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Thread: ISO: BOMA Multi-Unit Residential Measurement Guide

  1. #1

    Default ISO: BOMA Multi-Unit Residential Measurement Guide

    Hi folks,

    I'm looking to get my hands on a BOMA Measurement guide for multi-residential buildings for reference. I can only find ones for sale, but unable to see anything published for public access.

    I'm interested to see how the RECA guide on RMS system differs than what developers use and present in their brochures. They seem to be misleading as measurements can differ significantly from standard to standard

    Any advice on how to locate a copy or get more info?

    Thanks and mods please move if posted in the wrong thread

  2. #2

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    Builder measurements are always off. I've had to question a few floor plans before. Builder measurements are not regulated and come with their own fine print saying not exactly as shown. Not sure builders are using a standard when creating their floor plans.

    Problems arise when lazy realtors take those measurements and use them to list the house for sale.

  3. #3
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    This topic should get more focus, particularly as it pertains to new condo developments. The recent changes to Condo guidelines should have included action in this area imho. I would suggest the developer should be compelled to provide RMS type data. Now, of course, it is hard to know when the original development is just getting off the ground but the SF shown in sales literature/websites should be published/corrected as soon as accurate measurements can be done AND if those differ by more than (say) 2%, any contracts previously written should be adjusted on a per SF basis.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
    This topic should get more focus, particularly as it pertains to new condo developments. The recent changes to Condo guidelines should have included action in this area imho. I would suggest the developer should be compelled to provide RMS type data. Now, of course, it is hard to know when the original development is just getting off the ground but the SF shown in sales literature/websites should be published/corrected as soon as accurate measurements can be done AND if those differ by more than (say) 2%, any contracts previously written should be adjusted on a per SF basis.
    I don't know what recourse a buyer/lessee has if the variance in sq.ft area is high. I don't even know if any thresholds exist since a builder can just stick a clause in and you can potentially get a closet for a unit.

    I am in the market and just having trouble wrapping my head as to what the differences are in what is actually registered in the condo plan versus what RMS would tell you versus what the builder builds.

    Just basing off what I've read so far....

    https://www.reca.ca/wp-content/uploa...rd-Alberta.pdf

  5. #5

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    I would take the square footage that must be listed by a realtor if you were to sell. Technically every listing must be measured by a realtor now but when it comes to condos most just list the condo plan square footage.

    Before some of the changes by reca you would see realtors list the builders measurements as they were way higher then the condo plan. Reca was way too slow to act to prevent realtors from inflating the square footage.

    What square footage must be listed when selling is the only part that's partially regulated so its the only thing you should be concerned with. The rest is buyer beware.

  6. #6

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    sorry I should have added your recourse depends on what your contract says when buying. If buying from a builder there is no recourse and odds are if you bought from realtor there is no recourse as there are a few spots to waive any liability for mistakes and another that specifically tells the buyer to confirm any details on their own.

    Keep in mind the MLS listing doesnt form any part of the actual contract so the details you see on there dont mean much when it comes to the actual contract used when buying with or from a realtor. If you use a realtor you could specifically state you want the MLS listing to form part of the contract but no one ever does this.

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    ^^^^^^

    i think you can purchase a copy here even if you’re not a boma member:

    https://www.boma.org/BOMA/BOMA-Stand...sidential.aspx

    i’m still not sure that it will give you what you want unless you’re looking to calculate the total areas within a building. as a compete building it will have to allocate mechanical spaces and service spaces and corridors etc. that are common area in a strata building. the unit owners pay for the costs of owning and maintaining all of them but do so based on unit factors and not area and those won’t necessarily be allocated the same way so they’re not equivalent. how to measure a strata unit itself is statutory (and can actually be different between jurisdictions). it is surveyed/certified accordingly before being registered on title and is the only area that really matters. not only should the sales documentation state the area and how it is calculated, it shouldn’t be allowed to vary more than 2 or 3% without the purchaser having a right to terminate (in addition to adjusting the price) if the lawyer is any good (and the agreement should always be done by a lawyer or be subject the approval of a lawyer).
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  8. #8

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    I had a condo out 150 square feet and didnt learn until I sold. It was funny as the appraiser and realtor claimed they used boma standards but it was physically impossible to get such a high calculation.

    They used the builder floor plan that was that far off and never bothered to actually measured. Of course when it came to the lawsuit they "said" they did.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwill211 View Post
    I had a condo out 150 square feet and didnt learn until I sold. It was funny as the appraiser and realtor claimed they used boma standards but it was physically impossible to get such a high calculation.

    They used the builder floor plan that was that far off and never bothered to actually measured. Of course when it came to the lawsuit they "said" they did.
    This is what I'm trying to avoid. If RMS is only bound to realtors then I don't know how to challenge a builder when they come up short. They do weird things like measuring from the midpoint of a common wall to the exterior of the building (trying to confirm via BOMA). Under RMS, it's only interior wall to wall (paint to paint).

