Sabrina Saltmarsh Presents as Part of Panel on Fraud in Real Property Transactions

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

Sabrina Saltmarsh presented as a Panelist at this year’s Unveiling Scary Issues, Frauds and Failures in Ontario Property Transactions, held by the Ontario Bar Association. The Panel discussion included: A cautionary tale for lawyers about potential signs of fraud in real estate transactions and insights and tips from Lawpro; the role of certificates of pending litigation in the preservation of rights and assets when dealing with fraud in real property transactions; and a discussion of the recent Court of Appeal ruling of Froom v. LaFontaine, 2023 ONSC 318, as it relates to the theory of deferred indefeasibility. Sabrina provided insights to the audience of real estate solicitors and litigators on challenging and unique issues related to fraud litigation and important principles and strategy considerations in obtaining or discharging a certificate of pending litigation related to real property. Lawyers at Gilbertson Davis LLP, have experience in representing parties in fraud litigation … Read More

Can’t Get Financing On Time? You May Lose Your Deposit – Toronto Real Estate Lawyers

Gilbertson Davis LLPCautions, Certificate of Pending Litigation, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”), Nguyen v. Zaza, 2023 ONCA 34, the ONCA dismissed the appellant’s appeal from a decision of a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to grant the respondent’s summary judgment motion and order forfeiture of the appellant’s deposit of $50,000 to the respondent (among other relief). The appellant was the purchaser and the respondent was the seller of the subject property. The agreement of purchase and sale at the center of the dispute between the parties specifically indicated that time was of the essence. Originally, the agreement was conditional on the appellant arranging financing and a satisfactory home inspection, but the appellant waived those conditions prior to closing. The motion judge found that on the closing date the respondent was ready, willing, and able, to close whereas the appellant did not tender the purchase price required from her … Read More

Failure To Close A Real Estate Transaction Can Be Very Costly

Gilbertson Davis LLPCivil Liability, Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Arbitrator, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

For many reasons, an agreement of purchase and sale to buy real estate may be breached by either the seller or the purchaser. The innocent party may be entitled to significant compensation. For instance, in the recent Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) decision, Rosehaven Homes Limited v. Aluko, 2022 ONCA 817, the ONCA upheld a lower court decision granting summary judgment requiring the appellants to pay damages to the respondent arising from the appellants’ failure to complete an agreement of purchase and sale for the purchase of a home. In that case, the appellants were unable to complete the transaction because they could not obtain sufficient financing. However, the agreement was not conditional on them obtaining financing. The respondent ultimately sold the property at a loss (compared to the sale price agreed to between the parties). The lower court awarded $331,922.27 to the respondent (being the difference between the original … Read More

To Sue or Not to Sue? Failure to Sue = No Compensation

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In Griffiths v. Zambosco, 2001 CanLII 24097 (ON CA), the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) concluded that failure to sue is a bar to recovery of any compensation, even if the party to a lawsuit may otherwise have been entitled to compensation had she sued. In this case the Plaintiff sued the Appellant for negligence in respect of a vendor take back mortgage to the Plaintiff and his then-wife. The Plaintiff’s ex-wife refused to join the proceeding as a plaintiff and so the Plaintiff added her as a defendant. The trial judge found that the Appellant was negligent and awarded damages of close to $300,000 to both the Plaintiff and his ex-wife (almost $150,000 each). On appeal, the ONCA agreed with the trial judge that the Appellant owed a duty of care to both the Plaintiff and to the Plaintiff’s ex-wife. However, the ONCA did not agree with the trial … Read More

