COVID-19 / Coronavirus: Urgent Hearings for Real Estate Closings

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Creditors Rights, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

Following on my blog on scheduling urgent hearings for commercial lease matters, this blog is on the scheduling of an urgent hearing involving a real estate closing. In Ali v. Tariq, 2020 ONSC 1695, the applicant had sold her property and discovered that a writ of execution had been filed against her property during routine searches performed for the closing.  Apparently, her former father-in-law had obtained default judgment against her in small claims court and obtained a writ of execution at around the time of her divorce.  A writ of execution filed in the county or district in which the property is located will effectively prevent the sale of the property until the judgment is set aside or fully satisfied.  After the applicant’s offer to pay the sale proceeds into her lawyer’s trust account was rejected, the applicant sought an urgent hearing before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under … Read More

Covid-19 Pandemic Closures: Considerations For Commercial Tenants And Landlords

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Building | Property Management, Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Lease Arbitrator, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Force Majeure, Franchise | Licensing, Government Action, Injunction & Specific Performance, Insurance, Property Management, Real Estate Litigation, REIT Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

What can commercial tenants and landlords do to protect themselves from the impact of Covid-19 related closures on commercial lease obligations? Here are some tips for businesses who are in the difficult situation of having to deal with potential defaults on commercial rent obligations related to closures or reductions due to the Covid-19 situation. 1. Review The Lease Agreement Carefully For Potentially Relevant Clauses In Ontario, the commercial landlord-tenant relationship is governed by the Commercial Tenancies Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.7., (the “Act”) which outlines the relationship, rights and obligations between commercial landlords and tenants. However these relationships are heavily governed by the commercial lease agreement in place between the landlord and the tenant, which can take precedence over the Act based on the agreement of the parties. Review the Act and more importantly, review your commercial lease agreement carefully to appreciate whether the agreement contemplates the type of situation … Read More

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: How to Schedule an Urgent Civil or Commercial List Hearing

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Leasing, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Injunction & Specific Performance, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

On March 15, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a Notice to the Profession advising that all scheduled civil hearings were adjourned until further notice.  The Notice to the Profession provides a procedure to schedule urgent and time-sensitive motions and applications where immediate and significant financial repercussions may result without a hearing.  When motion or application materials are filed, by email to the appropriate courthouse, seeking an urgent hearing, the triage judge will determine whether or not the matter is urgent and should be scheduled for a hearing. There have been a few recent endorsements reported in respect to the scheduling of urgent commercial lease matters. In Oppong v. Desoro Holdings Inc., 2020 ONSC 1697, the applicant sought relief from forfeiture to set aside the landlord’s termination of the lease.  Although the application was brought promptly and scheduled to be heard on February 7, 2020, the … Read More

Why purchasers of real estate should always include a finance condition

Fatima VieiraFinance Litigation, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

By Fatima Vieira, B.A., M.A., LL.B. In Perkins v. Sheikhtavi 2019 ONCA 925, the sellers, Perkins listed their home for sale in March 2017 and received 13 offers. The purchaser, Sheikhtavi submitted the second highest offer, with no conditions. The offer was accepted by Perkins. The terms of the offer included a purchase price of $1,871,000 and a deposit of $80,000 to be held until the closing on July 10, 2017. After the unconditional offer was accepted, but before closing, the government of Ontario made a policy announcement which caused prices in the area to drop 20% to 30%. On the day of the closing, the purchaser advised she could not close because she was unable to sell her own home and could not obtain sufficient mortgage financing. Perkins put the property back on the market and sold it for $1,251,888. This was $619,112 less than Sheikhtavi agreed to pay. … Read More

Ontario Introduces Bill to Update Rules for Realtors

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Broker and Agent Claims, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

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 Comments on Real Estate Wire Fraud for Yahoo!

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Broker and Agent Claims, Civil Litigation, Cyber Fraud, Fraud, Fraud Recovery, Fraudulent Schemes, Injunction & Specific Performance, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

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.

