Do you need help with real estate law in Canada? Connecting with a law firm can be very helpful.
Are you looking for help with real estate law or a sale or purchase? We can connect you with real estate lawyers in Canada.
Many people in small towns don’t have a good lawyer nearby. Hiring an expert lawyer in a big city seems very appealing to them. When dealing with real estate, there is a lot of money on the table.
Don’t make a mistake. A small mistake can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Transactions With A Real Estate Lawyer
Most real estate lawyers work on flat fees. It normally costs around $1000-1200 to deal with all your legal needs. Transferring property to another person is far more complicated than most people think.
If both parties have a mortgage, it’s even more complicated. The real estate lawyer also needs to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the property.
Sometimes properties have judgments against them. Let’s say there is a $30,000 charge against the property and you buy it. If the seller accepts your offer, this debt will now belong to you.
Canada Real Estate Law
Real estate law in Canada normally has tight timelines. Therefore, it’s important to give the lawyer as much time as possible to get everything done correctly.
Don’t leave things to the last minute. It’s important to know the possession dates and have everything ready to go by then. Buying a home is not as stressful as family law, but it can still be complex in other ways.
General Understanding Of How Real Estate Lawyers Work
Most lawyers in Vancouver change their hourly rate. It varies depending on how much experience the firm has, and how expensive its office is.
Normally these fees vary from $250-500/hour.
Real estate law in Canada is often much less expensive than other areas of law. But you can still expect to spend at least $1000 on a real estate lawyer. If it’s a complicated property matter, it might be much more.
Most real estate lawyers charge similar rates. What is more important than price is “how long will it take to complete the real estate closing?”
How Long Does It Take To Do A Real Estate Closing?
You should reach out to a lawyer once you have a signed agreement with the seller or buyer. You should have agreed on all conditions, the price, and the closing date.
Normally it takes around five weeks to do a real estate closing. When the deal is waiting to close, it’s called being in escrow.
During the entire process, the real estate lawyer is doing some of the following:
- Talking with the seller’s mortgage company
- Make sure all the numbers make sense
- Figuring out the mortgage payout amount
- Speaking with the new mortgage company
- Dealing with the property taxes
- Checking the ownership of the property (title) to make sure nothing is wrong
- Getting the loan documents ready
- Checking the appraisal
- Checking to make sure there are no unpaid mortgages
- Make sure there are no tax liens on the property
- Dealing with title insurance (if applicable)
- Make sure the Realtors get paid
- Transferring the title over
- Checking the survey of the property lines (if applicable)
If you need help with some of the following things, we can assist.
- Dealing with a dishonest real estate agent
- If a broker did something wrong
- If the mortgage company is not acting properly
- Helping you with paperwork when doing a residential sale
- Helping you when you are selling commercial real estate
- Doing paperwork for real estate purchases
- Helping you during foreclosure
- Helping you purchase a foreclosure property
- Assisting you with a strata paperwork review
- Commercial leases
Real Estate Law In Canada
Most of the time a real estate agent or Realtor tells their client to find a real estate lawyer once a purchase agreement has been signed.
You need a lawyer that is honest and knows real estate law in Canada well. Don’t hire a lawyer that does every kind of law. A lawyer should do two areas of law maximum.
Our company has lots of lawyers signed up, which allows the lawyers to bounce ideas off each other.
Each lawyer gets to interact with other lawyers and learn from their successes and failures.
Is a real estate agent needed to buy or sell a home?
No. However, most Realtor fees are free for buyers. Many sellers save money by listing themselves online or by putting a for-sale sign in front of their house with their own cell phone number.
If your property is in a hot market, you can save large money by doing this.
However, regardless of whether you use a Realtor or not, you will need to hire a real estate attorney to check the title and review the purchase agreement.
You also need to make sure you have the appropriate subject to’s in place in the purchase agreement. Before you make an offer with or without a real estate agent, please contact a real estate lawyer.
What are some standard conditions you should include in a real estate offer?
You want to make sure at the very least you include a subject to home inspection and financing (mortgage.) You can also include more advanced subject to’s, such as subject to the approval of rezoning or the seller replacing the roof.
Read these fun articles about the law:
What is a default on a mortgage?
