Real Estate Agent in East York - Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate

Kitec Plumbing In Condos Should Be Revealed: Buyers And Owners Have The Right To Know Up Front What’s In Their Pipes.

20 January 2017
Kevin Hartley

Kitec, often orange or blue in colour, is a type of flexible aluminium and polyethylene piping, widely used between 1995 and 2007 in condominiums. The product was recalled about 2005 due to a tendency to corrode at an accelerated rate, despite being marketed as an alternative to copper piping that was corrosion-resistant. Manufacturing has since stopped.

So the question at hand is, should the status certificate provided by the condominium corporation disclose the existence of Kitec plumbing components to the buyer?

When a condominium board knows of the existence of Kitec, but there is no imminent risk of failure, they have to protect the building from litigation for failure to disclose Kitec and balance the risk of causing undue alarm. While remediation of Kitec may cause an increase in condo expenses, it at least indicates a responsible board that is taking action to protect owners and sale prices. No action by the board, not disclosing, would technically be a violation of the Condominium Act in failing to disclose material facts.

You may find that a status certificate makes no mention of the fact that the units in a building do, or may, contain Kitec plumbing. The existence of Kitec and any replacement efforts or costs should be noted in paragraph 12 of the condo status certificate.

Conducting a pre-offer home inspection, or making an offer conditional upon a home inspection,  would have provided an opportunity to reveal the issue.

In short, the existence of Kitec should be both inquired about and disclosed. Kitec can dramatically affect your price when you go to sell, and the necessity of replacement or repair should be considered in any purchase price offered. 

An industry regulator (The Real Estate Council of Ontario - RECO) reminded real-estate agents in the summer of 2015 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 a material fact.”

Most agents often insert clauses into their offers requiring the seller to represent that a home or condo unit has not been used to grow marijuana or produce methamphetamines; a Kitec warranty would be a prudent clause, too.

I am of the opinion that in the majority of instances Kitec plumbing ought to be disclosed as a fact in the status certificate, if not also by the owner and listing agent. While the property manager, the board and possibly the unit owner will most likely be aware that Kitec exists in the plumbing systems; if you don't ask, you may not be told. If disclosure is not given, seek it. 

Disclose! Disclose! Disclose! Read a follow up blog post in response to a social media comment suggesting that noobody would/should ever disclose unless it was forced upon them. I say force disclosure upon why.

Thanks for reading. Questions or ideas for a future blog? Feel free to contact me here.

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Kevin Hartley, Broker is a Toronto based real estate Broker with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate | Signature Service, Brokerage. @Home is his lifestyle blog, an expression of his passion for home keeping though MAKING (Recipes), DOING (DIY), BEING (Health/Wellness) and DWELLING (Home Ownership, Sales & Maintenance).  Content not intended to solicit clients under contract.

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