In this case, an agent failed to protect his clients and was assessed a $10,000.00 fine and the brokerage with whom he was affiliated a $5,000.00 fine for failing to supervise him. These are some of the essential facts: • The Offer was conditional only on home inspection. • The information on the MLS system disclosed that the Property had a well as water supply system and it also had a septic tank. • The agent did not insert into the Offer conditions for quantity or quality of water or with respect to the condition of the septic ...
Agent Fails to Protect Client about Lack of Potable Water
August 14, 2013
Waterfront Property: Who Owns it?
February 5, 2013
If you are looking at waterfront property, you really want to know where your property ends and the lake begins. You definitely don't want a "gap". So, where's the line? First of all, you have to begin with the water. Let's assume that the body of water is sufficiently large that it is considered to be a navigable water. That basically means that it can accommodate boats, even very small boats. Obviously, this will include lakes, and numerous rivers, but certainly not all of the tributaries. Second, you will have to figure out where the body of water ends ...
In Ontario Everyone has a Will
January 22, 2013
Everyone has a Will. The problem is that most people don't know where it is. They have never seen it, they never signed it and they don't know what it says. The Ontario Government has written out a generic Will for everyone. It's set out in the Succession Law Reform Act. So for those of you who have never taken the time to sign one of your own, let's have a look at what it says when it comes to dividing up your property: 1) the first $ 200,000 to my spouse, 2) the balance, ALL to my spouse ...
Good Fences Make Good Neighbours
January 16, 2013
From Hadrian's Wall to the Great Wall of China, thousands of years before Robert Frost's prophetic words, neighbours have struggled with the age-old problem of constructing fences. Just where to put it, is answered by the Romans and the Chinese. You place it along the boundary on your side of the property line. This way, you own it, and whether you are fencing other people out or your people in, this location makes the most sense. You have the legal right to construct a fence right on the property line, but if you do, you run the risk ...
Ontario Tree Thieves Might Steal Your Property
January 15, 2013
Now, you might think that I'm talking about people who steal trees. I'm not. I'm talking about trees that steal property for you! Obviously, these are good trees to have! What they do is this. They take property that belongs to your neighbour and give it to you. They don't do it overnight, it takes a decade, but it works. It doesn't work with a dog or cat. If you have a pet that goes next door and brings something that your neighbour owns back to you, you're stuck. You have to give it back. Your neighbour still owns ...
The Meaning of "Acceptance" in Real Estate Transactions
December 17, 2012
For some strange reason, the meaning of “acceptance” in real estate transactions is not well understood. Since you can’t have a contract without it, you would think that there would be a common or universal understanding. So, let’s go back to basics! Bob wants to submit an offer to Bill to buy his car. Bob needs to make that offer, and Bill needs to accept it. By accepting the offer, Bill needs to let Bob know that he has agreed to Bob’s offer. Now, we have a deal. That was simple enough! Well, for some strange reason when ...
Adding or Substituting a New Buyer to an Agreement in Ontario
October 31, 2012
For some reason, this issue seems to create some complications. How do you add a new buyer? How do you get rid of the old buyer? What options are available? From time to time it’s necessary to add a new party, and sometimes the first buyer is to remain and other times the first buyer is to be relieved of their obligations. Let’s consider two situations. Bob buys a downtown condo from ABC Condo Developers. The property is under construction, he pays the additional deposits, and meets Mary. The occupancy date rolls around and they both move into the ...
What is Allodial Title?
October 17, 2012
Just what is it and where does it come from? In English common law, the concept seems to have lost its meaning. Not too many people seem to know what it means, just legal scholars and historians have an interest in the subject. Today, there are really two different definitions of the term, and it depends upon whether you are discussing public or private property. In respect to public property, the concept has ancient origins actually predating the common law and the feudal system in the Middle Ages. Property which was occupied and held by force against others was ...
Joint Tenancy and Problems with the Estate
September 25, 2012
Joint Tenancy Joint tenancy is a very popular method of holding title between married couples. While there are some advantages to joint tenancy, there are also some problems. The primary advantage is the ease of administration of a deceased's estate. It is simple and uncomplicated, nothing more than the registration of a death certificate is required to effect the transfer. However, with joint tenancy there are two presumptions that need to be considered: 1) the presumption of a resulting trust, and 2) the presumption of advancement. Resulting Trust If one party transfers property to another gratuitously, then the ...
Vacant Possession: What does it mean?
September 7, 2012
Even after you read this, you still may not know. With thousands of years of common law history, this is still a matter which is subject to judicial interpretation. There are still lots of unanswered questions. The term vacant possession arises generally in two contexts: occupation by a purchaser of property, and occupation by a tenant of property. In some cases, the tenant circumstance is a little more complex because the landlord may have to secure vacant possession from a prior tenant before he can deliver it to the next. What are the impediments to vacant possession? Clearly, it would ...