Real Estate Newsletter

Date: 06 Mar, 2014| Author: Elliott Dale

Why you need to use a lawyer for Real Estate Purchases and Sales:

I often meet with clients to discuss representing them in their purchase and/or the sale of their residences or even commercial properties.

Condominiums: Such real estate may include a condominium sale which has many issues such as financial status of the condominium corporation, the reserve fund that is required under the provincial legislation of the Ontario Condominium Act and rules and regulations with respect to pets and type of automobiles that may be permitted to park on the designated parking spots, if in a garage in the case of a high rise condominium or in or outside of a garage in a townhouse condominium development. There are a myriad of issues to discuss and the first order of business if I am acting for a Purchaser of such condominium property is to obtain and review the Status Certificate which sets out the Declaration, Bylaws, Rules/Regulations, Financial statements and insurance and other issues.

Then on such purchases as in regular purchase of freehold property, i.e. detached, semi-detached houses, we have to review with the client the layout of the property and in freehold, obtain and review a survey to ensure that the fences are located on the property line, that there are no encroachments or easements that were not disclosed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale which should have been reviewed in the first instance before such Offer or Agreement is signed. At such time the realtor should have recommended a home inspector and report should have been given with requisite conditional period for approval of such inspection report, financing and solicitor’s approval conditions, if any, should have been waived if the Purchaser were satisfied with the responses and information given for compliance with such conditions.

Manner of Taking Title may be taken in the case of husband and wife, as joint tenants, and that is the normal and usual way of being registered on title so that in the event of death of one of the co-owners, the surviving titled owner will automatically obtain title subject to a survivorship application being registered on the title to the property after the death of the co-owner, In such case and in every real estate transaction, our firm recommends that the client(s) consider preparation of a Last Will and Testament and under the l995 Substitute Decisions Act of Ontario, Powers of Attorney for Property so that the Ontario Government does not assume control of the client’s property in event of his/her disability and also a Power of Attorney for Personal Care and Health including the living will clause for non-rescussitation. These can be discussed at any time. The other manner of holding title is in percentages i.e. tenants in common as opposed to joint ownership with right of survivorship and such undivided interest can be devised or left to family/spouse under a Last Will and Testament.

There are creditor issues and issues under the Family Law Act to discuss with the client. If one spouse is at risk to being sued now or in the future by any creditors either existing at present or in the future, it is recommended to take title in the spouse/partner who is not at such risk but it is prudent to review with your mortgage lender or mortgage broker if that will be permitted and for parties with less than 20% down and CMHC insurance fee is required, the taking of title in one party’s name may not be permitted. Family Law issues: If you are married, the property is the family residence under the Family Law Act and subject to exceptions among others, e.g. if source of funds derived from resources or sale of another property, then this will be a family asset to be divided equally. If the parties buying are common law spouses, then a cohabitation agreement under the Family Law Act deemed a domestic contract, or if married, a Marriage Contract is recommended and one of the Family Law specialists at Dale, Streiman Law LLP (DS) can assist with an interview and instructions can be received and options considered.

Financing: It is important to deal with your financial institution or broker and obtain financing on a purchase with either a variable rate mortgage, fixed rate, with a line of credit or as many banks and other lending institutions offer, a combination of the two. If the sale of the client’s property is later than the purchase, a bridge loan is to be obtained from a bank or other lending institution. These issues are to be reviewed at the early stage of retainer of the real estate specialist at Dale, Streiman Law LLP and estimate for costs for the purchase and other issues will be given. Our Website sets out various estimates for fees and disbursements and you may feel free to discuss same with the real estate practitioners at DS.

For Sales, the client should attend and deliver all documents in his/her possession, the existing transfer/deed, tax bill if not paid through the first mortgagee, house insurance, utility bills, contact and names, addresses of any mortgage to be discharged and it is important at the early stage of retainer of DS’s real estate practitioners to determine if the client is to be charged any penalty and discharge processing fees on the sale and discharge of any existing mortgages. Discharge penalties can usually be 3 months interest penalty or interest rate differential, whichever is the greater. There are techniques that DS has managed to advise clients on how to reduce such mortgage prepayment penalties and waive any discharge processing fees, bridge loan costs and appraisal processing fees. Please feel free to consult one of our practitioners and clerks who would be able to assist you in your questions on any of the above issues raised above.

To be a client of Dale, Streiman Law LLP is to be an educated client not just in this area of law but we at Dale, Streiman Law LLP wish to be helpful in many other areas with 6 lawyers and one associate lawyer able to provide services including litigation area and with a special emphasis on family law. This latter reference includes rights of spouses in business and shared family assets.

We would be pleased to receive any comments and meet with any prospective clients to educate such clients in any of the above areas of law.