Residential Property

The Firm has established itself as the practice of choice and the leading law firm for vendors and purchasers of real estate. The Firm’s work in this area includes advising on and structuring all forms of residential property purchases and sales.

Our practice The Firm’s services include advising on the terms to include in an offer (or counter offer), negotiating and drafting sale and purchase agreements, arranging payment of a deposit (or holding deposits in escrow), investigating title to property, confirming a proposed seller’s authority to sell, confirming the absence of cautions, liens, mortgages, or other encumbrances (or arranging their removal). Confirming that there is legal access to a property and, if necessary, arranging for and securing legal access. Advising on defects in title, generally, and curing those defects where they exists. Investigating and advising on unpaid Property Owners’ Association fees, possible breaches of Owners’ Covenants, and the need for insurance. Advising on the options for taking title to property and the relative benefits of each option. Advising on stamp duty obligations and the best structure for minimizing stamp duty. Advising on the options for financing a purchase and, where appropriate, securing financing.

The purchase and sale of raw (ie undeveloped) land Advising generally on squatter’s rights and other Overriding Interests, zoning and use regulations, the development guidelines for the area, possible encroachment issues from other owners, and the enforceability of obligations under Restrictive Covenants.

The purchase and sale of developed property Confirming that building work was undertaken with appropriate approvals. Confirming that all building work is within boundary lines and has appropriate setbacks. Where appropriate advising on possible structural and accretion/erosion issues. Advising on and arranging the transfer of utilities, services, and insurance over property.

The purchase and sale of strata (ie condominium) title Reviewing the registered strata plan and comparing it with the existing physical structures and, particularly, with the property being purchased. Correlating the strata title numbers with the apartment numbers. Confirming the periodic payment obligations and the existence of any Reserve or Contingency Fund. Confirming that effective insurance for the common property is in place. Securing a copy of the Registered Bylaws and advising on an owner’s obligations under such bylaws. Advising on contents and owners liability insurance issues.

The purchase and sale of pre-construction strata (ie condominium) title Advising clients on the peculiar risks associated with pre-construction purchases, advising on the background of a proposed developer, advising on the success and history of local condominium developments, vetting preconstruction stage payments and architect/project manager’s certificates, acting as a conduit for client payments to a developer and, where appropriate, advising on and arranging completion of punch list items.