Entire Agreement Clause Not A Shield To Fraudulent Misrepresentation

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In the recent Court of Appeal ruling of 10443204 Canada Inc. v. 2701835 Ontario Inc., 2022 ONCA 745, the Court of Appeal clarified that entire agreement clauses in contracts do not shield any representor or deprive any party to a contract from remedies available for a fraudulent misrepresentation. Background In May of 2019 the appellant Chirag Patel and his corporation 2701835 Ontario Inc. (the appellants) entered into a purchase agreement (the “APS”) with the respondent 10443204 Canada Inc. (the respondent), related to the purchase of a coin laundry business located in Brampton. The APS contained an entire agreement clause of which the relevant part indicated: “There is no representation, warranty, collateral agreement or condition, affecting this Agreement other than as expressed herein.” In accordance with amended terms to the APS concerning the purchase price the appellants made a partial payment of $100,000 on closing and the balance of the purchase … Read More

Court of Appeal Reiterates Limited Scope of Judicial Intervention to Set Aside Arbitral Awards

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Arbitration, By-laws, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Condos, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Condo Arbitrator, Condo Litigation, Industrial Condos, Residential Condos0 Comments

In the recent Court of Appeal decision of Mensula Bancorp Inc. v. Halton Condominium Corporation No. 137, the Court of Appeal overturned a lower court decision setting aside an arbitrator’s award, on the basis that the approach taken by the learned application judge was contrary to that mandated by Alectra Utilities Corporation v. Solar Power Network Inc., 2019 ONCA 254, 145 O.R. (3d) 481, leave to appeal refused, [2019] S.C.C.A. No. 202 (Alectra). Background The Halton Condominium Corporation 137 (HCC 137) located in Oakville has 82 residential units and 166 parking units located within it’s parking garage, along with common elements such as a lobby and elevators. The parking units comprise of parking for the residential unit owners (the Residential Parking) along with 43 commercial parking units (the Commercial Parking) owned by the defendant Mensula Bancorp Inc. (Mensula), Mensula does not own any residential units and its business is located … Read More

Rescission May Be Available Even If Innocent Third Parties Adversely Affected

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Business Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In the recent Court of Appeal decision of Urban Mechanical Contracting Ltd. v. Zurich Insurance Company Ltd., 2022 ONCA 589, the Court of Appeal considered whether rescission is ever available as a matter of law when the rights of innocent third parties intervene and restitutio in integrum (putting the parties back to their original position) is impossible. The court answered in the affirmative. In the case the appellants brought two applications seeking a determination of whether, as a matter of law, a bond issuer can rescind a bond agreement on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentations and collusion when doing so would affect the rights of innocent parties. Background The case dealt with a public-private redevelopment project with infrastructure Ontario to build a new 17-storey patient care tower (the Project). The construction was to be financed and carried out by the private sector. The Project was subject to Ontario’s procurement process … Read More

Undocumented Trusts – No Requirement for Formal Trust Agreements

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Contract Disputes, Recreational Property Litigation, Trust Litigation0 Comments

In the recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”), Corvello v. Colucci, 2022 ONCA 159, the ONCA confirmed that a trust can exist even where there is no written trust agreement. At issue in the case was the ownership of a land use permit which allowed the holder(s) of the permit to build on and use the land for recreational purposes. In the court of first instance, the appellant took the position that the permit belonged to him alone. However, the trial judge determined that the appellant actually held the permit “in trust for himself and the respondents as beneficial owners”. On appeal, the appellant argued that the trial judge erred in law and in fact by determining that an undocumented trust agreement existed. The ONCA advised that it is trite law that a valid trust requires “three certainties: certainty of intention to create a trust, certainty of … Read More

Breach of Agreement of Purchase and Sale – What are Your Options?

