Focus On


  • Co-ownership requires legal care
    Mark Baker says it is important when a client purchases a property to ask if anyone else is involved in the deal

    Co-ownership requires legal care

    Developing a sound co-ownership agreement is key when pooling resources to get into the often prohibitively expensive real estate market.

  • Fair Housing plan means changes for landlords
    Joe Hoffer says any purchaser considering buying property with rental space faces a risk if they are considering occupying the unit themselves.

    Fair Housing plan means changes for landlords

    Small investors who rely on the real estate market for extra income risk running afoul of the law if they don’t pay close attention to new rules introduced earlier this year through Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan.

  • Title insurance adopted by real estate bar in Ontario
    Jeffrey Cowan says title insurance ‘has made my life much simpler in terms of the processing of files.’

    Title insurance adopted by real estate bar in Ontario

    Title insurance in Ontario has been largely adopted by the real estate bar.

  • Assignment agreements under scrutiny: Governments and developers clamping down
    Martin Rumack says much of the use of assignment agreements in Ontario has been with new condominiums.

    Assignment agreements under scrutiny: Governments and developers clamping down

    The provincial government warns that the practice of skirting taxes on the appreciation of property when the purchase and sale agreement is assigned to another buyer is on its radar.

  • New rules around condo board oversight
    Deborah Howden says under new legislation there’s the potential for boards and their lawyers to draft bylaws on new disclosure obligations for directors.

    New rules around condo board oversight

    New legislation regulating condominiums that began rolling out in September will impact how condo boards are run by imposing disclosure obligations on directors and is geared at providing condo owners with more information.

  • Estates in joint names opens up problems
    Corina Weigl says there may be unforeseen income tax consequences as a result of having an estate put into joint names.

    Estates in joint names opens up problems

    An increasing number of estates are being put into joint names, in many cases as a means of avoiding probate taxes. Unfortunately, this can also mean that those estates become vulnerable, and the assets can be taken advantage of by the joint holder.

  • Lawyers can help stop abuse of power of attorney
    Kim Whaley says the current trend has moved toward parties litigating over assets while people are still alive rather than will challenges after a person has died.

    Lawyers can help stop abuse of power of attorney

    Cases of elder abuse resulting in criminal charges have proven to be rare, and lawyers say that it’s frustrating when police don’t take matters seriously.

  • Issues highlighted with long-term care
    James Anderson says that clients who are requesting a power of attorney need to sit down with the person being given the powers.

    Issues highlighted with long-term care

    The murders of eight residents in nursing homes in Southwestern Ontario by nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer has prompted the Ontario government to launch an inquiry into the safety and security of residents in the long-term care homes system.

  • Indian Act ‘paternalistic’ on will-making
    Jacob Kaufman says safeguards available to other Canadians through the courts are generally not available to people registered under the Indian Act.

    Indian Act ‘paternalistic’ on will-making

    While most Canadians are free to dispose of property in a will, that right is circumscribed for those indigenous Canadians subject to the Indian Act who live on reserves. Lawyers say the impact of this can be problematic, but in some cases, it may actually prove more beneficial than being subject to a provincial regime.

  • Judge recognizes civil tort of harassment
    Landon Young says that while a recent Ontario Superior Court decision marks a significant change in the law, courts have in practice sanctioned similar conduct in recent years without carving out a separate tort. 

    Judge recognizes civil tort of harassment

    Employment lawyers say a judge’s recognition of the free-standing civil tort of harassment was the next logical step in the development of Ontario’s workplace law.

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