REAL ESTATE LAWYERS & COVID-19

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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FOLA has been receiving calls from real estate lawyers wondering what to do about upcoming real estate closings in light of the unprecedented circumstances we are in. Like you, we have been monitoring the situation very closely. 


The situation is fluid, with information and protocols changing rapidly.  As a result, FOLA has been issuing frequent Real Estate Law updates.

For FOLA's most recent COVID-19 update, click here

For past COVID-19 updates, click here


Notice to Land Registration System

Clients (ENGLISH VERSION  FRENCH VERSION)


FOLA's Real Estate Committee letter  relative to MCAP’s recent decision to remove lawyers from refinancing matters (March 27, 2020)

MCAP letter


 Direct link to Lawyers Delayed Closing Escrow Agreement 

 Working Group site for the Lawyers Delayed Closing Escrow Agreement  


HERE ARE SOME TIPS

 CLOSING REAL ESTATE DEALS DURING A PANDEMIC 

 BASIC APPROACH FOR REMOTE SIGNING

WILLS & POWERS OF ATTORNEY

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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On April 7, 2020, the Lieutenant Governor in Council made an order under s. 7.0.2(4), of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act permitting virtual witnessing for wills and powers of attorney provided that at least one person who is providing the service as a witness is a licensee pursuant to the Law Society Act. 


The Order is not retroactive and will be in place for the duration of the declaration of emergency. 


The Order in Council can be found here and on e-Laws, as a regulation under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

LAW SOCIETY NEWS UPDATES

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

LAW SOCIETY NEWS UPDATES

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NOTICE TO LAWYERS REGARDING WILLS & POWERS OF ATTORNEY 

  

To assist licensees, the Law Society of Ontario is offering a free Continuing Professional Development program, "Your Wills and Estates Practice and the COVID-19 Pandemic: What you Need to Know Right Now." The program is expected to be available on-demand, later this week. Program registration and details will be available at the LSO Store; please watch for updates.


NEWS FROM THE LSO REGARDING AFFIDAVITS


As a result of COVID-19, the LSO will interpret the requirement in s. 9 of the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act as not requiring the lawyer/ paralegal to be in the physical presence of the client. Alternative means such as video conference will be permitted. 


The LSO has sent a letter to the Federal Finance Minister regarding financial services matters (banking) and the legal profession. While they have asked that the letter not be shared, FOLA wanted to let you know that the LSO is taking action on this issue.

LINKS & VIDEOS

CONSUMER-FRIENDLY VIDEOS

CONSUMER-FRIENDLY VIDEOS

CONSUMER-FRIENDLY VIDEOS

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USEFUL LINKS

CONSUMER-FRIENDLY VIDEOS

CONSUMER-FRIENDLY VIDEOS

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About a dozen links of recommended sites as chosen by FOLA's Real Estate Committee.  


Something missing?  Let us know!  Email Katie.Robinette@fola.ca

PROPOSED REFORMS & SUBMISSIONS

PROPOSED REFORMS FOR COMMISSIONERS/NOTARIES

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT - "LENDING CLIENT"

REGULATIONS UNDER THE PLANNING ACT RE: MUNICIPAL EMPOWERMENT - NORTHERN

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FOLA met with Ministry of the Attorney General staff on March 20, 2019 regarding their proposed reforms to the Commissioners for taking Affidavits Act and Notaries Act. (found here).


FOLA'S SUBMISSION TO THE PROPOSED REFORMS


PLEASE NOTE:  LAW SOCIETY'S STATEMENT REGARDING VIRTUAL COMMISSIONING

The LSO has published a resource that aims to provide general guidance and information to lawyers and paralegals on the practice of virtual commissioning. Specifically, this resource defines virtual commissioning and briefly explains the governing legislation, identifies the risks associated with it, communicates the Law Society’s recommendation not to engage in virtual commissioning at this time, and discusses the potential for legislative reform in this area. 

REGULATIONS UNDER THE PLANNING ACT RE: MUNICIPAL EMPOWERMENT - NORTHERN

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT - "LENDING CLIENT"

REGULATIONS UNDER THE PLANNING ACT RE: MUNICIPAL EMPOWERMENT - NORTHERN

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The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is proposing to amend regulations under the Planning Act to empower certain municipalities in relation to two areas of land use planning authority.


