Legal

Filter by area

Clearing the Smoke on Condo No-Smoking Rules Before Cannabis Legalization

What happens when the rights of smoking and non-smoking tenants and landlords conflict?

Read More

Make an Offer, but Beware — In an Uncertain market, Property Law Can Hurt You

Home buyers need to come up with the money for a winning bid - even in a declining market.

Read More

Cottage Purchasers Need to Know Land Boundaries of Lakefront Property

Buyers of lakefront cottages should be aware of whether their land touches the water not only in fact but according to the registered title.

Read More

Do the Homeowners or Photographers Own the Rights to Property Photos?

When the sellers of a home hire a stager to help market and sell it, who owns the rights to the before and after photographs? 

Read More

Banning Incentives for Real Estate Lawyers Doesn’t Serve Public

If a lawyer receives an incentive from a title insurance company for arranging a client's policy, who should get the benefit: the lawyer or the client?

Read More

Insurance Must Cover Badly Built Property

Building deficiencies resulting from poorly regulated construction and that affect the sale of a property are now covered under title insurance in the wake of a recent Superior...

Read More

How a Fight between Condo and Owner Over a Flower Box Cost $109,000

This is the sad story of a $109,000 flower box. It all began in a large project of 213 condominium garden homes known as Bethamy Woods, in Ottawa.

Read More

Buyer Held to Contract After Property Found to be Former Marijuana Grow-Op

The Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that a home buyer did not have the right to walk away from the purchase of a property which was found to be a former marijuana...

Read More

Homeowners Should Always Get Neighbours’ Permission Before Taking Down Boundary Trees

Can a person be convicted of illegally removing a property-line tree when the City has issued a permit authorizing it?

Read More

$100K Dispute Over Lot Proves Importance of Land Surveys

A recent court case emphasizes the importance of using a survey and getting accurate property measurements before signing an agreement in a home purchase.

Read More

How 22 Toronto Condo Buyers Ended Up Owning the Wrong Units

How is it that 22 condominium owners in a north Toronto development do not own the units they are living in?

Read More

Homeowner, Court Tears Strip (Of Land) Off Neighbour

Gillean Gibb and Liliana Maria Pereira are next-door neighbours on Grosvenor St., in London, Ont.

Read More

Homeowners Spend $50,000 Fighting Over Small Strip of Land Between Houses

It’s hard to imagine why two neighbours would together spend as much as $50,000 on legal fees in a court fight over a strip of land between their houses that measures only...

Read More

Sellers Should Never Sign a Seller Property Information Statement

Is a purchaser entitled to back out of a real estate purchase deal if she finds out before closing that the home was the site of a murder?

Read More

Court Rejects Elderly Father’s Bid to Remove Son From Property Title

When a parent registers title to a home in joint names with a child, and the family relationship later breaks down, the results can be unhappy — and expensive — for all...

Read More

What Do You Do When Your Condo Development Has Been Destroyed by Fire?

Dozens of purchasers in a Mississauga condominium project are awaiting news of further developments after the project was destroyed by fire earlier this month.

But the...

Read More

Who Pays When You Slip and Fall on Someone Else’s Property?

Bob Aaron in Legal 

Winter in Toronto can bring the early morning sounds of neighbours’ shovels on driveways and sidewalks, and snowplows on roads.

Failure to clear snow and...

Read More

Property Buyers Should be Aware of Real Estate Lawyers' Legal Standards

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Condo Buying

A fact sheet published last month by LawPRO — the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company — provides an interesting insight into...

Read More

You Could Be Liable for Home Tank’s Oil Spill

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court warns homeowners that a distributor’s delivery of fuel oil does not mean that their tanks are safe. It also...

Read More

Government Has No Excuse for Delaying Consumer Protection Sections of New Condominium Act

Bob Aaron in Condo Buying, Legal

With parts of the new Condominium Act coming into force next week, there is concern about important consumer protection sections in the act...

Read More

Delayed Action on Consumer Protection for Homeowners a Sad Reflection on Provincial Government

Bob Aaron in Legal

The Ontario government acted with speed in imposing a new non-resident tax on real estate purchases.

But when it comes to protecting consumer deposits on...

Read More

Condo Corps Need to Deal with Marijuana Use Before it Becomes a Problem

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying 

When marijuana becomes legal next summer, landlords, tenants and condominium owners can expect an increase in disputes related to both...

Read More

Condo Sale Complicated by Fire

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying, Home Buying, Home Selling

Editor's Note: This article was first published in July 2017.

What happens if a real estate purchase and sale...

Read More

When a Property Survey is More Important Than the Deed

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Is a property survey important? Is it necessary if the buyer gets title insurance?

I’ve often said that a survey is the most important...

Read More

Co-op Board v Owner Dispute Becomes Pricey Court Action

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent case involving a Toronto co-ownership building illustrates why expensive court proceedings are not always the solution to disputes between owners...

Read More

Buyer Paid for Property He Did Not Get

Bob Aaron in Home BuyingLegal

The most important thing a real estate lawyer must do for his purchaser clients is to confirm the exact dimensions, and location, of the...

Read More

Ontario court rules Wychwood homeowners are not obligated to pay park maintenance fees

Bob Aaron in Legal

Taddle Creek Pond in Wychwood. Photo Credit: By Wordconcepts - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Collecting homeowner fees to maintain private roads and other shared...

Read More

Home Inspection Act finally passed

Bob Aaron in Legal

Editor's Note: This article was first published last month (May 2017).

The Ontario government last month finally passed legislation to regulate the home...

Read More

‘Escalation’ clause ignites privacy, ethics code concerns

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Home Selling

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), which represents 70,000 real estate agents and brokers, has become involved in a...

Read More

Real estate tax demands lawyers verify the unverifiable

Bob Aaron in Legal

Editor's Note: This article was first published last month (May 2017).

Last month’s introduction of the 15-per-cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax has...

Read More

‘Detached’ home for sale is actually linked to property next door

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

When is a detached house not detached? That was the question facing the “Smiths” late last month.

The couple came to see me after they signed...

Read More

Wychwood Park Homeowners Fight Fee

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Taddle Creek Pond in Wychwood. Photo Credit: By Wordconcepts - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

 

A 2016 decision of the Ontario Divisional Court has...

Read More

Missing deed registration cut-off by seconds adds $157,000 to tax bill

Bob Aaron in Legal

When the city of Toronto increased its municipal land transfer tax on March 1, no one could have imagined that the failure to grandfather any transactions...

Read More

Legal Fight Over Toronto’s Trump Tower is Far From Over

Bob Aaron in Legal

Photo Credit: By Secondarywaltz (Own work), CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court of Canada has written the latest chapter in the ongoing...

Read More

Insurance Company Beaten as Exclusions Do Not Apply to Dam Burst

Bob Aaron in Legal

Not all insurance policies exclude coverage for floods entering a house from the outside.

Last month I wrote about a $2-million claim for catastrophic...

Read More

Sellers beware if information is not correct

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling

Patrick Gladu and wife Danielle Boyer-Gladu purchased a property in Sturgeon Falls, Ont., back in 2009.

The house had been advertised on the...

Read More

$2 million in water damage not covered by insurance

Bob Aaron in Legal

Imagine turning to your insurance company after catastrophic damages to your house and being told, “You’re not covered.”

That’s what happened to Hassan...

Read More

Devious tenants must be stopped from gaming system

Bob Aaron in Legal

Anyone interested in becoming a landlord in Ontario could learn some lessons from a recent court case which demonstrates how an unscrupulous tenant was...

Read More

Kitec plumbing in condos should be revealed

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

Should condominium corporations disclose the existence of Kitec plumbing to potential buyers on their status certificates? That was the...

Read More

Ontario court upholds condo rule banning Airbnb and short-term rentals

Bob Aaron in Legal

Condo owners who rented their suite for short-term stays violated the building’s rules, an Ontario court ruled earlier this month.

The Ottawa condo’s...

