This letter is to confirm that we will be acting on your behalf with respect to your legal transaction. We will be managing all enquiries and preparing documentation in relation to your transaction. Please contact my office at any time if you have any questions regarding the transaction proceeds. There are some issues mentioned below that should be discussed (in person or by telephone). Someone from my office will contact you to arrange such a meeting closer to when this date approaches.
FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS
My legal fees for completing your transaction are ($1000 refinance), plus HST, and all applicable disbursements and taxes. If you are securing a mortgage from RBC, TD, CIBC, BMO, or Scotia our standard charge for mortgage is $200.00. If you are securing a mortgage from a B Lender or 3rd party Lender our standard charge is $300.00 All other disbursement are on top of the fee and mortgage charge describe above. Above said fee is for the standard real estate transaction. Private loans have different fees, and you must contact us to inquire as to the fee. There may be unforeseen issues and/or difficulties that arise in a Real Estate transaction as a result of matters beyond my control; if this occurs, our firm will contact you to discuss. At that time, any services provided beyond the standard transaction would be based on my hourly rate of $350. In addition to these fees, you are required to pay on closing Land Transfer Tax (LTT) to the Province of Ontario. If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for the first-time homebuyer rebate. Please contact my office to determine whether you qualify.
Before the closing date, you must provide me with sufficient funds by money order, certified cheque, bank draft, money order, e-transfer or cash. These funds include the amount owing to the vendors plus legal fees, disbursements and adjustments for extra expenses and taxes as outlined above. We will advise you of the total funds required prior to closing.
You must know the manner in which you wish to take title to your new property. You must provide me with the legal name or names you want on the Transfer (initials cannot be used), as well as the dates of birth for each. There are several options as to how title to the property may be recorded. Where more than one person’s name is to be recorded on title, choices include “Joint Tenancy” and “Tenancy-in-Common”. If you choose joint tenancy, in the event of the death of one of the joint tenants, the survivor(s) will own the entire property by right of survivorship. For a married or partnered couple this is the most convenient way to deal with a house when one of the spouses or partners dies. If you choose tenancy-in-common, then upon the death of one co-owner, that person’s interest will pass to his or her beneficiary under his or her will or in accordance with intestacy legislation if there is no will.
If you are obtaining mortgage financing, and have not done so already, please inform me as to whom you will be receiving the mortgage from. Please ensure that you finalize your financing with your lender as soon as possible before the closing date to ensure I receive mortgage instructions in a timely fashion. Please advise me so we can inform you as soon as possible. Please note, we may charge a premium if we receive the lender mortgage instructions less than 48 hours before the closing date.
*****Please let our office know in advance if you are refinancing (bringing balance to
complete the down Payment) another property to complete the purchase and if we are
completing the refinance at the same time as purchase.
INSURING TITLE TO YOUR PROPERTY
Lawyers acting for purchasers in Ontario are required as past of their responsibilities to advise their clients as to their options with respect to insuring the title to their property. You may opt for a lawyer’s opinion on title or you may choose to purchase a title insurance policy from one of the various title insurance companies operating in Ontario.
If you opt for a lawyer’s opinion on a title, after your transaction has been completed, you will receive from us an opinion as to whether you have good and marketable title to your property. Our opinion will be based on the title and off title inquiries that we make on your behalf and the availability of an up to date survey showing the location of the buildings and boundaries. Our opinion of the course will be subject to the accuracy of the information that we are provided with from the various governmental offices, and the currency and accuracy of any survey provided to us (which we have already discussed above for review. Unlike a title insurance policy, which is discussed below, we cannot provide you with any opinion or protection from losses with respect to title fraud.
Your other option is to purchase a title insurance policy. In that case, we do not provide you with a lawyer’s opinion on title; instead we give our opinion to the title insurer who in turn issues a policy to you. A policy of title insurance will insure you against losses resulting from the various covered matters in the policy including the matters that we would otherwise be giving an opinion to you such as (i) your title being defective or unmarketable because of someone else owning an interest in your title, (ii) outstanding liens, work orders or encumbrances, and (iii) realty tax arrears. There is also coverage for many survey related matters, including encroachments (other than fences and boundary walls) and violations of municipal set back requirements. With certain exceptions, such as for post policy date title fraud, coverage for losses applies to the extent that these matters exist as of the policy date (being the date your transfer is registered) but that are unknown to you at that time.
In addition, the benefits of a title insurance policy include:
- acceptance by most lenders of a title insurance policy in lieu of an up to date survey (which is often required by a lender), therefore, saving you the cost of obtaining a new survey should you not require one for yourself;
- coverage for loss or damage arising from many forms of title fraud;
- a no fault claims process such that you do not have to demonstrate negligence in order to make a claim; and
- coverage for legal fees related to defending your interest in title for matters covered under the policy
As with all insurance products, title insurance does not cover defects which you are aware of prior to the closing of the transaction (such as adverse circumstances disclosed in a home inspection report or seller property information statement) or which you may have agreed to in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. All policies are subject to exclusions and exceptions, including, but not necessarily limited to environmental matters and native land claims.
