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

Mahdi Hussein, B.A. (Hons.), JDCottage 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?

Mahdi Hussein, B.A. (Hons.), JDCommercial 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

Real Estate Litigation: Failure to Give Extension of Closing Date is not Bad Faith

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Certificate of Pending Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation, Specific Performance, Summary Judgment0 Comments

The recent summary judgment motion decision in Time Development Group Inc. v. Bitton, 2018 ONSC 4384, involves a situation that arises quite often in failed closings of real estate transactions.  One of the main causes for an aborted real estate transaction is the failure of the purchaser to obtain the required financing to close on the transaction, possibly influenced by the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and the new mortgage lending rules. In this case,  the plaintiff entered into an agreement to purchase three adjoining properties for a residential home redevelopment project.  There were a series of amendments to the agreement with the terms as follows: (a) purchase price of $10.55 million; (b) deposit of $500,000; (c) two vendor take back mortgages; and (d) closing date of July 31, 2017.  The plaintiff had secured a commitment letter to finance the transaction, however, six days before the closing date, the plaintiff was dismayed to find out that their financing had been withdrawn because the market conditions had changed.  … Read More

Canadian Court Shuts Down Loan Shark’s Law Suit

R. Lee Akazaki, C.S., B.A. (Hons.), J.D.Business Law, Business Litigation, Casino Debt Recovery, Civil Litigation, Commercial Lending, Commercial Litigation, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In Canada, it is not everyday one witnesses a loan shark resorting to judicial process to collect on outstanding obligations.  In fact, outside cases involving payday loans and hidden credit card fees, where legitimate loans might inadvertently cross the 60% interest rate threshold under s. 347 of the Criminal Code,  we have to date not seen any cases where the court has considered enforcement of blatantly usurious loans bearing interest of, say, 2,000% APR, as the Superior Court did in Ikpa v. Itamunoala, now available on line. Gilbertson Davis successfully obtained summary judgment rejecting the bid by the plaintiff, a resident of the United Kingdom (where laws banning usury no longer exist), to recover USD$500,000 on a USD$100,000 promissory note that had remained outstanding for four months before the start of litigation.  The plaintiff sought to have an equitable mortgage securing the note paid out in priority to the defendants’ registered mortgage.  … Read More

Popack v. Lipszyc: Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitration Awards – Clarifying the term “binding”

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Real Estate Litigation, UNCITRAL0 Comments

Popack v. Lipszyc appears to be the first Ontario Court of Appeal case on the recognition and enforcement of arbitration awards under the 2017 International Commercial Arbitration Act (“ICAA”). The ICCA includes the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“New York Convention”) and the 2006 amended version of UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law”). The appellants used articles 35 and 36 of Model Law to apply for the recognition and enforcement of the international commercial arbitration award they received in August 2013 against the respondents. While the application judge dismissed the application, the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. The Court of Appeal stated that “in Ontario, a strong “pro-enforcement” legal regime” exists for the recognition and enforcement of international commercial arbitration awards, as grounds for refusal are “to be construed narrowly”. Importantly, the Court, and not the tribunal, is the proper avenue to … Read More

Entire Agreement Clause Upheld in Manorgate Estates Inc. v. Kirkor Architects and Planners

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Construction | Builders, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes, Misrepresentation, Negligence, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

Entire Agreement Clauses are meant to prevent negotiations that occurred prior to the contract being formed from influencing the Court’s interpretation of the terms set out in the final contract. In other words, past discussions are to have no bearing on the understanding of the contractual terms. In theory, a fully integrated agreement of this kind supplants any earlier oral or written agreements. There is competing jurisprudence in which Entire Agreement Clauses have been both effective and ineffective. However, Manograte Estates Inc. v. Kirkor Architects and Planners is a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision where an Entire Agreement Clause was effective. In Manograte Estates Inc. v. Kirkor Architects and Planners, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the Motion Judge’s decision that the Entire Agreement Clause in the relevant agreement, regarding architectural consulting for a construction project, operated as a complete defence to the appellants’ claim of alleged negligent misrepresentation. The Entire Agreement Clause … Read More

What Does the Illegal Substances Clause Mean in OREA Agreements of Purchase and Sale?