Read More

Home inspections are your best friend

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

What happens if you discover water flowing below the floor in a newly-purchased house and you have to completely gut the basement to remove...

Read More

Tax burden of housing sector must be shared by all

Bob Aaron in Legal

Read More

Supreme Court Upholds Title-insurance Victory

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

The Supreme Court of Canada has written the final chapter in one of the most important title-insurance cases of this generation.

The story...

Read More

What if my Prospective Condo Corporation is Involved in Litigation?

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Condo Buying

What should a buyer do when the status certificate for their condominium purchase shows that the corporation is involved in...

Read More

Lawyers Selling Homes Could Upset the Realty Apple Cart

Bob Aaron in Legal, Real Estate Trends

An interesting development in Picton, Ont., provides a glimpse into a possible future business model for real-estate brokerages.

A law...

Read More

Make Sure Home Seller’s Promises are Met Before Closing

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Home Selling

A small claims court decision released last year underscores the importance of careful wording of seller promises in agreements...

Read More

Don't Buy Unregistered New Homes

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Tarion Warranty Corporation has warned Ontario’s builders and real-estate agents they can be charged and fined if involved in the sale of an...

Read More

Tarion needs to increase homebuyers deposit protection

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

An interim report on the Tarion warranty corporation should have gone further to protect home buyers’ purchase deposits.

Special adviser J....

Read More

Tenants shouldn’t be able to ‘game the system’

Bob Aaron in Legal

How many times do Ontario judges have to cry out for changes to the landlord and tenant court procedure to prevent tenants from “gaming the system” before...

Read More

Dangerous real-estate document a path to court

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling

The Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS) continues to be the single most dangerous document in current use in the real estate market.

Read More

Web-based money transfer to streamline real-estate closings - but is it needed?

Bob Aaron in Legal

Editor's Note: This post was first published on July 2, 2016.

Will home buyers willingly pay an extra $148 to help lawyers close their purchase...

Read More

Reduce, postpone or avoid real estate death taxes

Bob Aaron in Legal

 

The soaring values of GTA-area homes has made it an increasingly expensive proposition to die while owning real estate.

Huge probate taxes, officially...

Read More

Get a survey even if your agent says no

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

With cottage-buying season now underway, it’s important to remember that a land survey is the single most important document in the whole...

Read More

Regulating Ontario’s home inspectors is taking too long

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Condo Buying

 

There’s good news and bad news for homebuyers who would like to see a formal licensing protocol instituted for the province’s...

Read More

Be wary of HST rebate rules when buying a new home

Bob Aaron in Legal in Home Buying, Condo Buying

A decision by the Tax Court of Canada last month has muddied the waters about who is — and is not — entitled to the new-home...

Read More

Condo buyers beware: How some builders overcharge for taxes

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

Editor's Note: This article was first published Feb 13 2016.

Thousands of purchasers of new condominiums are being overcharged for property...

Read More

Late mortgage payment charges contrary to Interest Act

Bob Aaron in Legal

Editor's Note: This article was first published on Feb 1 2016.

A decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that late payment charges and default...

Read More

Protecting condo buyers from changes in final sale agreements

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

Recent lawsuits over material changes in final sale agreements have ended with the courts ordering buyers’ deposits fully refunded.

Three...

Read More

Title insurance must cover missing load-bearing wall

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Ontario homeowners who have purchased title insurance policies are the big winners in a Court of Appeal decision released last week.

When...

Read More

Preconstruction home, condo buyers need more protection

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Condo Buying

 

A review of consumer protections for owners of new homes is set to get underway.

Retired associate chief justice J. Douglas...

Read More

Buyers can cancel property sale over misleading information

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Home Selling

Is a seller required to be truthful in disclosing to a buyer that a house was built on potentially toxic landfill? That was the...

Read More

Missing the boat on waterfront laws

Bob Aaron in Legal 

Under provincial law, the bottom of any navigable lakes or rivers typically belong to the Ontario Crown, and no docks or boathouses with foundations...

Read More

Not all home purchases have a happy ending

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

The vast majority of real estate agents are honest, competent and caring individuals.

Occasionally, however, one of them falls off the rails.

Read More

A new home’s floor should not be this noisy

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Condo Buying

A squeaky wooden floor was at the centre of a recent decision by the Ontario Licence Appeal Tribunal that overruled the...

Read More

Home buyer’s contract delivered empty promises

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Tracy Lynn Robinson and her husband bought a house in Milton last year.

The purchase agreement contained a warranty that the appliances and...

Read More

It can be risky and expensive to fight your condo over rules

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

This is the story of a $47,000 dog named Peaches and its troubled stay in a Barrie condominium.

It all began back in July, 2014, when...

Read More

Is there a legal obligation for a seller to disclose pre-closing flood damage to the buyer?

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

Does the seller of a house have a legal obligation to advise the buyers about a flood that occurred after the parties entered...

Read More

Hidden new contruction buyer fees can cost you thousands

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Condo Buying

Two areas involving builder agreements of purchase and sale that cry out for action by the new homes provincial watchdog are...

Read More

Electronic signatures legal in real estate deals starting July 1st

Bob Aaron in Legal

Editor's Note: This article was originally published prior to July 1st.

Next week marks a sea change in Ontario real property law when it becomes legal to...

Read More

Mom helping son with down payment ends in family feud

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

With the high price of housing these days, more buyers are turning to the Bank of Mom and Dad for help in acquiring a new home. Often, this...

Read More

Ontario Liberals Proposed Condo Act Reform May Do More Harm

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

“If Shakespeare was alive today and owned a condo in Ontario (let’s say Stratford), he would have ample material for a new play about...

Read More

Home buyers lose HST rebate when uncle, other relations on title

Bob Aaron in Home Buying, Legal

Back in June 2011, Angela Maria Henao and her aunt signed an agreement to buy a new house on Quetico Cres in Oakville. With the June 2012,...

Read More

Honouring the end of real-estate racism in Canada

Bob Aaron in Legal

Across Canada there are thousands of bronze plaques marking historic designations but, until now, not one of them has commemorated a court case.

That...

Read More

Right-of-way decision in neighbour dispute: Shrunken laneway still accessible

Bob Aaron in Legal

An Ontario Court of Appeal decision last year totally reversed what had been commonly viewed for the last 100 years as the law on interference with a...

Read More

Court ruling opens loophole for probate tax

Bob Aaron in Legal

A decision of the Ontario Superior Court last month suggests a novel way of avoiding the need to pay province’s 1.5 per cent estate administration tax on...

Read More

My home has Kitec plumbing in it - Should I be worried?

Read More

Ensure you’re covered for municipal work orders, building bylaw violations

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

It is a common understanding among real estate lawyers that residential title insurance will provide protection against municipal work orders...

Read More

Questions arise about obligation to disclose whether property has stigma

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Home Selling

 

Is a real estate agent obligated to disclose to purchaser clients whether the house they are interested in buying is...

Read More

Verify your correct unit listed in offer, deed

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

Last month I wrote about a court case involving the purchase of a condo townhouse with a third floor attic conversion that did not comply...

Read More

Ghosts among reasons to scare up legal advice

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Home Selling

If a property in Ontario has been stigmatized as a result of a murder, suicide, death, haunting — or other unpleasant event —...

Read More

Condo corporations must tread carefully on status certificates

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

A major decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal last week has raised the bar on the level of due diligence required by condominium...

Read More

New tax scrutiny for will-bestowed real estate

Bob Aaron in Legal

The Ontario government is cracking down on estate trustees who do not accurately declare the full value of a deceased person’s assets, including real...

Read More

New-home buyers need better protection: Tarion, Law Society, Government failing in consumer protection role

Bob Aaron in LegalHome Buying

The 150 purchasers in the failed Centrium condominium project might not have lost their combined deposits of $14.9 million had the Law Society...

Read More

Agents on the hook for illegal in-law suites

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), the body that licenses and governs real estate agents, is cracking down on...

Read More

Will discipline hearing bring end to risky document?

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

A recent decision of a discipline panel of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) could spell the end of the Seller Property...