1) Exemption from Approval - Official Plan Amendments
2) Approval Authority - Plans of Subdivision  


The deadline for comments has past, but you can view the Ministry's proposal below.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT - "LENDING CLIENT"

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT - "LENDING CLIENT"

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT - "LENDING CLIENT"

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On April 25, 2019 at the Law Society's Convocation, the Professional Regulation Committee tabled proposed amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the definition of "Lending Client" in determining whether or not a lender is private or institutional.   Comments were due on June 30th.


READ OUR FULL SUBMISSION HERE


Law Society's Professional Regulation Committee's Report

Ontario Bar Association submission to the LSO - March of 2018

REGULATORY PROPOSALS UNDER THE CONDOMINIUM ACT, 1998

REVIEW OF THE REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS BROKERS ACT, 2002

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT - "LENDING CLIENT"

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The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services proposing amendments on regulatory proposals under the Condo Act. The proposal would amend regulations under the Condo Act, delegating responsibility for 19 forms to the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). 


If approved, the CAO would be responsible for hosting and implementing any changes to these forms, including accessibility, format and content changes, subject to ministry approval.

REVIEW OF THE REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS BROKERS ACT, 2002

REVIEW OF THE REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS BROKERS ACT, 2002

REVIEW OF THE REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS BROKERS ACT, 2002

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In January 2019, the Ontario government announced that they are undertaking a review of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, including the provisions relating to dual agencies and disclosure of competing bids. It released a consultation paper and requested written comments and also encouraged Ontarians to fill out an online survey. 


After consultation with Law Associations, FOLA submitted a formal response which you can view here

(Please note that FOLA only responded to the first five questions in the consultation paper as we felt that we did not have enough information on to adequately respond to the rest of the questions).


The Thunder Bay Law Association also made a submission which you can view here.

UPDATED ONTARIO STANDARD CLOSING DOCUMENTS

REVIEW OF THE REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS BROKERS ACT, 2002

REVIEW OF THE REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS BROKERS ACT, 2002

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The provincial Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate revised the Ontario Standard Closing Documents in February 2019 and added an Undertaking (Non-Residency) for use in transactions involving non-resident vendors. 


Updated versions of the Ontario Standard Closing Documents can be found on the Working Group website.   

WANT TO JOIN FOLA'S REAL ESTATE COMMITTEE?

FINTRAC FINAL GUIDANCE: VIRTUAL VERIFICATION USING IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS

FINTRAC FINAL GUIDANCE: VIRTUAL VERIFICATION USING IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS

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FOLA'S Real Estate committee will meet via telephone/video conference and/or email, as necessary.   If you or someone from your association is interested in helping, please contact Merredith MacLennan at merredith.maclennan@stewart.com.   

FINTRAC FINAL GUIDANCE: VIRTUAL VERIFICATION USING IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS

FINTRAC FINAL GUIDANCE: VIRTUAL VERIFICATION USING IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS

FINTRAC FINAL GUIDANCE: VIRTUAL VERIFICATION USING IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS

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It is no longer required to view an "original" identification document in order to use the document to verify an individual client. It is now sufficient to view an "authentic, valid and current" copy of an identification document. While this change has been in effect since June 2019, most reporting entities have been awaiting guidance from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) on its expectations for authentication of copies of identification documents before relying on it.   


Read a press release from Borden Ladner Gervais

LAW SOCIETY CONSULTATION ON TITLE INSURANCE - 2018

FINTRAC FINAL GUIDANCE: VIRTUAL VERIFICATION USING IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS

LAW SOCIETY CONSULTATION ON TITLE INSURANCE - 2018

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In 2018, the Law Society’s Advertising and Fee Arrangements Issues Working Group examined practices involving the payment of fees and offering of benefits by title insurers to real estate lawyers or their staff and is considering whether additional regulatory measures involving these practices are required.


Consultation Document (See also the working group’s report to June 2018 Convocation).

TERAVIEW® ISSUES

ONTARIO'S PLANNING ACT

LAW SOCIETY CONSULTATION ON TITLE INSURANCE - 2018

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The Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate maintains a list of matters which are brought to its attention regarding Teraview and/or Land Registry Office procedures. 


The Working Group brings these matters to the Director of Titles, the government and/or Teranet and posts updates as it receives further information. 