There are a number of things that can cause a default in your mortgage agreement. Some of the more common are listed below:
- Selling a property without bank approval.
- Adding a different mortgage on a property
- Not having insurance on the property
- Destroying the property
- Not paying your taxes
How do condos differ from a house?
In a condominium, each owner owns his or her own unit. However, they own the common elements of the building together.
This may include the hallways, hot tub, fitness room, or lobby. Each owner is responsible for repairing and maintaining their own condominium.
When purchasing a condo there are a number of unique things your Canadian real estate lawyer should review.
The buyer needs to make sure that the strata (H.O.A in the USA) is in good financial condition and does not have any outstanding lawsuits or debts.
If you buy into a strata/HOA that gets hit with a massive bill, you may have to pay for part of it.
It is also important to make sure that the strata have a large reserve of cash in case they have a large expense come up.
A condo buyer’s purchase agreement should be conditional on the buyer receiving this information and having enough time to review it.
A Real Estate Law Attorney In Canada lawyer can help with
- Payout of mortgages
- Receiving registration information
- Doing property searches
- Helping you with taxes
- Receiving and disbursing funds
- Getting insurance for fires
- Doing mortgage documentation
Whose name should be on the title?
It depends on the buyers. Attorneys have several options in setting out a title. You can split it up with one owner having 60% and the other investor having 40%.
Most lawyers will recommend that married or common-law couples own their homes equally as joint tenants.
Sometimes, matrimonial property laws can override your decision on who holds the title. Please contact a real estate law firm to discuss the best option.
If your property is already in one person’s name and you want to switch it to a joint tenancy, please discuss it with the attorney first. The government might charge you an unexpected fee.
What is title insurance?
You purchase legal ownership of a title for a property as a buyer. Title insurance is great for buyers who want advanced protection when buying real estate.
However, they will pay a large upfront fee for this, which is often added to the mortgage. If you hire a real estate lawyer, title insurance may not be necessary.
Your top real estate lawyer should be able to make sure there are no problems with the property, such as:
- Problems with the title
- Zoning problems
- Ownership issues
If you are purchasing or selling your property, please contact a legal expert before making or accepting an offer, it can save you a lot of money!
Question And Answer About Vancouver Real Estate Case Law
What advice to give our Chinese readers when they decide to invest together in the Vancouver real estate market?
I know a huge amount of Chinese immigrants or visitors are interested in the Canadian real estate market, but there have potential risks.
The main mistake that many Chinese people make is that they are afraid to present their friends, business partners, and family with a contract.
They feel that the other person will be offended and that a contract goes against Chinese culture.
In the past in China, there was no stable legal system or banking system. Therefore, people had to resolve their issues by using their personal connections. This is no longer the case in China and was never the case in Canada.
There are courts in both countries that can help you resolve your problems. However, if you don’t have a contract, the judge will have to decide based on what they thought the agreement was.
Real Estate Law In Canada
As a rule, if you would be upset to lose all the money on your investment, then sign a contract. You might be friends with someone, but something happens, and then you are no longer friends.
That is when lawsuits happen. This can also happen with family members.
If you follow the laws of Canada, and get proper advice from a real estate professional, accountant, and lawyer, then the potential risks of investing in the Vancouver real estate market are very small.
If you have no professional advice, and you ask your friends for help, the risk is very high.
How to choose ownership of a property? For example, joint tenancy vs tenancy in common; hold the property for their friends…..
If individuals are going to hold property and make investments, it’s really a business. They are investing money with the hopes of future returns. It’s often better to start a company and to sign a shareholder agreement.
The shareholder agreement is great because everyone who will be involved can agree on what is going to happen with the property.
For example, the agreement could say “We are going to invest $1.5m in this property, Mr. Xu will own 20%, and Ms. Wang will own 80%. We will rent the property out for five years, and then vote on if we should the property.”
The above is obviously very simple, but it gives an example of what could be agreed to. The shareholder agreement will be around forty pages long and will cover every common situation that could lead to a lawsuit.
What influence of The Land Transparency Act?
I guess that the main motivation to hide the title by another’s name is to avoid the related tax.
It could also be to hide from lawsuits. When someone wins a lawsuit, they need to find the other person’s bank accounts and property. If the title is hidden, it’s very hard to get your money.