Gilbertson Davis LLPCivil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) in Ching v. Pier 27 Toronto Inc., 2021 ONCA 551 (CanLII), recently outlined the options an innocent party to an agreement of purchase and sale (APS) has upon the other party breaching (i.e. repudiating) the APS. General Principles Repudiation is the refusal of one party to an APS to abide by the terms of the APS. Repudiation by one party does not in itself result in the termination of the APS. Rather, repudiation provides the innocent party (i.e. the non-repudiating party) to the APS with the following choices: Accept the repudiation (i.e. disaffirm the APS); or Treat the APS as subsisting (i.e. affirm the APS). The innocent party generally has a reasonable period of time to choose whether to disaffirm or affirm the APS. However, waiting too long may result in a court determining that the APS has been affirmed. During this reasonable waiting … Read More

Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies Duty Of Honest Performance In Contractual Relationships

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Business Disputes, Commercial, Commercial Condos, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Condo Litigation, Construction Liens, Contract Disputes0 Comments

In the decision of C.M. Callow Inc. v. Zollinger, 2020 SCC 45, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) expands on the scope of the duty of honest performance in contractual relationships, previously established by the SCC ruling in Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71, [2014] 3 S.C.R. 494. Our firm previously blogged about the Court of Appeal Ruling in this case. See the previous blog here. The case concerns a breach of contract claim made by the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff is a company that provides maintenance services to condominium communities. The Defendants, a group of condominium corporations, had winter and summer maintenance contracts with the Plaintiff that renewed every two years. The contracts originated in 2012 and ran to 2014. In March or April of 2013, the Defendants decided to terminate the winter contract but they did not provide notice of their intention to terminate until September of 2013. The Defendants delayed … Read More

Court of Appeal Upholds Judicial Ruling Recognizing Anti-Black Racism in Commercial Lease Dispute

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Commercial, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Injunction & Specific Performance0 Comments

In the recent Court of Appeal decision of 8573123 Canada Inc. (Elias Restaurant) v. Keele Sheppard Plaza Inc., 2021 ONCA 371, the Court of Appeal upheld a Superior Court ruling made against a commercial landlord which made note of anti-black racism against the tenant and granted relief from forfeiture based on principles rooted in equity, sparing the tenant from eviction. See our blog regarding the original ruling. In this case the landlord of a commercial plaza unit, sought to evict a husband-and-wife team of restauranteur tenants who ran an African/Black/Caribbean restaurant, catering service and bar. The Landlord’s position was that the tenant had failed to give proper notice with respect to their option to renew and was subsisting in the unit as an overholding tenant. The tenant brought an application before the court for relief from forfeiture and sought the courts assistance in exercising it’s right to continue occupying the … Read More

Purchaser Breached Agreement of Purchase and Sale? Damages Awards and Importance of Mitigation

Gilbertson Davis LLPAppeals, Civil Liability, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Summary Judgment0 Comments

In the Court of Appeal’s (“ONCA”) recent decision Tribute (Springwater) Limited v. Atif, 2021 ONCA 463 (CanLII) the ONCA clarifies the law regarding damages and mitigation in cases involving aborted real estate transactions. This decision involves an appeal from a summary judgment granting the plaintiff seller damages for the defendant purchaser’s failure to close a residential real estate transaction. Damages The ONCA advises that damages in a failed real estate transaction are generally determined “based on the difference between the agreed sale price under the parties’ agreement of purchase and sale and the market value of the property at the date set for closing”. Depending on context, a court may choose a different date, other than the date for closing. There may also be other damages, such as carrying costs and other expenses incurred by the plaintiff while holding the property for a subsequent sale. Mitigation The ONCA states that … Read More

When Construction Contracts Go Awry: Ontario’s New Construction Contract Adjudication Regime

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Commercial Litigation, Construction | Builders, Construction Equipment & Machinery, Construction Liens, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cottage Litigation, Professional Liability, Recreational Property Litigation0 Comments

Construction contracts come with expectations and potential risks to property owners and contractors. Property owners can face issues related to quality of workmanship, delays, and incomplete or abandoned work. Contractors (including sub-contractors) can deal with a myriad of problems which delay or hinder payment, including issues with other sub-trades, the general contractor, or the owner. Whether you are a property owner undertaking construction or renovations, or a contractor (or sub contract) who has been engaged on a project, if things don’t go as planned it’s important to know what your options for recourse may be. A newly established cost-effective adjudication regime has become an important option to consider. Want to learn more about how to protect yourself from a home renovation disaster? Check out our blog. With the Ontario Legislature’s ratification of the new Construction Act, prompt payment and adjudication came into effect on October 1, 2019. The new legislation … Read More