ONTARIO'S PLANNING ACT

ONTARIO'S PLANNING ACT

ONTARIO'S PLANNING ACT

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In 2019, Bill 88, Planning Act Amendments (Doug Downey's private member's bill) was stalled due to Minister Doug Downey's promotion to cabinet.  FOLA supported the Bill and hopes that it will be re-introduced as a Minister's Bill shortly.

USEFUL LINKS (alphabetical)

THE VALUE OF A REAL ESTATE LAWYER -VIDEO!

(Great to share on social media!)


AvoidAClaim

AvoidAClaim is LawPRO’s blog that offers regular insights on claims prevention and practice management, and warnings about current frauds targeting lawyers


Bencher Blog

Bencher Blog is a resource for Ontario’s Lawyers from Jerry Udell, Law Society of Ontario Bencher


CCLA weekly newsletter

This weekly email newsletter regularly contains a “Did You Know” section from the CCLA Real Estate Lawyers Committee. You don’t need to be a CCLA member to subscribe to the newsletter


Condominium Forms

Find prescribed forms under the Condominium Act, 1998


DHA Condo blog

An informative blog on condominium law published by Davidson Houle Allen LLP


Electronic Registration Procedures Guide

Electronic Registration Procedures Guide published by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services


OnLand.ca

A web-portal to provide remote access to search Ontario's Land Registration Records


Ontario Solicitor Network

This website was launched in 2015 to deal primarily with getting more solicitors elected as Benchers in the April 2015 & 2019 Law Society elections.


Sid Troister’s email updates

If you aren’t already on his list, send Sid an email or subscribe on the website and ask to be added to his real estate update list. He periodically circulates useful and interesting information about real estate matters. 


Teraview®

Teraview® is your secure one-stop solution to accessing data in the Government of Ontario’s land records database. You can perform searches, create and submit title documents for registration, view and print instruments, plans, official parcel registers and search for writs of execution quickly and easily, without having to visit a ServiceOntario Office. You can even access information after ServiceOntario office business hours.   While you're there, subscribe to their newsletter!


Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate

The provincial Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate has updated its website. Check it out for the latest version of the Ontario Standard Closing Documents, gain access to the OREA standard forms, and more


Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate – Mentoring Imitative  

The Working Group launched this initiative to mentor real estate lawyers on best practices. Because it does not have the resources to individually mentor, the concept is to create survey questions about various aspects of the work in a real estate transaction and then provide a comment in response to the survey results. It is hoped that this will generate discussion about the practice, encourage ideas to be shared and create an atmosphere to suggest best practices to better serve our clients and possibly create more efficient practice

PAST COMMITTEE UPDATES

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW - APRIL 1 2020

Includes update re: LRO, CPD, Remote Signing, ID (expired drivers licenses) and more!

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW - MARCH 26 2020

Includes Information on: Law Society CPD; Banking Issues; Title Insurance; DRA; Sending Closing Funds; Corporate Amalgamations and Amendments; & Land Transfer Tax pre-payments

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW - MARCH 25 2020

Includes information on Land Registry Offices/LSO Program.

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW - MARCH 20 2020

Keeping your Real Estate practice going during a pandemic.

COVID-19 & REAL ESTATE LAW - MARCH 16 2020

Closings & client meetings during a pandemic, 

JANUARY 2019 REPORT

OCTOBER 2019 REPORT

MAY 2019 REPORT

A REAL ESTATE LAWYER ENSURES PEACE OF MIND

There’s more than meets the eye when buying a home. Real estate lawyers have the skills and expertise to guide you through the home closing process.

What does your real estate lawyer do for you?

For most Canadians, buying a home is the largest investment they will ever make. A real estate lawyer is an expert who can help you with the following 8 key steps. 


Feel free to share this short video courtesy of LawPro.  To learn how, see this tip sheet.

What do Canadian homeowners know about title insurance?

LawPRO asked Canadians what they know about title insurance. The answers might surprise you. A real estate lawyer can help you find the title insurance that is right for you. 

Why every homeowner needs title insurance

Sometimes, there are problems with title to a property that aren’t obvious when you buy the house. Title insurance can help fix the problem or pay for a loss. A real estate lawyer can help you choose insurance that's right for you. 

Cottage Ownership: Know what you’re buying

There are few traditions more Canadian than weekends at the cottage. To ensure that your time at the cottage is filled with relaxation instead of drama, consult a lawyer before you buy to protect yourself from unexpected problems.