Part Two – Timing is Everything in Real Estate Agreements of Purchase and Sale

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Injunction & Specific Performance, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Litigation, Specific Performance, Summary Judgment0 Comments

I had written a previous blog on the “time is of the essence” clause in real estate agreements where it was discussed that the strict adherence to any agreed upon time limits was generally the case. A recent Ontario Court of Appeal case, Fortress Carlyle Peter St. Inc. v. Ricki’s Construction and Painting Inc., serves as a reminder that the “time is of the essence” clause is not absolute and unfettered, and there are preconditions that must be satisfied for a party to rely upon and insist on time being of the essence. The facts are not overly complicated in this case.  The respondent was a condominium developer in the process of acquiring properties for a proposed project in downtown Toronto.  The developer entered into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (“APS”) with the vendor to acquire the subject property.  Although the APS required the vendor to provide estoppel certificates five days prior … Read More

Deposits In Failed Real Property Transactions

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Broker and Agent Claims, Commercial, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Cottage Purchase and Sale, Professional Liability, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

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

Prompt Payment Regime Takes Effect For Construction Projects

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Arbitration, Condo Construction, Construction Equipment & Machinery, Construction Litigation, Cottage Litigation, Heavy Machinery Disputes, Mining, Infrastructure and Projects, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

A major shift has been underway in Ontario since the legislature ushered in reforms under Bill 142, the Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 24., perhaps none of which is more significant than the prompt payment regime which took effect on October 1, 2019. Changes To Lien Period: Effective July 1, 2018 Changes to the previous legislation (The Construction Lien Act) have come into effect in phases, with the first set of changes having taken effect in July of last year. We are now in the midst of transition rules which apply depending on the commencement date of a construction project to determine the applicable lien period which changed from 45 days to 60 days for prime construction contracts entered into after July 1, 2018. There were several additional notable changes which took effect as of July 1, 2018, including the extension of the period to perfect a … Read More

Latent Defects or Hidden Damage in Real Property Transactions

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Agents and Brokers, Broker and Agent Claims, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Condo Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cottage Litigation, Cottage Purchase and Sale, Misrepresentation, Professional Liability, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

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

Three Ways Out of An Agreement of Purchase and Sale

Fatima VieiraCivil Litigation, Condo Litigation, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Jung v. Talon demonstrates at least three ways out of an agreement of purchase and sale with return of deposits. The Ontario Court of Appeal considered appeals in two related cases. The first case, “A.” involved Jung and a numbered company as the purchasers of two commercial condominium units at the Trump International Hotel. The second case, “B.” involved Jung as the purchaser of a residential unit in the same property. The developer in both cases was Talon. In A., Talon delayed closing and ultimately scheduled a later occupancy date.  It then provided a revised disclosure statement indicating changes in the condominium building and the commercial units. Jung took the position that these were material changes which entitled the purchaser to rescission under s. 74(7) of the Condominium Act, 1998 and he delivered Notices of Rescission. In response, Talon brought … Read More

Fork In the Road: Critical Considerations by Condominium Corporations in Anticipatory Failed Closings

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Appellate Advocacy, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Contracts, Condo Construction, Condo Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In 1179 Hunt Club Inc. v. Ottawa Medical Square Inc., 2019 ONCA 700, the purchasers, Ottawa Medical Square Group, entered into an Agreement for Purchase and Sale to purchase condominium units owned by the vendor, 1179 Hunt Club Inc. The value of the commercial condominium units in the Hunt Club Project was $5.6 million dollars. Five days before closing, the purchasers, sent a request to the vendor, requesting an extension of time as the purchasers had not yet finalized their arrangements for financing. Three days before closing, the vendor advised that it would insist on closing, and if the purchaser could not close, it would exercise its rights and remedies under the Agreement for Purchase and Sale. On the date of closing, the vendor learned that the Land Registry Office had made an error in assigning parcel identification numbers. Although this error was ameliorated later that day, this mishap, prevented … Read More

Guidance from the Court – Procedure to Resolve Mortgage Discharge Issues under the Mortgages Act and the Rules of Civil Procedure