Read More

Board fined for defying both condo owners and court ruling

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

What happens if condominium board members fail to comply with the Condominium Act? That question was the focus of a case which ultimately...

Read More

'Use it or lose it' under Land Titles System

Bob Aaron in Legal

Is it possible to claim possessory title to a parcel of someone else’s land if the registered owner entered the property only once during the claimant’s 10...

Read More

Sellers' form still troubling the real estate industry

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

Photo Credit: plus.google.com

The Seller Property Information Statement, a disclosure form created by the real estate industry,...

Read More

More To A Tree Trunk Than Meets The Eye

Who owns a tree which straddles the property line between my house and my neighbours? Can I cut it down without their permission?

That was the issue which brought two...

Read More

Know your cottage's shore road allowance

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Photo Credit: iStock.com

I just found out that the boathouse and dock in front of my cottage were constructed on a municipal road allowance,...

Read More

Never Buy A Resale Condo Without Reviewing Status Certificate

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

Photo Courtesy: iStock.com

Why does a lawyer have to review the condominium status certificate on a resale purchase? What are the risks if...

Read More

Court Rules Against Condo With Smoking Cigar

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

Photo Courtesy: iStock.com

We have experienced an overwhelming smell of cigar smoke coming from the condominium unit above ours. What can we...

Read More

Get Your New Room Measurements in Writing

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Condo BuyingPhoto Courtesy: iStock.com

Where can I find the size of the condo unit I’m buying in the builder’s pre-construction contract?

I...

Read More

Get Your Renovation Details in a Contract

Bob Aaron in Legal

Photo Courtesy: istock.com

I’m about to do a major renovation in my home. What kind of paperwork do I need?

Excellent answers to this question were...

Read More

Floor Plans Can Be Your Best Defense

Bob Aaron in LegalPhoto Credit: iStock.com

What happens when the new-build condominium unit you buy from just the plans is significantly different from the one the builder has...

Read More

Renovations May Hide Problems From Home Buyers

Bob Aaron in Legal

Photo Courtesy: iStock.com

I just learned that my house was renovated without a proper permit from the city. Do I have title insurance coverage for the...

Read More

Land transfer tax should be an election issue

 Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Photo Courtesy: istock.com

As a real estate lawyer, I am a big supporter of the campaign by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to phase out...

Read More

Carbon monoxide, smoke detectors need new batteries

Bob Aaron in Legal

Photo Courtesy: iStock

Daylight saving time starts tomorrow morning and, for me, it can’t come soon enough. It will still be daylight well after 7 p.m. and,...

Read More

Failed Property Sale by Email a ‘Poster Child’ Case, Judge Says

Bob Aaron in Legal

Photo Courtesy: iStock

Last month you wrote about a ruling by the late Justice Sydney Robins which paved the way for signing real estate agreements by fax....

Read More

Take Good Care Of The Ones You Love

Here’s an offbeat gift suggestion for Valentine’s Day this week. And, no, not a variation on chocolates, flowers, perfume or cologne, socks or frillies, and a fancy dinner...
Read More

Electronic Signature Decision Will Look to Judge Sydney Robins

 
Photo Courtesy: cynthiaknight.com    
 
Judge Sydney Robins’ many decisions included one in the...
Read More

Court Finds Agent Must be Paid for Doing the Job

Bob Aaron in LegalToronto Real Estate NewsCondo BuyingHome Buying

Photo Courtesy: istock.com    

A seller must pay commission to their real estate agent if a full-price...

Read More

Land Survey Trumps All Documents in a Purchase

Bob Aaron in LegalHome Buying

True or false? A land survey is unnecessary if the house purchaser buys title insurance.

Answer: false.

A court decision released last...

Read More

HST Rebate Rules Don't Include All Your Relatives

Bob Aaron in LegalToronto Real Estate NewsCondo BuyingHome Buying

Many buyers of new homes and condominiums may be surprised to receive a demand from Canada Revenue...

Read More

Tarion: Buyers May not be able to sue for claims after new home warranty expires

Bob Aaron in LegalToronto Real Estate NewsCondo BuyingHome Buying

A recent court decision raises the thorny issue of whether it should be legal for builders to restrict...

Read More

Establishing a Quasi-Judicial ‘Condo Office’ Should be Done with Care

Bob Aaron in Legal, Toronto Real Estate News, Condo Buying, Home Buying

A sea change is coming for the management and operation of the province’s 600,000 condominium units if...

Read More

Does century-old murder still haunt Massey home?

Bob Aaron in LegalHome SellingHome Buying

Photo Credit: Bob Aaron

In the real estate field, when the value of a house might be affected by a history of murder, suicide,...

Read More

Land Survey Outlines What's Really Yours

Bob Aaron in LegalHome SellingHome Buying

I think it’s time that a land survey be made a compulsory part of every real estate transaction. It baffles me why a clause to that...

Read More

Court Finds Sale Not Closed if the Building Permit is Open

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

Two recent decisions of the Ontario Superior Court have determined that an open municipal building permit — where the city has...

Read More

Floor-by-Floor Sales Venture Would Work Better as a Condo Property

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

My nomination for the the most odball real estate scheme of the year is last week’s proposal by Larry Chilton and his real...

Read More

Cellar Flood Among Wave of Lawsuits From Disclosure Form

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

In the wake of widespread flooding in Toronto last week, I’ve had a number of phone calls and emails from people trying to sell...

Read More

New Home Owners Dig into Their Legal Rights, Obligations About Backyard Burial

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

Just when I thought I had heard every possible real estate problem, a client showed up with a question that is so novel that the...

Read More

Toronto Condo on Leaside Street With Name That Had Lofty Beginning

Bob Aaron in Legal Image: urbantoronto.ca

A couple of weeks ago I was meeting with a client to sign closing documents for his condominium purchase in the Scenic on Eglinton...

Read More

Dance Studio Found to be Thunderous Upstairs Neighbour

Bob Aaron in Legal One of the most common complaints from condominium residents is noise coming from neighbouring units. In the last 40 years, more than 100 condominium noise...

Read More

Some Title Insurance is Better Than Others

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

In the world of real estate, it’s not very well known that title insurance policies vary significantly from one company to another.

When it...

Read More

Beware Sending a Real Estate Deal Off the Rails

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

An interesting decision from Toronto’s small claims court last December provides a useful lesson on the obligations of buyers,...

Read More

Problems With Land Titles Just Got Clearer

Bob Aaron in Legal

A decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in February may have settled the thorny question of whether or not courts have the authority to correct erroneous...

Read More

Condo Board Pays Personal Price for Clinging to Power

Bob Aaron in Legal

Five former board members of a London, Ont., condominium corporation have been personally ordered to pay costs totalling $36,300 as a result of two related...

Read More

Real Estate Lawyers Do Not ‘Waste’ Client’s Money

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Last week I received an email from a Star reader who had just bought a $588,000 home in Scarborough and wanted to know if I could refer him to...

Read More

HomeVerified Will Be Valuable New Tool for Home Buyers

Resale home’s history now available through HomeVerified and it has the potential to become an industry standard in every residential...
Read More

Landowners Responsible for Environmental Cleanup, Court Rules

Bob Aaron in Legal

In one of the scariest court decisions of recent years, the Ontario Divisional Court has ruled that innocent landowners can be held responsible to remedy...

Read More

Disclosure Statement Meant Buyers Recovered Damages, but Listing Agent Escaped Liability

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling

A Saskatoon real estate agent and his brokerage have escaped liability to the purchasers of a home with a wet basement in a misrepresentation...

Read More

Who has Authority to Correct Land Registry Errors?

Bob Aaron in Legal

Perhaps the most fundamental principle of property ownership in Ontario is that users of the land registration system can rely on it for an accurate...

Read More

Title Insurance Really isn’t Optional

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Condo Buying

Despite the fact that residential title insurance has been commonplace in Ontario for the last 15 years, many of my clients still...

Read More

Court Rules Real Estate Agent isn’t Responsible for Home Inspection

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

An Ontario real estate agent has escaped responsibility for failing to review the results of a professional home inspection with his purchaser...

