Most people know that you need a real estate lawyer to buy or sell any real estate property in Ontario. But what does a real estate lawyer do? Check out the following 1-minute video from LawPro to find out what your real estate lawyer actual does.
Did you know that the Law Society of Ontario has strict guidelines about what real estate lawyers should and shouldn’t do?
You might not be aware that real estate law has consistently been among the top three areas of law that clients submit complaints about to the Law Society.
Part of the reason that errors and complaints occur in real estate transactions is that some lawyers practice in this area of law without adequate knowledge or experience in real estate law, like what happened in this case.
Many real estate lawyers also, unfortunately, give too much responsibility to their assistants and allow them to perform aspects of closings that should have been personally handled by the lawyer, like what happened in this case. This type of behaviour can have devastating financial consequences for you or your family.
Lawyers at KPA who handle real estate transactions are experienced, diligent and meticulous about each and every closing. Our company has strict hiring practices and internal guidelines to ensure that only the most qualified persons are permitted to perform work on real estate closings.
It is not uncommon for first-time homebuyers to have a co-signer on their mortgage. Having said that, if you are a first-time homebuyer, having a co-signer could impact the first-time homebuyers land transfer tax rebate available to you.
Our suggestion would be to have your co-signer act as a guarantor as opposed to a co-borrower on the mortgage. This does not require the co-signer to appear on title and the full rebate can be applied.
If the co-signer must appear on title, another option is to create a bare trust agreement between the co-signer and yourself. This will explicitly state that the co-signer has no beneficial interest in the property and will allow for your co-signer to apply for a refund of the rebate after closing provided they submit a letter from the bank confirming that they are on title for mortgage purposes or a copy of the bare trust agreement to the Ministry of Finance. The bare trust agreement will also protect your co-signer from future tax consequences (e.g. capital gains tax).
Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board, often referred to as the LTB, was created to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants as well as to provide the respective parties information about their rights and responsibilities.
For a landlord, a non-paying tenant can be burdensome. It can be costly proceeding through the LTB process and obtaining an order for eviction. If an order for eviction has been granted, a tenant has 30 days to file an appeal to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, by serving and filing a Notice of Appeal and paying the requisite fee.
In Ontario, a construction lien is a legal claim for payment for goods or services that have been supplied to improve a property. This is sometimes called a builders’ lien or mechanics’ lien in other provinces in Canada.
The idea here is that a person who supplies services or materials to improve real estate is entitled to a lien against the premises that they worked on. The person who is owed the money in a construction lien is called the “lien claimant”.
The monetary value of the lien is an amount equal to the price of the services or materials. As long as services or materials were provided, it doesn’t really matter if the services or materials were provided directly to the owner, or to a contractor, or even to a subcontractor.
A construction lien is a pretty serious legal tool because it typically gets registered on title to real estate. It’s okay if you haven’t heard the expression “registered on title”. What that basically means is the lien will be saved in a government record where it will be publicly visible to anyone who wants information about that property. More importantly, if a particular piece of real estate is purchased or sold while a lien is registered on title, some or all of the money in the transaction will be used to pay the lien claimant, whether or not the buyer or seller wants that to happen.
Having a construction lien registered against a property can also create other disruptions in a homeowner’s life. For example, if you have a home equity line of credit, it is very common for banks to freeze your line of credit when they discover that a lien has been registered against your real estate.