If you are buying a condo, you are always given the option of getting a status certificate before your offer becomes firm; usually, this is paired with a condition of your lawyer reviewing that status certificate.
The status certificate itself is only a small document; it seems much bigger than it is because it usually comes in a package with all of the by-laws and rules of the condo, as well as financial statements and the original declaration from when the condo was built. The status certificate will usually be about 3 pages long, but it contains very important information about the unit. It will say whether the current owner has been paying their condo fees; whether there are any lawsuits against the condo building as a whole; and whether the condo complies with the relevant legislation. Without this document, you can’t know what is truly going on in the building. For this reason, they are only good for three months; after that time, you would have to order a new one.
If you are buying a condo, this is one document you do not want to close without.