Read More

Condo Board Cannot Ignore Democratic Process

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

A recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice in London, Ont., carries a powerful message about the consequences that can result when a...

Read More

When Your House Really Belongs to Your Neighbour

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

Imagine waking up one morning to find out that the house you are living in and have listed for sale belongs to your next-door neighbours, and...

Read More

Professionals Can Make Real Estate Transactions Easier

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

A decision of the Ontario Divisional Court this summer underscores the importance of having an experienced real estate lawyer review a builder...

Read More

Higher Property Assessment Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Higher Taxes

Bob Aaron in Legal

Ontario property owners may soon be in for a shock when they receive their new property assessment notice, but it doesn’t necessarily mean their taxes are...

Read More

Case Highlights Flaws in Landlord, Tenant Rules

Bob Aaron in Legal

A decision of Justice Ted Matlow in the Ontario Superior Court last month contains valuable lessons for residential landlords and tenants, along with a...

Read More

Why the SPIS Can Cause More Grief Than it Spares

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling

As a result of its promotion by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), the seller’s property information statement (SPIS) continues to...

Read More

Condo Act Doesn’t Need Major Revamp

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying, Toronto Real Estate News

In June, the McGuinty government announced a public consultation process to “modernize” the 1998 Condominium Act to...

Read More

Smoking Issues Plague Condo Corporations

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

Condominium corporations have a duty to accommodate residents who have sensitivity to second-hand cigarette smoke, according to a recent decision...

Read More

Tarion Changes Good for Purchasers

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

The Tarion Warranty Corp. has introduced a number of program changes which will benefit consumers by providing better disclosure of extra charges...

Read More

Boundary Dispute Only Make the Lawyers Rich

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal serves as a strong reminder that landowners who are involved in property boundary disputes should...

Read More

Low-income Families, Students Being Hurt by Licensing Requirements

Bob Aaron in Legal

Compulsory licensing for small landlords is rapidly spreading throughout Ontario, having come into effect most recently in Waterloo on April 1 and North Bay on...

Read More

Real Estate Law: The Parrot is Really a Red Herring

Bob Aaron in Legal

Toronto real estate law guru Jeffrey Lem has a knack for making court cases both entertaining and educational at the same time.

His latest effort, which...

Read More

Buying a Cottage Unlike Other Real Estate Transactions

Bob Aaron in Legal

The beginning of the cottage season is a good opportunity for a reminder that recreational real estate transactions are unlike any other property dealings.

...

Read More

TREB’s Fear-Mongering Hurts its Arguments Against Competition Bureau

Bob Aaron in Legal, Toronto Real Estate News

There are many good reasons to support the Toronto Real Estate Board in its battle with the federal Competition Bureau. After all,...

Read More

Basement Apartments are a Minefield for the Uninformed

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Home Selling

My column on basement apartments earlier this month seems to have touched a nerve among homeowners and real estate agents, many of...

Read More

Basement Apartments Must Comply with Zoning, Fire, Building and Electric Codes

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Home Buying

When real estate agents prepare offers for a house with a basement apartment, they typically insert a clause stating that “seller...

Read More

Fight Over Grading Issues Ends in Court

Bob Aaron in Legal

Whenever a new subdivision is built, the subdivider is required to enter into a development agreement with the municipality. Part of each agreement is a...

Read More

Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut Was a Human Rights Advocate

Bob Aaron in Legal

It is not unusual for lawyers, as we advance through our careers, to assemble a short list of our heroes in the legal field — outstanding individuals who have...

Read More

Badly Placed Fences Make Angry Neighbours

Bob Aaron in Legal

Frank and Dolores Lipischak are next-door neighbours to Diana DeWolf and Joe Russ on Caille Ave. in the town of Lakeshore in Essex County. Their homes front on...

Read More

Enforcement of Declaration is a Condo Board’s Duty

Bob Aaron in Condo Buying, Legal

Peel Condominium Corp. 108 is an attractive townhouse development built in 2002 on Central Park Dr. in Brampton.

Back in April 2009, the board of...

Read More

When a detached home is not a detached home

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling

When you’re selling a house known as a link-semi, is it wrong to advertise it as a detached home?

The link house style was popular in Toronto in...

Read More

Revised purchase agreement could ease ‘sticker shock’

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

In a landmark consumer protection initiative, the Tarion Warranty Corp. has proposed a requirement that builder purchase agreements set out in one...

Read More

Manitoba Simplifies Seller Disclose Form

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling, Real Estate Trends

The seller property disclosure statement remains a hot topic in the real estate community as Manitoba has now made them...

Read More

Document Your Possessions in Event Insurance Claim is Necessary

Bob Aaron in Legal

A court case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada highlights the importance of homeowners keeping accurate records of their possessions in the...

Read More

Whoever Forms Government Must Protect Property Rights

Bob Aaron in Legal

As I see it, the real issue in this provincial election should be whether the Ontario government is able and willing to act decisively and promptly to maintain...

Read More

Is Construction Crane 'Trespassing?'

Bob Aaron in Legal

I received an interesting call earlier this month. A reader lives next to a construction site and the builder’s crane is continually passing through the air...

Read More

The Importance of Reviewing Condo Floor Plans

Bob Aaron in Condo Buying, Legal

A Superior Court decision released last month underscores the importance of reviewing condominium floor plans before completing the purchase...

Read More

It's difficult to sell pre-registration condo units

Bob Aaron in LegalHome Buying, Condo Buying

With thousands of new Toronto condominiums being completed each year, investor purchasers are putting many of them on the...

Read More

Title insurance? Check. Land survey? Double-check.

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

One of the lesser known benefits of title insurance is that the insurer is obligated to provide and pay for the legal costs of defending the...

Read More

Rent-to-Own Deals Can Be Risky Business

Bob Aaron in Home Buying, Legal

Last month I received an email from a firm billing itself as a “very successful real estate investment firm that invests heavily in something...

Read More

Tarion Registration is Not an Option for Homebuilders

Bob Aaron in Home Buying, Condo Buying, Home Selling, Legal

One of the biggest challenges facing the new home industry today is the problem of illegal construction and sale of...

Read More

Agent's Responsibility Doesn’t End With Advice

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

An Ontario court has found a real estate agent partially liable in damages for failing to review a home inspector’s report carefully with his...

Read More

Use SPIS Forms at Your Own Peril

Bob Aaron in Home Selling, Legal

If there ever was any doubt about the risks to sellers and real estate agents of using the Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS), a...

Read More

Bob Aaron: Court Will Decide About ‘Latent Defect’

Bob Aaron in Legal

Does a seller have an obligation to disclose to a purchaser with young children the fact that a person convicted of child pornography lives across the street?...

Read More

Title insurers come under fire in Quebec

Bob Aaron in Home BuyingLegal

The governing bodies of the notary and legal professions in Quebec have launched a lawsuit against several title insurance companies over the...

Read More

Shocked by Stories of ‘Neighbours from Hell’

Bob Aaron in Home Buying, Condo Buying, Legal

In my column on April 2, I wrote about a study by Halifax Home Insurance in the U.K. which reported that more than 360,000 Britons,...

Read More

In U.K., 1 in 10 Move Due to Nasty Neighbours

Bob Aaron in Real Estate Trends, Legal

At any given time, at least some of the courts in Ontario are occupied with disputes between neighbours. Based on the current law reports...

Read More

Builder, Purchasers Fight Over Increase in Closing Charges

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

A Toronto-area builder has filed a notice of appeal after losing two small claims court cases to new condominium buyers who sued to recover...

Read More

Estimating Taxes a Tricky Business

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

Last month two clients of mine were closing on the purchase of a new Toronto condominium. When they received the final statement of adjustments...

Read More

Good Fences Torn Down Make Bad Neighbours

Bob Aaron in Legal

“Good fences make good neighbours” is an old English proverb made popular by Robert Frost in his 1914 poem “Mending Wall.” It was quoted again last year in an...