When the act comes into force, all the beneficiaries’ titles will show on registration, and the shareholders’ names have to be disclosed too.
Is it usual to show this personal tax status in court?
The judge is saying that they didn’t find P1 to be an honest person. That it didn’t make sense that P1 would only make $97.11 in a year, but owned a big company and purchased expensive houses.
Gaining the judge’s trust is very important in a lawsuit. It’s even more important than what the law says.
How to keep clear account records?
This should be discussed in the shareholder agreement. You might hire a bookkeeper to do quarterly financial statements that will be sent to all shareholders or property owners.
Every year, an accountant will do financial statements for tax reporting.
If you want, you could also do audited financial statements every three years from a separate accountant to make sure all the bank statements align with the financial statements.
Is there any definition or precedent with the term “clean hands”? You can also share your legal practice stories or precedents.
To keep it simple, the principle of “clean hands” means that if someone engages in fraud, the courts won’t help them force the other side to do or stop doing something, even if it’s in a contract.
Someone is meant to come to court with “clean hands” when they ask the judge for something. The courts only want to help non-criminal people.
Real Estate In Canada is expected to continue in the seller’s market, could you share your opinion with Chinese buyers?
I believe it will continue to be a seller’s market.
The amount of inventory required to shift dynamics toward a buyer’s market is substantial. The rate of supply and new housing completions is nowhere near enough to even approach a balanced market.
The interest is low so everyone is looking to buy. Some sellers couldn’t sell their houses last year because potential buyers were spooked due to COVID-19.
Example of a Commercial Tenancy Agreement In Canada
We included parts of a commercial tenancy agreement below to give you an idea.
This is a very small part of the contract. This is why it’s important to hire the best real estate attorney. There is a lot to it. You don’t want to make a mistake when dealing with large amounts of money.
3.1 The term of the Lease commences on [START DATE] and ends on [END DATE].
3.2Upon 15 days’ notice the Landlord may terminate the tenancy under this Lease if the Tenant has defaulted in the payment of any portion of the Rent when due.
3.3 Upon 15 days’ notice the Landlord may terminate the tenancy under this Lease if the Tenant fails to observe, perform and keep each and every one of the covenants, agreements, stipulations, obligations, conditions and other provisions of this Lease to be observed, performed and kept by the Tenant and the Tenant persists in such default beyond the said 15-day notice.
Top Real Estate Attorneys
3.4 Should the Tenant remain in possession of the Premises with the consent of the Landlord after the natural expiration of this Lease, a new tenancy from month to month will be created between the Landlord and the Tenant which will be subject to all the terms and conditions of this Lease but will be terminable upon either party giving 30 days notice to the other party.
4.1 Subject to the provisions of this Lease, the Tenant will pay a base rent of [AMOUNT], payable per month, for the Premises (the “Base Rent”).In addition to the Base Rent, the Tenant will pay the applicable tax to the Landlord.
4.2 The Tenant will pay the Base Rent on or before the first of each and every month of the term of this Lease to the Landlord at [LANDLORD ADDRESS]by postdated cheques made payable to [LANDLORD NAME], or at such other place as the Landlord may later designate.
4.3 If the start date of the Lease does not fall on the first of the month then the Base Rent plus applicable and GST will be pro-rated.
4.4 The Tenant will be charged an additional amount of 1.5% of the Rent for any late payment of Rent.
Real Estate Law Canada – Commercial property transactions
5.1 The Landlord and/or HOA will be responsible for paying the following operating costs:
- repairs and replacements to the Building and any component of the Building;
- provision, repair, replacement and maintenance of heating, cooling, ventilation and air conditioning equipment throughout the Building;
c.all outdoor maintenance including landscaping and snow removal;
d.operation and maintenance of parking areas; and
e.preventive maintenance and inspection.
Top Real Estate Law Canada Attorneys
5.2 For any rent review negotiation, the basic rent will be calculated as being the higher than the Base Rent payable immediately before the date of review and the Open Market Rent on the date of the review.
I agree with your conclusion, that some Chinese believe the contract might be against their friendship. It should build a company to hold the property rather than hold it in implied trust.