Last week, the Ontario government introduced the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2019 to update the current legislation that governs Ontario’s more than 86,000 real estate professionals. Yesterday, the bill passed second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee for witness testimony and further amendments. The stated goals of the proposed legislation include improving consumer protection and choice in the market and improving professionalism among real estate professionals and brokerages through enhanced ethical requirements. Some of the more significant proposed changes include: Disclosing Details of Competing Bids – At the seller’s option, the seller’s real estate agent may disclose the details of competing offers to other bidders. Currently, the seller’s agent is required to disclose the number of competing offers to all buyers who have submitted a written offer but the purchase price and conditions remain confidential. Clients vs. Customers – There will no longer be “clients” and … Read More
Nick Poon was recently asked to comment on real estate wire fraud for Yahoo News Canada. Read the Yahoo News Canada article here: ‘The prospects of recovering the money are near zero’: The scam homebuyers need to be aware of. If you have a fraud claim or a real estate dispute, please contact us for an initial consultation.
The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Azzarello v. Shawqi, 2019 ONCA 820, illustrates the purpose of providing a deposit when purchasing real property and under what circumstances a purchaser will lose their deposit or be refunded the deposit if the sale does not go through. There are some important general principles that purchasers and sellers should be aware of regarding deposits in a real estate transaction: 1) Contemplation Regarding The Deposit In the Contract Is Important Purchasers and sellers should carefully consider the terms to be included in the purchase and sale agreement regarding the deposit. The contract should be clear about what happens to the deposit in all possible scenarios. In cases where it is not, the courts will look to implied terms in the contract and existing case law which governs how deposits are dealt with. 2) The Reason The Sale Fell Apart Is Important The … Read More
What Are Latent Defects Or Hidden Damages? Latent defects or Hidden Damage are defects to a property that are not generally discoverable by a prospective purchaser on a reasonable inspection and ordinary vigilance. This can include issues such as, faulty electrical wiring hiding behind the walls or a well-hidden termite or mold problem. Many real estate purchases include a buyer’s right to inspect the property to be purchased. However, these inspections are not exhaustive, and may not reveal latent defects or hidden problems with the property that are not readily visible. Why Do Participants In A Real Estate Transaction Need To Be Concerned About Latent Defects Or Hidden Damage? The problem latent defects or hidden damage can pose for a prospective real estate purchaser is that no amount of vigilance on a visual inspection can uncover such a defect, even one conducted with a home inspector (who’s inspections are typically … Read More
The Court of Appeal decision in Beatty v. Wei, 2018 ONCA 479, involved the failed closing of a residential property in Toronto and the proper interpretation of an illegal substances clause that is commonly found in OREA Agreements of Purchase and Sale. Illegal Substances Clause in OREA Agreement of Purchase and Sale In this case, about a month after entering into the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the purchaser’s real estate agent discovered the property had been previously used as a marijuana grow-op in 2004. The purchaser sought to terminate the agreement and demanded the return of the $30,000 deposit. The sellers refused to terminate the agreement and commenced an application for a declaration that the purchaser breached the agreement by failing to close and an order that the sellers were entitled to the deposit and related damages. In response, the purchaser commenced a competing application for similar relief. The dispute was in respect to … Read More
A bad investment may not be the result of market fluctuations. A false representation inducing and leading to an investment loss may be actionable at law. Often there is a promised high-yield on an investment in a company, project or property. Sometimes a loss occurs from a scheme where there is no intention by those entrusted with an investment to make the promised purchase or transfer. In Ontario, civil lawsuits for the victims of investment fraud have often been framed as claims for deceit, fraudulent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and restitution. Increasingly though, plaintiffs in lawsuits simply claim damages for losses arising directly from the tort of civil fraud. The leading case on civil fraud in Canada is the Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2014 in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, and in that case civil fraud is defined this way “… the tort of … Read More