Legal Real Estate Advice

Death In Real Estate: Do I Need to Probate the Will Before I Sell the House?

As a real estate lawyer, I am often asked if the Will of a deceased client must be probated before his real estate may be dealt with. There are a few issues to consider before the aforementioned question can be answered (and in this blog I will only address situations where the deceased has made a Will).   Usually most spouses own their property as joint tenants which means that the property is owned by both of them, at the same time, and upon the death of the first of them, the survivor becomes the sole owner of the property. So if your parents’ house is owned by them as joint tenants, and if one of your parents passes away, …

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Land Transfer Tax, Rebates, and Exemptions For First Time Buyers

When it comes to answering these questions and deciphering their answers, consulting a real estate lawyer is often a good first step for potential homeowners. Generally speaking, the Ontario Land Transfer Tax Act and the Municipal Land Transfer Tax Act of Toronto provide that buyers are obligated to pay a land transfer tax upon the purchase of a property and the amount of the tax is based upon what is called “the value of the consideration”, which in most cases is the amount of money paid. Land transfer tax, like income tax, is charged on a marginal increasing scale and once the value of the consideration exceeds $400,000.00, the land transfer tax on the overage is charged at 2% for each …

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The Importance of a Home Inspection

Magnified view of home inspection

You shouldn’t purchase a home without having it inspected by a competent and qualified home inspector. Many people feel that they are qualified to do the home inspection themselves, however this is not the case. If after closing you discover problems with the house and attempt to pursue your seller in court for compensation, the court will attribute to you the knowledge that if the property had been inspected by a qualified home inspector – in other words, if a home inspection would have disclosed the very item which is in issue, the court will take the position that had the inspection been conducted, you would have known about this item and that you have accepted its status and condition. …

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Can you Hold Back Funds on Closing When an Appliance is Broken?

dishwasher spilling water shows why buyers can withhold funds on closing for broken appliances.

The simple answer is: No. As in any contractual situation, the agreement of purchase and sale is the first document that should be reviewed. Unless your agreement of purchase and sale gives you the right to holdback a specified sum of money, other than in certain situations where there is material damage or a material failure, you cannot refuse to complete the transaction nor can you holdback money. Your only remedy would be to complete the agreement of purchase and sale and then pursue your seller for compensation in court. From the purchaser’s perspective, it is prudent to include the right to holdback funds however you will need a stellar negotiator acting on your behalf in order to convince your …

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“Caveat Emptor” – AKA: Buyer Beware – in Fine Print

real estate agreement with an "as is" caveat emptor being slid across a table.

What Does “Caveat Emptor” Mean in a Real Estate Agreement? A common question I receive from purchasers is regarding who is responsible for the repair costs if something is not working on the date of closing. For example, an appliance, the heating/air conditioning system, the electrical system, or the roof. Buyers ultimately want to know who is responsible for the expenses when it comes to repairs. Here’s the short answer: As with any contractual agreement, the first place to look is in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Unless this document clearly states (and other than in a few unusual situations, including fraud and safety matters), the rule is “caveat emptor“, which by definition means: “the principle that the buyer …

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What a Real Estate Lawyer should do when their clients start disputing?

two real estate clients of a toronto lawyer that had a dispute and needed a joint retainer agreement.

As a real estate lawyer, mitigating disputes amongs clients comes with the job. Recently I was confronted with the following situation: I was retained by a parent and his child to purchase a new condominium unit from a builder. The day before the interim occupancy closing the parent and child had a falling out and the parent no longer wanted to purchase the condominium, wouldn’t sign any documents and wouldn’t deliver his share of the closing funds. The Law Society of Upper Canada has rules of professional conduct to deal with joint retainers and what is to happen if contentious issues arise. The “joint retainer” rule provides that where a lawyer accepts employment from more than one client in a …

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Welcome to the official blog of Jay Teichman

Welcome to the brand new and official website for Jay Teichman Law Offices. If you are looking for a trustworthy and experienced real estate lawyer in the Greater Toronto Area, look no further than the Law Office of Jay Teichman. With all of our costs disclosed up front and no hidden terms in our fine print, you will receive straight forward and reliable counsel from the beginning until the end of your transaction.

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