    I understand builders have rights to made modifications as they see fit, but it still should be within an acceptable range from what they publish.
    Last edited by chowmutt; 01-03-2019 at 03:18 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^^^^^^

    i think you can purchase a copy here even if you’re not a boma member:

    https://www.boma.org/BOMA/BOMA-Stand...sidential.aspx

    i’m still not sure that it will give you what you want unless you’re looking to calculate the total areas within a building. as a compete building it will have to allocate mechanical spaces and service spaces and corridors etc. that are common area in a strata building. the unit owners pay for the costs of owning and maintaining all of them but do so based on unit factors and not area and those won’t necessarily be allocated the same way so they’re not equivalent. how to measure a strata unit itself is statutory (and can actually be different between jurisdictions). it is surveyed/certified accordingly before being registered on title and is the only area that really matters. not only should the sales documentation state the area and how it is calculated, it shouldn’t be allowed to vary more than 2 or 3% without the purchaser having a right to terminate (in addition to adjusting the price) if the lawyer is any good (and the agreement should always be done by a lawyer or be subject the approval of a lawyer).
    Thanks, I should have clarified I was looking for a "FREE" copy


    The only regulated measure I've come across is only the RMS measurement when a realtor is involved. They need to specify if the registered size (which can include balcony, parking space etc) is used or RMS. I don't know if you're referring to a different statute

    I'm also not sure if this applies the same if a builder has a realtor to sell the entire build

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
    The recent changes to Condo guidelines should have included action in this area imho. I would suggest the developer should be compelled to provide RMS type data. SF shown in sales literature/websites should be published/corrected as soon as accurate measurements can be done AND if those differ by more than (say) 2%, any contracts previously written should be adjusted on a per SF basis.
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^^^^^^

    not only should the sales documentation state the area and how it is calculated, it shouldn’t be allowed to vary more than 2 or 3% without the purchaser having a right to terminate (in addition to adjusting the price) if the lawyer is any good (and the agreement should always be done by a lawyer or be subject the approval of a lawyer).
    Ken, it sounds like you're generally agreeing with the idea of a SF (sales pitch vs actual) trigger - either to adjust or terminate ? Don't you think that rather than need to do this individually over and over, reinventing the wheel, it would be preferable to have it enshrined in those Condo regulations, etc to make sure that developers play by the same rules as "resale" real estate agents must do ?

    BTW, if memory serves me correctly, the Lamb Jasper House contract included a clause like... "if Actual is more than 2% less/more than Expected, the Purchase Price shall be decreased/increased proportionally" or similar.

    Makes me wonder whether maybe Ontario already requires something in this regard ?

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    Realtors should be playing by the same rules as the developers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
    The recent changes to Condo guidelines should have included action in this area imho. I would suggest the developer should be compelled to provide RMS type data. SF shown in sales literature/websites should be published/corrected as soon as accurate measurements can be done AND if those differ by more than (say) 2%, any contracts previously written should be adjusted on a per SF basis.
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^^^^^^

    not only should the sales documentation state the area and how it is calculated, it shouldn’t be allowed to vary more than 2 or 3% without the purchaser having a right to terminate (in addition to adjusting the price) if the lawyer is any good (and the agreement should always be done by a lawyer or be subject the approval of a lawyer).
    Ken, it sounds like you're generally agreeing with the idea of a SF (sales pitch vs actual) trigger - either to adjust or terminate ? Don't you think that rather than need to do this individually over and over, reinventing the wheel, it would be preferable to have it enshrined in those Condo regulations, etc to make sure that developers play by the same rules as "resale" real estate agents must do ?

    BTW, if memory serves me correctly, the Lamb Jasper House contract included a clause like... "if Actual is more than 2% less/more than Expected, the Purchase Price shall be decreased/increased proportionally" or similar.

    Makes me wonder whether maybe Ontario already requires something in this regard ?
    i'm not sure where the confusion is... the act already outlines in detail how to measure a condominium unit. http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/c22.pdf that's the only calculation measure/standard that's needed. if it's an existing unit, all you need is the registered plan to tell you how large it is. that's not a subjective measure. you should be able to look at it physically to see if it's area/layout fits your needs - something that can be somewhat subjective as you've moved from factual (the area) to the arbitrary (how useful is that configuration of that area for your needs).

    on purchasing new, it's not simply a matter of adjusting the price if the final unit is smaller than the plan and plan area used to make the initial purchase. if you can only afford 1,000 sf and the final plan is 1,150 sf, you should at your option be able to terminate the sale and not pay substantially more than you bargained for. conversely, if you want 1,000 sf to support your lifestyle and the final plan is only 850 sf, you should also have the option to be able to terminate the sale and not have to pay for something that is substantially less than you bargained for. the 2-3% range is different - it's the allowable range within which the sale remains unconditional even though the price will be adjusted accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    Realtors should be playing by the same rules as the developers.
    see above - there is no reason that realtors should be using total unit areas other than that shown in the registered plan whether the unit is new or resale. room areas are a different story - you can't take their individual/approximate room measurements and simply add them up and think you will have an accurate total area of the unit. it needs to be noted as well that there is no requirement for a purchaser to accept an area just because it's presented or shown on a marketing or listing package. it's your money - at some point in time you need to be responsible for how freely you choose to put it at risk while spending it. as noted above, if it involves real estate, you need to ensure that you have a lawyer involved who has nothing but your interest in mind. if you can't have your lawyer draft the sales agreement, use the realtor's or the developers agreement but make it conditional upon your lawyer's approval of both the agreement and the form of agreement.
    Last edited by kcantor; 01-03-2019 at 03:56 PM.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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