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Agents and Brokers, Appeals, Broker and Agent Claims, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Misrepresentation, Negligence, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

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

Real Estate Litigation – Ontario Court Decides Dispute Over House Flipping Profits

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Ballestin v. 1304478 Ontario Inc., 2018 ONSC 2969, involved a dispute between parties that entered into an arrangement for the purposes of flipping a house during the surging real estate market in 2016. In the fall of 2016, the Plaintiffs were interested in purchasing, renovating and re-selling a property for a profit, however, they were unable to obtain financing for their house flipping venture.  During an open house, the Defendant homeowner suggested that they enter into an agreement with an extended closing date to provide the Plaintiffs with sufficient time to renovate and sell the property to a third party prior to the closing date. The terms of the agreement included: (a) a deposit of $25,000; (b) a purchase price of $600,000; (c) the balance owing to the Defendant was $605,000 less the deposit and less the difference between $5,000 and actual legal fees paid; and (d) any profit above … Read More

McDonald’s Not Served Valid Revocation of Waiver – Commercial Leasing in the Court of Appeal

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Lawyer and ArbitratorAppeals, Arbitration, Business Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Leasing, Injunction & Specific Performance, Real Estate Litigation, Retail Litigation, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes0 Comments

The Court of Appeal for Ontario in North Elgin Centre Inc. v. McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited, 2018 ONCA 71 allowed an appeal by McDonald’s from a decision on applications by both parties to determine whether  the subject lease came to an end on a described date because McDonald’s had not complied with the renewal provision in the lease. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of the decision of the application judge, that despite that the parties were in negotiations, and that the respondent had waived its right to insist on strict compliance with the  terms of the renewal provision (to refer the determination of the renewal rental rate to arbitration), that the respondent had effectively revoked its waiver and reverted to its strict legal rights, namely to terminate the lease in the absence of the referral of the dispute on renewal rental rate to arbitration within the permitted time. On the … Read More

Court of Appeal States that Placing Oneself in Position to Close Transaction not Waiver of Deficiency

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Business Law, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation, Sale of Business Disputes0 Comments

In 1418885 Ontario Ltd. v. 2193139 Ontario Limited, 2018 ONCA 54, the appellant entered into an agreement of purchase and sale to buy a property from the respondent.  The property included residential apartments.  The appellant sought confirmation from the respondent that the residential apartments were permitted use under the existing zoning by-law.  The respondent maintained that the residential apartments were “a legal non-conforming use”.  However, the planning authority indicated that there was a possible problem with the residential apartments.  The appellant’s lawyer advised the respondent’s lawyer that the purchase deposits had to be returned if the issue was not resolved. In spite of the residential apartments issue, the appellant and respondent moved towards the closing date by exchanging draft documentation and related material.  However, on closing date, the appellant’s lawyer advised the respondent’s lawyer that the appellant would not be closing because of the residential apartments issue.  The deal did … Read More

Court of Appeal Confirms Importance of Requisitions in Real Estate Transactions

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Real Estate Litigation, Summary Judgment0 Comments

The Court of Appeal of Ontario decision in 1418885 Ontario Ltd. v. 2193139 Ontario Limited, 2018 ONCA 54, recently overturned a summary judgment motion decision which confirmed the importance of requisition letters in real estate transactions. In this case, the parties had entered into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a property with a restaurant, golf course, 12 residential apartments, a two-storey home and a banquet hall.  The Agreement of Purchase and Sale included the following requisition clause:    8.  TITLE SEARCH:  Buyer shall be allowed until 6:00 p.m. on the 30th day of May, 2016 (Requisition Date) to examine the title to the property at his own expense and until the earlier of: (i) thirty days from the later of the Requisition Date or the date on which the conditions in this Agreement are fulfilled or otherwise waived or, (ii) five days prior to completion, to satisfy himself that there are … Read More