Read More

Floor plans are most important document in buying a condo

Bob Aaron in Condo Buying, Home Buying, Legal

The Park Lake Residences condominium project is located on Lake Shore Blvd. W. at Ellis Ave., near the foot of Windermere. Built by...

Read More

Bob Aaron: SPIS forms are ticking time bombs

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling

Real estate boards and agents across the country continue to promote the use of the Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS), despite the fact...

Read More

Bob Aaron: Supreme Court rules hydro usage not protected by Charter rights

Bob Aaron in Legal

The Supreme Court of Canada has written the final chapter in a case which raises important issues about the protection of our privacy rights, which are...

Read More

Bob Aaron: Court of appeal ruling ‘absolutely correct’

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying

The Ontario Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court decision that ruled that all of the unit owners of a new condominium project did not have...

Read More

Home Buying 101: How Title Insurance Works and Why You Should Buy It

David Larock in Home Buying, Mortgages and Finance, Legal

Your property’s title provides the legal proof that you are its owner. It describes your rights to the land and any...

Read More

Disclosure Form is a Danger to Buyers and Sellers

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling

Over the years, I have repeatedly criticized the Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS), a form published by the Ontario Real Estate...

Read More

Bob Aaron: A case of mistaken identity

Bob Aaron in Legal

One of my all-time favourite court cases deals with the Edmonton family who were well into building their dream home when they discovered that they didn’t own...

Read More

OREA Forms Continue to Confuse Lawyers and Consumers

Bob Aaron in Legal

When does a real estate deal close — when the deed is registered, when the keys and money change hands or when the seller moves out of the house?

This question...

Read More

Undisclosed Costs Can Really Add Up

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying, Mortgages and Finance

It’s hard to think of any consumer purchase contract where the price on the front page is not the full purchase price,...

Read More

Mortgage fraud fallout working way through courts

Bob Aaron in Legal

Mortgage fraud may no longer be on the front pages, but the fallout from hundreds of past fraud cases is still wending its way through Ontario courts.

The...

Read More

Lawyer not obligated to negotiate better purchase agreement

Bob Aaron in Legal

When a lawyer is presented with an unconditional but obviously defective agreement of purchase and sale by a client, does he or she have an obligation to try to...

Read More

RECO decision heralds new rules about basement apartments

Bob Aaron in Legal

A discipline decision by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) earlier this year has established what may be a new disclosure standard for real estate...

Read More

Monopoly of land registration system inappropriate

Bob Aaron in Legal

Is the Ontario government about to auction off exclusive access to our land registration system to the highest bidder? Is it in the public interest to have a...

Read More

Attached religious object likely should have stayed with house

Bob Aaron in Legal

Is a religious object attached to the outside of a house or condominium a fixture, which remains with the home on a sale, or a chattel, which can be removed...

Read More

City takes dim view of junked car 'planter'

Bob Aaron in Legal

Down the street from my house, one of my neighbours has an old bathtub filled with earth sitting on the front lawn. In season, it contains flowering plants and...

Read More

Lender didn't have right to add credit card balance to mortgage

Bob Aaron in Legal

Does a mortgage lender have the right to add the outstanding balance on your Visa card to the amount outstanding on your mortgage?

That was the issue in a 2009...

Read More

Developer-imposed purchase agreements challenged

Bob Aaron in Legal

It has become common practice in Toronto for some developers to require condominium purchasers in each building to contribute to the costs of guest suites,...

Read More

Victory for non-smoking condo couple in B.C.

Bob Aaron in Legal

A decision of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal late last year could have an enormous effect on owners and occupants of condominiums and rental...

Read More

Buyers overpay builder for estimated taxes

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying Tips

In 2005, Stuart signed an agreement to purchase a condominium unit for $326,900 in an upscale 20-storey project not far from the Annex area.

Read More

Owners no longer in hot water over outdoor tub

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal has come down strongly in favour of the rights of individual condominium owners.

The case deals with Wentworth...

Read More

Make indoor air quality test a standard part of real estate purchases

Bob Aaron in Legal

I've always found it strange that the organized real estate community in Ontario is still highly concerned about urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) in...

Read More

ARB decision on wind power noise sets precedent

Bob Aaron in Legal

In a precedent-setting move, a recently discovered decision of the provincial Assessment Review Board (ARB) has cut a homeowner's assessment in half because the...

Read More

Title insurer not obligated to cover all risks

Bob Aaron in Legal

The problems caused by the strike of civic workers in Toronto last summer are now coming home to roost. Last June, John purchased a newly constructed $600,000...

Read More

Amend code to protect innocent neighbours

Bob Aaron in Legal

Last week's column told the story of the illegal chimney on a north Toronto bungalow owned by Ruta Benjamin and her husband.

When the house next door to the...

Read More

Couple's chimney suddenly "illegal"

Bob Aaron in Legal

Ruta Benjamin and her husband were sitting in their house, minding their own business, when they suddenly found themselves in violation of regulations of the...

Read More

Will cheaper access to justice mean more litigation?

Bob Aaron in Legal

With less than a month to go, the Ontario court system is in for one of its biggest shake-ups in recent memory.

Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the monetary...

Read More

Will kits can create recipe for disaster

Bob Aaron in Legal

Whatever money Pauline Rudling saved by using a will kit instead of a lawyer to prepare her last will and testament was spent hundreds of times over on legal...

Read More

Putting property in children's names is risky

Bob Aaron in Legal

There's a common misconception that the best way to avoid Ontario's 1.5 per cent probate fees on the value of an estate is to place the family home and other...

Read More

Buyers hit with big bills for surprise adjustments

Bob Aaron in Legal

As many as 244 purchasers received a nasty surprise at the end of September when they got hit with thousands of dollars in "fictitious" charges on final closing...

Read More

Rules on terminating a deal all over the map

Bob Aaron in Legal

Can a buyer refuse to close the purchase of a new home if there are deficiencies in construction, forgotten or incomplete items, or unauthorized changes to the...

Read More

Honesty won't resolve disclosure form issues

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling Tips

The Great SPIS Myth

It's time to reveal The Great SPIS Myth – the prevailing fiction about the Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS),...

Read More

Ontario a step closer to mandatory energy audits

Bob Aaron in Legal

With the proclamation of the Green Energy Act, 2009, Ontario has moved one step closer to requiring mandatory energy audits on the sale of residential...

Read More

Privacy at home focus of much court debate

Bob Aaron in Legal

Just how much privacy can a person expect in the comfort of his or her own home, free from any government intrusion? That was the question considered in August...

Read More

Devil is in the details

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying Tips

Terry is a 23-year-old public servant, having recently graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree.

He is ready to buy his first home, and...

Read More

Real estate agents are divided over disclosure form

Bob Aaron in Legal

One of the most controversial issues facing the real estate community is the use of the Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS), which is often provided...

Read More

New right-of-entry bylaw is overkill

Bob Aaron in Legal

Power of entry is subject to a number of conditions and permit fees are costly

A Star reader recently emailed me to say he was thinking of purchasing a...

Read More

Disclosure document is an invitation to litigation

Bob Aaron in Legal

The vast majority of residential real estate transactions close as scheduled, without problems or disputes. The chances of any given real estate deal resulting...

Read More

Buyers, check condo status certificates carefully

Bob Aaron in Legal

In the course of my real estate law practice in Toronto, I often review condominium status certificates for purchasers. Usually this is a fairly routine...

Read More

Historic house turns into 'renovation from hell'

Bob Aaron in Legal

When Amos Hertzman and Caitlin Pencarrick bought their small frame house in Vancouver's historical Strathcona neighbourhood five years ago, they never...

Read More

Insist on fireplace inspection when purchasing home

Bob Aaron in Legal

I was reviewing an offer to purchase a Toronto house last week and was surprised to see a condition that I had never seen before in an offer on a city home.

...

Read More

Sellers statement often results in expensive court proceedings

Bob Aaron in Legal

Back in the spring of 2004, Timothy and Cherese Scherbak signed a listing agreement to sell their property on Boland Ave. in Sudbury, using the services of...

