The elderly or infirm are often the targets of con artists, who seek to take advantage of the situation for their own benefit. If the scam is not found out in time, these victims can in many cases lose their life savings.
Please see the attached case, where a scheme was discovered in time and the victim was protected against an illegal contract that they signed. It also confirms that you cannot trade in real estate without a licence.
$100,000 deposit lost when fax not read in time
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.
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.
Do you need to disclose a grow house rumour?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
About Mark Weisleder
Mark is a lawyer, author, instructor, Toronto Star columnist and keynote speaker for the real estate industry.