Ontario Court Decides on Appropriate Use of Mini-Trial in Summary Judgment Motions

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Commercial, Contract Disputes, Misrepresentation, Negligence, Professional Liability, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation, Summary Judgment0 Comments

In Crisafi v. Urban Landmark Realty Inc., 2018 ONSC 191, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice addressed a summary judgment motion brought in a real estate litigation matter and provided guidance on when the Court will use its enhanced fact-finding powers set out in the 2010 amendments. Background This case involved a claim by a real estate agent against his former real estate brokerage for unpaid real estate commissions in the amount of $60,000.  The brokerage took the position that the agent breached his contractual, statutory and fiduciary duties to its clients and was negligent in handling four transactions which caused it to suffer damages. The brokerage argued that the agent failed to properly advise one of its clients while in a multiple representation situation including the anticipated sale price of the house and an estimate of whether the client could afford to purchase a subsequent property.  The house ended up sitting on the market even after several reductions in the listing price.  As is commonplace in the industry, this resulted in … Read More

Bhasin v. Hrynew and the Duty of Good Faith in Real Estate Agreements of Purchase and Sale

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Certificate of Pending Litigation, Commercial, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

The Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71,  recognized the duty of good faith in contract and the obligations of the parties to act honestly in the performance of their contractual obligations.  The duty of good faith applies to any contract, including real estate contracts such as Buyer Representation Agreements, Listing Agreements and Agreements of Purchase and Sale. As discussed in a previous blog post, Agreements of Purchase and Sale generally include a “time is of the essence” clause which means that time limits will be strictly enforced by the courts.  Problems often arise when vendors refuse to agree to seemingly minor indulgences requested by purchasers such as an extension of the closing date or an extension of the deadline to provide the deposit. Two recent decisions in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice have addressed the duty of good faith, as expressed in Bhasin v. Hrynew, in the performance of Agreements of Purchase and Sale.  Unfortunately for purchasers, it appears that … Read More

New Measures of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan Take Effect Today

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

On April 20, 2017, Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan was announced by the current Ontario government in an attempt to cool the housing market and make housing more affordable, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  It has been widely reported that the average purchase price for all types of homes in the GTA has dropped significantly since the announcement. Most of the attention on the housing affordability plan has been focused on the 15 percent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) imposed on the purchase or acquisition of an interest in residential real estate by a foreign individual, foreign corporation or a taxable trustee.  The NRST only applies to residential real estate, containing one to six single family residences, located in the region around Toronto known as the Greater Golden Horseshoe which includes Barrie, Brant, Dufferin, Durham, Guelph, Haldimand, Halton, Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes, Niagara, Northumberland, Peel, Peterborough, Simcoe, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington and York. There are certain exemptions and rebates to the NRST available including circumstances where: (a) the foreign individual jointly purchases the property with a … Read More

Court of Appeal Majority Rejects Oppression Claim Against Condominium Corporation’s Leasing of Parking Spaces

Robert Kalanda, B.A. (Hons.), J.D.Commercial, Commercial Leasing, Condo Litigation, Oppression Remedies, Real Estate Litigation, Retail Disputes, Retail Litigation0 Comments

In Cheung v. York Region Condominium, the appellant owned several units which were leased to tenants who operated a 230-seat restaurant out of those units. After complaints by other unit owners that restaurant customers were taking up most or all of the 162 shared common element parking spaces, the condominium corporation enacted a by-law to allow the corporation to lease four parking spots per unit owner “from time to time”, reducing the potential number of spaces available to restaurant guests by 80%. The applicant sought a declaration that the by-law was invalid since the leases could be perpetual and thereby essentially create exclusive use common elements, which can only be created by specific declaration, not through by-law. The applicant further argued that the by-law was oppressive and unfairly prejudicial to the applicant’s interests. The majority held that, since the by-law only approved the ability to enter into leases, which could be on whatever … Read More