Read More

Privacy and personal photos at heart of case

Bob Aaron in Legal

A decision released by the Supreme Court of Canada last month raises the interesting question of how much privacy an individual may expect with respect to...

Read More

A street by any other name is just as sweet

Bob Aaron in Legal

Some roads named in a person's honour are well thought out; other choices come into question

Searching title to a local condominium townhouse last month, I was...

Read More

'Tortuous' property law section needs legislative adjustment

Bob Aaron in Legal

Appeal court judges find wording of law 'virtually incomprehensible'

A three-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal has called the wording of a section of...

Read More

Have mortgage financing in place prior to closing

Bob Aaron in Legal

Back in November 2005, Nahid Eskandapour signed an agreement with Lebovic Enterprises Ltd. to buy a new home on Colony Rd. in Richmond Hill. The closing was...

Read More

Buying inducements must be disclosed

Bob Aaron in Legal

Lenders need to have all pertinent information to prevent mortgage fraud allegations

An Alberta court has ruled that the contents of a lawyer's file in a real...

Read More

Straw homebuyer scheme is illegal

Bob Aaron in Legal

Melanie came to her lawyer's office in tears. Two years earlier she had received $5,000 from a "friend" to allow her name to be used on the purchase of a...

Read More

Is green roof bylaw valid or a cash grab?

Bob Aaron in Legal

Late last month, Toronto became the first city in North America to adopt a bylaw requiring the construction of green roofs on new developments. It comes into...

Read More

Chinese drywall creating crisis

Bob Aaron in Legal

The issue of toxic Chinese drywall may well become the biggest environmental crisis to hit North American homeowners and builders in decades.

The defective...

Read More

Case must be strong if you decide to sue lawyer

Bob Aaron in Legal

Sonia James learned the hard way that it's not always a good idea to sue your lawyer and blame your misfortunes on him or her.

In late 2002, James signed an...

Read More

How to create a legal second suite

Bob Aaron in Legal

One of the biggest mysteries of the local real estate market is the legality of basement apartments – also known as granny flats, in-law suites, accessory...

Read More

Loss of part of deposit teaches a hard lesson

Bob Aaron in Legal

Barbara and Michael learned the hard way that pre-construction deposits paid to builders of condominium units are only protected by the Tarion Warranty Corp....

Read More

Court rules against aboriginal land claim

Bob Aaron in Legal

Injunction granted after protesters stall construction at Hagersville home-building site

Last month, the Ontario Superior Court in Hamilton granted an...

Read More

Mark Freedman wrote the book on condo law

Bob Aaron in Legal

The Canadian condominium industry and the real estate bar lost one of its towering giants last weekend with the passing of Mark Freedman, a senior partner at...

Read More

Cottage deals need special expertise

Bob Aaron in Legal

Last month I reviewed an offer to purchase a waterfront cottage near Kirkfield, Ont. The property was listed by a real estate agent in the Kawarthas and the...

Read More

HST will box home buyers, builders into bizarre deals

Bob Aaron in Legal

I learned of a new term in the housing industry last week. "White box" refers to a newly constructed house or condominium unit that is built to the minimum...

Read More

Builders should be upfront about extra condo charges

Bob Aaron in Legal, Condo Buying Tips

Last week I had the opportunity to review a condominium builder purchase agreement with a couple of clients. They had been told in the sales...

Read More

Seek professional advice to keep cottage in the family

Bob Aaron in Legal

The Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a mother who promised to give her son two family cottages if he renovated them, but then changed her...

Read More

When it comes to surveys, size matters

Bob Aaron in Legal

Christopher and Lindsay Taggart were dismayed to discover that the lot underneath their newly constructed home was 1,000 square feet smaller than it was...

Read More

Advertised house came up short

Bob Aaron in Legal

Purchase offer should ask that the advertised square footage be warranted

What happens if you buy a house and it turns out to be more than 18 per cent smaller...

Read More

Thumbs down on offensive Illinois law

Bob Aaron in Legal

A new American law set to take effect June 1, 2009 will require anyone selling a residential property in Cook County, Ill. – which includes Chicago – to...

Read More

Perhaps Health Canada should review UFFI ban

Bob Aaron in Legal

Over the last 18 months, approximately 700 older homes in Ontario have been insulated with a product containing urea formaldehyde foam insulation, or UFFI.

The...

Read More

Legislation carries some scary powers

Bob Aaron in Legal

As part of its green energy legislation, the McGuinty government is poised to shred the right to privacy that all citizens enjoy in their lawyer's offices –...

Read More

Bill 150 targets long-suffering homeowner

Bob Aaron in Legal

Imposing mandatory energy reports will further depress prices and sales volumes

If it was the intention of the Ontario government to do as much damage as...

Read More

Don't take law into own hands over fence dispute

Bob Aaron in Legal

The Ontario Court of Appeal has written what may well be the final chapter in what I call The Case of the $100,000 Fence.

The case involved a dispute over a...

Read More

Harmonized tax would hit renovations, resales

Bob Aaron in Legal

The already battered real estate industry had reason for concern when Premier Dalton McGuinty said last month that "we owe it to ourselves to take a good, long...

Read More

Licensed home inspectors make perfect sense

Bob Aaron in Legal

British Columbia has become the first province in Canada to license home inspectors in order to protect buyers by ensuring qualified inspections. The B.C....

Read More

Beware of mortgage tax deduction claims

Bob Aaron in Legal

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a decisive ruling that clarifies once and for all that the interest paid on a mortgage taken out to...

Read More

The Toronto Land Transfer Tax - Voice Your Opinion

Rachel Loizos in Legal, Home Buying

Read More

Review survey before signing any agreement

Bob Aaron in Legal

Is a real estate agent responsible for accurately advertising the lot size? What happens if he or she gets it wrong?

Those were the questions facing clients of...

Read More

Should suicide have been disclosed to homebuyer?

Bob Aaron in Legal

Is a builder obligated to disclose to a purchaser the fact that a suicide occurred in the house just before the sale closes?

That was the question posed to me...

Read More

Signing disclosure form requires legal assistance

Bob Aaron in Legal

A territorial judge in the Yukon has told the local real estate industry to take a hard look at one of its standard form documents. His comments were made in...

Read More

Deck building litigation was needless waste of time

Bob Aaron in Legal

Judge rules that deck should have been inspected at the end of construction, not earlier

One of the reasons litigation is so expensive and time-consuming in...

Read More

Consumer protection common 2008 theme

Bob Aaron in Legal

When it comes to consumer issues, my goal in this column is to educate, protect, and occasionally, entertain.

Over the past year, I emphasized how important...

Read More

Court is an expensive way to deal with a noise complaint issue

Bob Aaron in Legal

A decision of the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto earlier this year clarifies the huge financial risks a condominium owner assumes if he or she is found...

Read More

In litigation cases, often only the lawyers win

Bob Aaron in Legal

In 1997, James and Barbara Dinsmore bought a new townhouse in Windsor for $177,000 from Masterpiece Homes. On taking possession, they noticed dampness on the...

Read More

Buyer gets frosty welcome

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent decision of the Small Claims Court in Winnipeg illustrates whether the buyer or seller is responsible for damage to a home, which is discovered on...

Read More

Interim Occupancy Fee aka 'Phantom Rent'

Rachel Loizos in Legal, Condo Buying Tips, Home Buying Tips

In his recent article, Condo Buyers should prepare for ‘phantom’ rent, Terrence Belford of the Globe and Mail...

Read More

Fraudster's house 'sale' ends up costing bank

Bob Aaron in Legal

The fallout from mortgage fraud cases in recent years continues to occupy the attention of lawyers, judges and the innocent parties involved.

Back in 2006,...

Read More

2008 Ontario Property Tax Assessment Notices

Rachel Loizos in Legal

Read More

Lawyers may kill deals not in client's best interest

Bob Aaron in Legal

From time to time, lawyers get accused by real estate agents of being "deal killers." I was reminded of this recently in an email from Paula Riopelle, a real...

