Back in 2015, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act became law in Ontario. It was the culmination of over 200 recommendations and represented the province's first major reformation of condo law in 16 years.
Which items stay with a home? Which ones leave with the seller? - These are age-old questions and among the most common sources of disagreements in real estate deals. The answers are not always clear-cut, but depend on the interpretation of chattels and fixtures.
Haunted houses, home meth labs, murder scenes - Some buyers might not care if the real estate they bought has a shady past. Others won't touch such properties, even at a sale price. Ontario laws include rules on what home sellers must disclose to prospective buyers. Are psychological stigmas included? What action can buyers with the heebie-jeebies take to avoid investing in "undesirable" property?
Prudent home buyers do not skip the home inspection. Behind walls, carpets and ceilings, any number of unseen problems may lurk - from faulty electrical to foundation flaws. In a resale condo scenario, home inspections are rare, but there is an important parallel: inspecting the status certificate. Having a lawyer review this document is a wise precaution. In fact, it's so indispensable that lawyers typically turn it into a condition of purchase. What is a condo status certificate and what's the risk in passing it over?
When a real estate broker and client enter a formal relationship, the parties typically seal the arrangement by signing a written contract. Whether it's a Listing Agreement for sellers or a Buyer Representation Agreement for buyers, the client is looking to land a deal. But sometimes that doesn't happen during the time period covered by the contract. Yet even after the agreement expires, a client could still be on the hook for paying a brokerage commission. How? Through something called a holdover clause.
Under Ontario consumer protection law, certain contracts come with a cooling off period. During this limited time, a purchaser can cancel for any or no reason and receive a refund. The period applies to gym memberships, door-to-door sales and a handful of other contract types. Our post this week looks at the one real estate scenario in which a cooling off period applies. We'll also review other areas in which real estate market participants must proceed without the benefit of this type of consumer protection.
According to a recent survey conducted by Square One Insurance Services, 11 per cent of house owners across Ontario, B.C. and Alberta rent out some portion of their property to non-family. Most do it for extra income or to help out with the mortgage. But there's a problem: 17 per cent of these units are considered illegal - and if discovered, owners could face financial consequences on two fronts.
Buying a brand-new condominium has many advantages. Buyers tend pay a lower purchase price and often there is no GST/HST payable. New-built also often means more options and decision-making power on the unit's features and upgrades. But before rushing to sign the purchase agreement, buyers should be aware of several drawbacks. Our post this week looks at some of them.
Over the last two weeks, we've been looking at the various closing costs that first-time home buyers face in addition to the down payment. Part 1 discussed mandatory costs. Part 2 outlined costs that are not legislated, but practically unavoidable. This week, we conclude our series with costs that lie mostly within the control of the buyer.
Last week, we began a three-part series about the various closing costs that come with new home purchases. Part 1 in the series discussed mandatory costs - the ones required by law. This week, we look at costs which are not legislated, but are nonetheless hard to avoid if you want your real estate transaction to close successfully.