Aborting A Real Estate Deal Can Have Major Consequences

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Appeals, Condo Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cottage Litigation, Cottage Purchase and Sale, Real Estate Litigation, Recreational Property0 Comments

A recent Court of Appeal ruling illustrates the severe consequences that can flow from aborting a real estate transaction. In the decision of Joo v. Tran, 2021 ONCA 107, the Court of Appeal declined to give effect to a term that was included in an agreement of purchase and sale (APS), on the basis that such an interpretation of the clause would have resulted in an absurdity. The clause indicated that the vendors would discharge any encumbrances on or before closing, either through sale proceeds or by way of a solicitor’s undertaking, which term was included in Schedule A of the APS. The decision arose from the appeal of a ruling on a summary judgment motion brought by the seller, who sued the purchaser in a real estate transaction for breach of contract, after the purchaser expressing concerns regarding utility easements on the property, aborted the real estate transaction. The … Read More

Five Reasons People Sue After Buying or Selling Real Estate

Sabrina Saltmarsh, B.A. (Hons), J.D.Condo Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cottage Litigation, Misrepresentation, Mortgage Broker Litigation, Negligence, Professional Liability, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

In a heated real estate market where blind bidding and unconditional offers are necessary to compete, often times purchasers are vulnerable to pulling the trigger and asking questions afterwards. Conversely sellers are looking to capitalize on market highs and looking to sell for top dollar which often comes down to timing. These competing interests can lead to litigation when a real estate transaction doesn’t go as planned. Here are five common reasons that litigation arises from real estate transactions: 1) Breach of Contract Litigation often arises because a seller or purchaser has breached the purchase and sale agreement. There are many contractual terms that set out the rights and obligations of the respective parties in a real estate transaction including the closing date, title clearance, deposit requirements, inclusions, exclusions, and conditions. A Plaintiff commencing suit over a breach of the contract must prove that they have complied with all of … Read More

Can The Condo Corporation Register A Lien On My Condo Unit?

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Building | Property Management, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Condo Litigation, Creditors Rights, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

A recent Divisional Court decision, Amlani v. YCC 473, 2020 ONSC 5090, confirmed that there are two separate ways to register a condo lien depending on whether the amount is related to common expenses (or “condo fees”), or related to compliance and enforcement expenses. A condo lien may be registered without a court order when the condo corporation seeks to recover unpaid condo fees.  However, condo corporations are generally required to obtain a court order to register a lien when seeking to recover legal fees and expenses incurred for compliance and enforcement matters. Background The condo owner, a smoker for 56 years, purchased the unit after confirming that smoking was allowed in the building. A few years later, the neighbour complained about the smell of smoke but the issue was resolved after the condo corporation sealed certain openings at its own cost. When new complaints about the smell of smoke … Read More

Nick Poon Comments on Anti-Black Racism in Commercial Lease Dispute for The Lawyer’s Daily

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

Nick Poon was recently asked by The Lawyer’s Daily to comment on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Elias Restaurant v. Keele Sheppard Plaza Inc., 2020 ONSC 5457. The Lawyer’s Daily article is found here: Court cites ‘prejudices’ to Black tenants in overturning landlord’s eviction bid. In this case, the tenant was a husband and wife team that operated a successful restaurant/bar offering African and Caribbean cultural foods primarily to the black community.  The tenant had spent $150,000 in leasehold improvements when it took over the lease in 2013.  The lease included two further five-year renewal options, upon delivery of written notice at least six months before the lease expired. Although the tenant attempted to contact the landlord, both before and after the notice deadline, to start the renewal process, the landlord appeared to have avoided its telephone calls.  The tenant brought an application for relief from forfeiture … Read More