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Appellate Advocacy, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In Sub-Prime Mortgage Corporation v. 1219076 Ontario Limited, 2019 ONCA 581, the Ontario Court of Appeal was asked to determine, the proper procedure to discharge a mortgage or contest the discharge of a mortgage, under the Mortgages Act, and the Rules of Civil Procedure. In the lower court decision, Sub-Prime Mortgage Corporation (“Sub Prime”), the second mortgagee, issued two urgent applications against 1219076 Ontario Limited (“121”), the first mortgagee, to obtain an immediate discharge of two mortgages on two properties placed by 121, by paying money into court, pending further court orders, or a resolution between the parties, at para 1. In its application, Sub-Prime did not specifically seek an order determining the balance owing for each mortgage. To support its application, Sub-Prime cited and relied on section 12(3), 12(9) and 22 of the Mortgages Act, R.S.O. and Rule 14.05(a), (d), and (e) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, at para … Read More

Ontario Cottage Litigation Lawyers: Able to Assist in Disputes Involving Cottage Owners, Purchasers, or Sellers

Gilbertson Davis LLPCottage Litigation, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

From our office in Toronto, Ontario, we are able to provide efficient and result-oriented solutions with respect to the unique issues arising from cottage and recreational property disputes. Failures to Close Failures to complete an agreement of purchase and sale may be due to the Vendor or the Purchaser.  Failures of the Purchaser are often attributable to the Purchaser’s inability to obtain financing that was anticipated from a mortgage or another property sale.  In some instances, the Vendor may retain the deposit and claim damages for losses sustained from the failure to close. Failures to close may also be due to the Vendor.  Frequently, the Vendor’s failure to close is due to the Vendor’s inability to provide clean title to the property or to perform the necessary repairs prior to closing.  In some instances, a Purchaser will seek to recover damages for any resultant loss, while in other cases the … Read More

Can a Pre-Incorporation Contract Prevent the Forfeiture of a Deposit on the Failed Closing of a Property?

Gilbertson Davis LLPCommercial Contracts, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In Benedetto v. 2453912 Ontario Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal considered whether a pre-incorporation contract could prevent the forfeiture of a deposit provided pursuant to an agreement of purchase of sale of real property. In this case, the purchaser signed an agreement for purchase and sale of real property, indicating that he was signing as a buyer “in trust for a company to be incorporated without any personal liabilities”. The purchaser then provided $100,000.00 as the deposit to secure the purchase of the property. The purchaser subsequently advised that he would not be closing on the transaction and sought the return of the deposit. The vendor refused and commenced civil proceedings resulting in a summary judgment motion, which was held in favour of the vendor. The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the findings of the lower court and indicated that: A forfeited deposit does not constitute damages for breach … Read More

Court Considers Nuisance Test for Neighbours’ Tree in Allen v MacDougall

Yona Gal, J.D., LL.MCottage Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

In the recent case of Allen v MacDougall, 2019 ONSC 1939, a neighbour applied for a court order authorizing the destruction of a maple tree growing amid two Toronto properties. The Ontario Superior Court refused. In its decision, the Court clarified the applicable test for nuisance and confirmed that “the tendency of courts today is that trees are not lightly ordered removed on the basis of being a nuisance.” Facts The large maple tree sat jointly on the land of two neighbours.  According to s. 10(2) of The Forestry Act (“Act”), the maple is therefore owned by both neighbours: “Every tree whose trunk is growing on the boundary between adjoining lands is the common property of the owners of the adjoining lands.” The Applicants, as part of their home renovations and extensions, wanted the tree chopped down.  The Applicants claimed that their intended home addition on the north side of … Read More

Prescriptive Easements in Ontario Cottage Country

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Cottage Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Arcon Property Holdings Ltd. v. Nelson, 2019 ONSC 2267, involved a dispute between cottage owners over easement rights related to a 15 foot wide strip of land near Grand Bend. The right-of-way was mainly a paved road used by the cottage owners to access their properties from the road but it also extended past the pavement to the waterfront.  The applicant complained that the respondents parked their vehicles on the right-of-way which prevented them from accessing the beach, launching their boat, building ramps and structures to facilitate launching their boat and parking a trailer in their driveway. The applicant sought an order prohibiting the respondents from parking on the right-of-way and interfering with their easement rights.  The Court found that the applicant’s easement was merely for “ingress and egress, in, over and upon” the property and did not provide the applicant with the right to access … Read More