Read More

Buying a Condo: Know the Rules

Rachel Loizos in Legal

Read More

Tarion softens approach on vendors who sell newly built homes

Bob Aaron in Legal

Tarion Warranty Corporation, which provides new home warranty coverage to most Ontario houses and condominiums, has amended its registration requirements for...

Read More

Known dangerous defects must be disclosed by vendor

Bob Aaron in Legal

Does the doctrine of "buyer beware" allow a seller to conceal the mere possibility that there is a potentially dangerous condition in a house? That was the...

Read More

Agents should never brush off the need for a survey

Bob Aaron in Legal

Nathan Vlahos and his wife are about to become first-time homebuyers. They are looking for a home between Richmond Hill and Newmarket and have selected a local...

Read More

When it comes to property's paranormal history, it's buyer beware

Bob Aaron in Legal

In the real estate field, when the value of a house is, or could be, affected by a history of murder, suicide, ghosts, hauntings or other unexplained...

Read More

Nail down right-of-access before purchase

Bob Aaron in Legal

A decision of the Superior Court of Ontario last month was a powerful reminder that real estate disputes can become very costly if they ever reach a courtroom.

Read More

Mandatory Energy Audit Reports for Home Sellers

Rachel Loizos in Legal, Home Buying

Read More

Health card acceptable for voting but not for mortgage

Bob Aaron in Legal

Why is an Ontario photo health card not a valid form of identification for purposes of a real estate transaction, but it's perfectly acceptable for the...

Read More

Always review purchase agreements with a lawyer

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice highlights the risks of a buyer failing to close a transaction to buy a new home or condominium from a...

Read More

Brother messes up with email scam

Bob Aaron in Legal

Back in 1998, brothers Faheem, Shaun and Narool Samad decided to purchase a house in Toronto for the three of them and their parents to occupy. At the time,...

Read More

Not a Good Idea to Interfere With Right-of-Way

Bob Aaron in Legal

Grant and Lisa Hall were next-door neighbours to Loraine Wiltshire in north Toronto. The Hall property is west of the Wiltshire property, and both are...

Read More

Oil Storage Tank Leak a Cautionary Tale

Bob Aaron in Legal

A scary tale of an oil leak in an Ottawa-area home provides a valuable lesson for homeowners whose homes are heated by oil.

In early 2006, an exterior oil...

Read More

Bylaw Sinks Pirate Ship Playhouse

Bob Aaron in Legal

After architect Andrew Dewberry and author Jayne Seagrave bought their house in Vancouver three years ago, they decided to build a tree fort for their two...

Read More

Foreclosure tale is coyote ugly

Bob Aaron in Legal

Ronald and Ann Bonnar owned a house in Cape Breton, N.S. The house had two mortgages registered against it – a first to Royal Bank of Canada, and a second in...

Read More

Presence of asbestos kills home purchase

Bob Aaron in Legal

Carlos Lameiro fell in love with a three-bedroom bungalow, near Dixon Rd. and Kipling Ave. in Etobicoke. It has a finished basement with a separate entrance,...

Read More

Mortgage Fraud Scheme Manipulated 'Puppet' Purchasers

Norman Ave. is a two-block long street near St. Clair Ave. W., and Lansdowne Ave. Number 16A is a small row house that recently became the subject of an apparent mortgage fraud...

Read More

Putting oil in wrong tank adds fuel to this warning

Bob Aaron in Legal

A decision of the Ontario Superior Court earlier this year provides a valuable lesson to property owners whose homes were once heated with fuel oil.

Back in...

Read More

Clients will suffer if articling program is abolished

Bob Aaron in Legal

Imagine hiring a newly minted real estate lawyer for the largest purchase transaction of your lifetime – a new home – only to find out that he or she has had...

Read More

Being a Landlord No Easy Task in Ontario

Rachel Loizos in Legal

Read More

Vendors take risk signing SPIS form

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent leaky basement court case from the Ontario Superior Court in Thunder Bay is the latest in what might be called a flood of litigation resulting from...

Read More

Family feud sparked over ownership of cottages

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (see below)  provides a timely reminder that parents who want their cottages to remain in the family...

Read More

Buying a New Condo Based on the View can be Dissapointing

Rachel in Condo Buying, Legal

Read More

New delayed occupancy warranty benefits consumers

Bob Aaron in Legal

Tarion Warranty Corporation has introduced a new set of rules for delayed condominium occupancies. The new delayed occupancy warranty came into effect July 1,...

Read More

Closing dates you can take to the bank

Bob Aaron in Legal

On July 1, Tarion Warranty Corp. introduced a completely new set of rules and procedures for delayed closings of freehold homes and condominiums purchased from...

Read More

SPIS Results in Rocky Legal Ride for Ontario Home Buyers and Sellers

Bob Aaron in Legal

An Ontario court decision released last month serves as a potent reminder of the dangers of using a Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS) when...

Read More

Long-suffering homeowners need cement case resolution

Bob Aaron in Legal

The Great Eastern Ontario Cement Case is alive and well and thriving in Ottawa. In fact, after wending its way through the Ontario court system for more...

Read More

Homebuying and Marriage Contracts

Rachel Loizos in Legal

If you already own a home and are considering marriage, you may be considering obtaining a marriage contract to protect your assets.  If you are considering...

Read More

Good Renovation Advice Available to Both Owner and Contractor

Bob Aaron in Legal

A bizarre news story out of Shoreham, England, serves as a powerful reminder that the failure to have a signed home renovation contract can create...

Read More

Thinking about Buying a Heritage Property in Toronto?

Rachel Loizos in Legal, Home Buying

You can browse through the list provided on the City of Toronto Website and search our heritage properties by their municipal address.  The...

Read More

Cheque Scam Threatens to Slow Down Real Estate Transactions in Toronto

Bob Aaron in Legal

A recent spate of counterfeit certified cheques hitting Toronto-area law firms threatens to slow down the efficient processing of real estate transactions.

...

Read More

Conditions and The Agreement of Purchase and Sale

Rachel Loizos in Legal, HomeBuying

I attended a great Law Society of Upper Canada seminar recently, The Annotated Agreement of Purchase and Sale, chaired by Bradley N. McLellan...

Read More

Check the Noise Level Before You Purchase a Home

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying 

Next month marks the official beginning of summer, the season when many city folk retreat to their cottages to de-stress and to absorb some...

Read More

New Delayed Closing and Occupancy Warranty: What You Need to Know

Carl Minicucci in Home Buying Tips, Condo Buying Tips, Legal

In the market and planning the purchase of a new freehold home or condominium in the next few months?  If so, you...

Read More

Before Home Buying Check Survey for Boundaries

Bob Aaron in Home Buying, Legal

Taking the law into your own hands over a property line dispute can be dangerous to your bank account, as one Toronto homeowner discovered...

Read More

The Limits of Title Insurance: Toronto Buyer Soaked with Vendor's Final Water Bill

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

When Donna bought her home near Warden Ave. and Ellesmere Rd. last summer, she had no idea she would get stuck with the final water bill of the...

Read More

Buying a Condo – Exclusive Use vs. Ownership

Rachel Loizos in Legal

Read More

Good fences make good neighbours, but bad lawsuits

Bob Aaron in Legal

Back in 1915, poet Robert Frost penned the line "Good fences make good neighbours." Last year, in a bitter dispute involving the owners of adjoining...

Read More

Title Insurance Won’t Always Protect You

Rachel Loizos in Legal

Read More

Road Access Critical When Buying Cottage in Ontario

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Buying

The most important question for anyone buying a cottage property is always, "How do I get there from here?" After all, there's no point...

Read More

Supreme Court Rules on Joint Name Transfer for Real Estate Assets

Bob Aaron in Legal

It's not uncommon for an elderly parent to transfer real estate or other assets into joint names with his or her adult children. When this happens, does the...

