The attached case raises interesting issues related to outstanding open work permits and how they might be handled on closing. In this case, the buyer purchased a renovated home, but learned that there was still an open permit that was not finally inspected and approved by the Building department.
The buyer refused to close until the permit was cleared. On the closing date, the seller lawyer notified the buyer lawyer by fax at 4 pm that they could obtain a title insurance policy to deal with the issue. The buyer lawyer did not see the fax and assumed the deal was cancelled.
See the attached decision where the judge ruled that the deposit was forfeited by the buyer because in accordance with the offer, if a seller can obtain title insurance to correct a work order issue, then a buyer must close.
When selling or buying properties that are recently renovated, questions need to be asked to make sure that any outstanding work permit has been finally inspected and signed off by the local City official. Open work permits can later lead to work orders, which will become the responsibility of the owner to repair later.
As Cottage Lakes Recede, who owns the Extra Beach?
Lakefront cottage purchases have many challeges, particularly with respect to who owns the land at the water’s edge. Please see the attached article, which discusses the range of issues when buying or selling a lakefront property and the importance of understanding whether a 66 foot shore allowance applies to the property and whether it has been properly closed by the municiplity and transferred to the owner. Otherwise, you could have a situation where the cottage is built on land that is not owned by the seller.
Real Estate Partnerships Require Careful Planning
I am often asked how real estate partnerships or joint ventures should be set up. Who should go on title? What clauses do I need?
Please see the attached article where I set out the key provisions that need to be negotiated in any real estate partneship agreement. If you or your clients need any assistance with setting up a joint venture or partnership agreement, please conact me.
Disclose clearly when buying from your own client
I am always asked how much should be disclosed when a salesperson buys a property from their real estate brokerage’s client. The simple rule is that there is never too much disclosure. Besides disclosing the fact that you are a salesperson, consideration should also be given to make it very clear to the seller that the buyer intends to sell the property for a profit in the future. In addition, the seller should also be encouraged to make any deal conditional on the review and approval by the seller’s lawyer, before the offer becomes firm.
As the attached article indicates, when the proper disclosures are made in advance, a salesperson should even be protected from an unhappy seller who finds out later that the salesperson who bought the property from them sold it shortly thereafter for a substantial profit.
Do you need to disclose a grow house rumour?
Welcome to all of my new subscribers who I met at the Investment Forum over the weekend. I found it a great learning experience and hope that each of you took away something that will assist you or your clients with their investment needs.
I am often asked whether a seller needs to disclose that a property was once a grow house. In my opinion, because of the damage that can be done to a property by a grow house operation, it should be disclosed, together with any attempts that were made to correct any deficiencies.
However, what happens if you are a subsequent owner and you just hear a rumour that a prior owner ran a grow house operation? Read the attached case that decided that unsubstantiated rumours of a grow house did not need to be disclosed by the sellers.
If you have a question about whether a prior issue should be disclosed, please contact me.
My Law Practice
I have received many inquiries about my law practice, providing legal services to real estate buyers, sellers and investors. Working with Real Property Transaction Centres, I am now able to close real estate transactions throughout the GTA. If you require any assistance on a transaction that you are working on, please email me at email@example.com
If you or your clients are looking for a written quote, please visit www.realproperty.ca and search under “How much does it cost” or contact Suzanne at 1-877- 219-9618, ext. 231.
Continuing Education Courses
Please join me at REALTOR(R) Quest on Thursday May 2/2013 at the Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd. where I will be giving a new 2 hour seminar from 9:00 am – 11:00 am on Tips for Protecting your Clients in 2013.
Commission Agreements – Making sure you always get paid – REALTORS(R) Association of Hamilton/Burlington, May 3, 2013 – 9:30 am – 12:30 pm – 505 York Blvd. – 3 CE Credits
Understanding the Home Inspection Condition – TREB – 1400 Don Mills Rd – May 23, 2013 – 9:30 am – 12:30 pm – 3 CE Credits
Boundary Rights, Fence Lines and Related Isses – TREB – 1400 Don Mills Rd – May 23, 2013 – 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm – 2 CE Credits
Contact the board offices to register.
If you would like to schedule a private course at your brokerage, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Mark Weisleder
Mark is a lawyer, author, instructor, Toronto Star columnist and keynote speaker for the real estate industry.