.
Kitec plumbing is a type of flexible aluminum and polyethylene piping, often orange or blue in colour. It was widely used in condominiums between 1995 and 2007.
It was marketed as a corrosion-resistant alternative to copper pipes and fittings, but was recalled around 2005 due to a tendency to corrode at an accelerated rate. It is no longer manufactured.
The status certificate on Natalie’s purchase made no mention of the fact that the units contain Kitec plumbing. Unfortunately, at the urging of her agent, the transaction was not conditional on a home inspection which would have revealed the problem.
Although the board and property manager were no doubt aware that Kitec was used in the building, Natalie was not told about it.
When she resold the unit last month, the buyers learned of the potentially defective plumbing and Natalie had to drop the sale price by $30,000.
Natalie blames the board, the former and current property managers, and both real-estate agents on her purchase for failing to disclose the existence of Kitec.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is the industry regulator and, in the summer of 2015, it reminded real-estate agents of their obligation to discover and disclose material facts in their transactions. The existence of Kitec, RECO’s website advised, was one of the issues “that are often considered to be material fact.”