Read More

Home Buying in a Gentrified Toronto

Rachel Loizos in Legal, Real Estate Trends

Read More

Ontario Home Buyer Pays Price for Jilting Agent

Bob Aaron in Home Buying Tips, Legal

Earlier this month, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a decision which highlights the obligations of parties signing a...

Read More

Beware if You're Purchasing a New Home or Condo to Flip

Bob Aaron in Legal, Home Selling Tips, Toronto Real Estate News

Ed. Note.  We are pleased to welcome Bob Aaron, a Toronto real estate law expert, to Move Smartly.  A leading ...

Read More

Real Estate Fraud Action Plan: Enhancing the Security of the Ontario Electronic Land Registry System

Rachel in Legal, Real Estate Trends

Some new developments are coming to pass in the legal world as it relates to real estate. You may or may not know that the province of...

Read More

Do It Yourself Renovations

Rachel in  Lifestyle, HomeBuying, Legal

With spring in the air and my tulips breaking the surface in my garden, my thoughts naturally turn to home renovations.  I enjoy taking on...

Read More

Review Your Agreement Before You Are Bound

Rachel in Legal, Home Buying

Read More

Basement Rentals: Make Sure You Want To Be A Landlord

Rachel in Legal, HomeBuying

I have heard many people say that they want to rent out their basement or that they want to buy a property that can accommodate a tenant.  Whether...

Read More

Top 10 Things You Should Know Before Buying A New Condo

John in Condo Buying Tips, Legal

A couple of months ago, CBCs’ Marketplace had a great feature that highlighted many of the problems that buyers of new condominiums are faced...

Read More

Buying a Condo - Know Your Rights

Rachel in Condo Buying, Legal

If you are currently or have ever considered buying a condo, you should check out this site.  It  belongs to the Canadian Alliance for Condominium...

Read More

Don't Let Closing Costs Catch You Off Guard

Rachel in Home Buying, Money, Legal

Home buyers, especially first time home buyers, are often surprised by their closing costs.  Although the standard legal fees and land transfer...

Read More

Key RRSP Strategies and Mortgage Financing

Heather in HomeBuying, Money

RRSP season is here and at this time of year, Canadians grapple with issues about finding money to contribute, deciding what to invest in, and...

Read More

The Role of Warranties in Your Agreement of Purchase and Sale

Rachel in Legal, HomeBuying

In your agreement for purchase and sale you will very often have items, called warranties, that help define and clarify the agreement between the...

Read More

Taking Title as Joint Tenants - Not Carved in Stone

Rachel in Home Buying, Legal

In a previous post, we discussed the most common ways that people can take title to property.  In particular, sole ownership, joint tenants, and...

Read More

Toronto's Land Transfer Tax - The Official Word

Rachel in HomeBuying, Money, Legal

On October 22, 2007, Toronto City Council approved a Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT), the "Toronto Tax," and we have now received more...

Read More

Too Good to be True? Protecting Yourself Against Real Estate Scams

Rachel in Legal, HomeBuying

A recent article highlights one of the most valuable and often glossed over part of your real estate transaction - relationships.  Reported in the ...

Read More

Ask a Lawyer: Condo Conundrums

Rachel in Condo Buying, Legal, Ask an Expert  

This post is a collection of some popular questions that I have received over the last little while that I thought might be of...

Read More

Buying Resale - Visit the Property Before Closing

Rachel in Legal, HomeBuying

Most HomeBuyers do not bring the agreement of purchase and sale to their lawyer until it has already been signed.  If you do not have a lawyer review...

Read More

New Condominium Deposits

Rachel in Condo Buying, Legal, Money

A HomeBuyer can decide to buy a new condo at any point that units are available for sale – meaning from the time the sales office is open all...

Read More

Potential Pitfalls of Winning a Multiple Offer

John in Home Buying, Legal

Multiple offers on homes are a common occurrence in Toronto’s hot real estate market. For those unfamiliar with the dynamics of a multiple offer, go...

Read More

Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Fire Detectors

Rachel in Legal

It is not just the law, but good common sense.  Make sure you have both a carbon monoxide alarm and a fire alarm in your house.  Make sure you maintain the...

Read More

Toronto's Land Transfer Tax (or Beating a Dead Horse)

Rachel in Home Buying, Money, Legal

Mayor Miller’s land transfer tax (Miller’s Toronto Tax) takes effect on February 1, 2008.

I was having a conversation last night about the...

Read More

The DOs and DON'Ts of Condo Living

Jesse in Condo Buying, Legal, Lifestyle

You have found your ideal condominium. It may be a conversion of sorts, a shiny high-rise in a tony neighbourhood or one of the row...

Read More

Why Home Buyers Need Title Insurance

Rachel in Legal, Home Buying

Title insurance is widely used in Ontario real estate transactions and is often used to replace or augment what is referred to as the ‘solicitor’s...

Read More

GST Reduction and Unethical Builders - Consumers Watch Out

Rachel in Home Buying, Legal, Money

In my very first post on this blog, I wrote about the GST rebate and how HomeBuyers can take advantage of the benefit of the ‘transitional...

Read More

Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) for New Homes and Condos

Rachel in Legal, Home Buying, Condo Buying

You have finally received the good news that your new home is (almost) ready.  Only a few more loose ends to tie up before you can...

Read More

Your Condominium Purchase and Insurance

Rachel in Legal, Condo Buying 

Very few people give a second thought to insurance coverage issues until disaster strikes – arguably not the best time to start wondering if you...

Read More

Toronto Land Transfer Tax Approved

Rachel in Urban Issues, Home Buying, Legal, Money

Councillor Thompson dropped a stack of over 1,000 sheets of paper at the start of the meeting and announced they represented ‘no’...

Read More

How to Take Title - Part Two for Common Law and Same-Sex Couples

Rachel in Legal, Home Buying 

My previous post on taking title did not address the title-related issues in the fairly common scenario where people live together in a relationship...

Read More

Real Insight: How to Take Title - Sole Ownership, Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common

Rachel in HomeBuying, Legal, Real Insight

Ed note.  Real Insight is a periodic feature decoding some of the many mysteries surrounding HomeBuying.

Any number of factors can...

Read More

Real Insight: Protecting Yourself Against Real Estate Fraud

Rachel in HomeBuying, Legal, Real Insight

Ed note.  Real Insight is a periodic feature decoding some of the many mysteries surrounding HomeBuying.

When you purchase your home,...

Read More

Rise of the Grow-Op: Home Inspections Protect HomeBuyers Against Newer Dangers

Rachel in Legal, HomeBuying, In the News

There are many reasons to require a home inspection prior to firming up your real estate transaction.  For most people, buying a home is...

Read More

Avoiding Sticker Shock – The Statement of Adjustments and Your Condo Closing

Rachel in Condos, HomeBuying, Legal, Money

Nothing sends clients reeling like the statement of adjustments on a new condominium closing, except, perhaps the statement of...

Read More

Why Every Real Estate Investor Needs a Good Lawyer

John in Toronto Real Estate News, Legal

An article in the Globe and Mail this weekend tells the story of a handful of investors who pre-purchased condominium suites at the now...

Read More

New Condominium Interim Closing

Rachel in Legal, HomeBuying, Condos

There is a very interesting period during the purchase of a new condominium that resembles something between ownership and renting...known as...

Read More

The Real Property Survey Says...

Rachel in Legal, HomeBuying

My friend recently purchased a house and despite my best efforts, she proceeded with the transaction without obtaining a survey.  Exasperating!  A...

Read More

Real Insight: Condominium Conversions

Rachel in Legal, Condos, HomeBuying, Real Insight

Ed note.  Real Insight is a periodic feature decoding some of the many mysteries surrounding HomeBuying.

A very dear friend of...

Read More

GST Rebate

Rachel in Legal

How would you like the purchase of your new home to translate into clawing back some of your hard-earned dollars – and from the government? Very much, I think....

Read More

Realosophy Launch

Welcome to realosophy.com!  We hope that you are as excited as we are about our new Toronto HomeBuyer’s website.

We are a group of young consumers and professionals who once...

Read More

There are no posts matching this criteria.