In the event that title insurance is obtained, there are a number of off title searches that we will not be performing as most losses related thereto that exist as of the closing date, but are unknown to you at that time, are covered in your title insurance policy. You will save the disbursement costs related to these off title searches. However in certain circumstances, such as where the size of the property is important, or if you are planning on adding onto an existing structure, or changes to the use of the property are contemplated, we recommend that certain off title searches be done even if title insurance is being purchased. If this is the case, please advise our office as as soon as possible.
We are recommending that your transaction be completed by the way of title insurance, and in the event that our firm does not hear from you to the contrary, we will be ordering a policy from First Canadian Title for closing. You will sign an Acknowledgment confirming the manner in which you have chosen to insure you title and confirming our right to disclose relevant information to the title insurer, in relation to your transaction, for the purposes of the obtaining a title insurance policy.
Should you wish to discuss in further detail you options in this regard (including the option to purchase title insurance from another company) or if you wish to receive a sample title insurance policy, please contact us as soon as possible, as your decision will affect the manner in which we proceed with your transaction
NEW HOME PRE DELIVERY INSPECTION – ONLY APPLICABLE IF NEW BUILD FROM CONDO
As part of Tarion’s New Home Warranty Program, each new home purchaser must meet with the builders representative before the closing to perform a pre-delivery inspection and to complete a Certificate of Completion and Possession. During the pre-delivery inspection, you should identify any damaged, incomplete or missing items as well as anything which is nit operating properly. You should ensure that your builders representative records these conditions on the pre-delivery inspection form to verify that they were in existence prior to your possession of the property. if you cannot assess something because it has not yet been installed or completed, the matter should also be noted on the pre delivery inspection form. We will need a copy of the signed Certificate of Completion and Possession in order to close the transaction.
SURVEY – ONLY APPLICABLE IF NOT A FREEHOLD HOME AND INCLUDED IN THE AGREEMENT OF PURCHASE AND SALE
If you have received a survey from the vendors, please provide me with a copy as soon as possible. If you are aware of any physical changes, additions or alterations to the building(s) on the property please let me know. The current survey of the property is necessary to enable me to comment on any changes, additions or alterations to the buildings. If you would like me to obtain an up-to-date survey for your property, please advise me as soon as possible to discuss the cost and any time constraints.
INTENDED USE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF PROPERTY
Please advise me as soon as possible if your plans for the property include uses other than owner- occupied residential (e.g. rental property) and/or if you plan on making any additions and/or substantial renovations. Moreover, please advise me as to whether the property is located on a waterfront, highway, ravine, escarpment or is subject to or near any hydro installations.
If your property is to be tenanted on closing or if your Agreement of Purchase and Sale provides for multi-unit use, you may be assuming prior obligations of the landlord to the tenants. Subject to the limitations in the agreement, purchasers usually protect themselves by relying on warranties from the vendors and acknowledgments from the tenants. If your agreement provides for such documentation, I will ensure that I obtain same from the vendors’ solicitor on closing. If your agreement does not so provide, I will not be making any further inquiries and you may want to consider making your own inquiries directly with the tenants in this regard.
It should be noted that neither a title insurance policy nor my opinion will cover fire retrofit issues (that is, the property, as it sits today, would pass an inspection by the Fire Marshall); the only way to obtain such an assurance would be to have the Fire Marshall inspect the premises some time prior to closing, or at least rely on the services of a qualified home inspector.
Please advise immediately if you would like me to pursue either of these avenues (additional
costs will apply). Furthermore, a title insurance policy does not cover legality of rents or lost
Prior to closing, it is imperative that you arrange for fire insurance to be placed on the property as of the closing date. If you are obtaining a mortgage, you should ensure that the fire insurance policy provides for “guaranteed replacement cost”, which is a requirement for most lenders. Your insurance agent will need to provide me with a Binder Letter or Certificate of Insurance showing that the insurance is in place. Please make the necessary arrangements for this as soon as possible
Prior to closing, please contact the appropriate utility company to advise of your closing, and to set up your account and request the meters to be read at the scheduled closing. I will contact the City on your behalf regarding the tax account to advise of the change in ownership.
I will meet with you shortly via Google Meets before your closing date to review your file and to have you sign documents. I will need to meet with each person whose name will appear on the Transfer. If any person whose name will appear on the Transfer will not be available at that time, please advise us as soon as possible as alternative arrangements may have to be made.
I will receive the lock box code to your property on closing, but it may also be convenient for you to arrange to obtain them from the vendors or your real estate agent directly. I am unable to release the lock box code to you until all the appropriate documents have been registered with the local Land Registry Office. I cannot guarantee when this will occur. While I assure you that I will do what I can to ensure the timely closing of your purchase transaction, it is not uncommon for the lock box code to not become available until close to 5:00 pm on your closing date. As such, please ensure that you make the appropriate moving arrangements to account for the delivery of your keys at that time of day.
When we meet, each person must bring two pieced of ID. One piece of ID must be Canadian/Federal or Provincial government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license. Unfortunately, health cards are not acceptable ID. Please advise me if you have any questions or concerns about what is sufficient ID.
We will not act for any other client on any specific matter on which we are acting for you unless we have your express agreement that we may do so. I reserve the right to represent other clients that may compete with you, provided such representation does not compromise our ability to represent you on matters for which you have retained us.
We would also have to withdraw our services if we learned of a conflict of interest that would make it unethical for us to continue to act for you. A conflict of interest occurs when what is best for one of our clients somehow is not best for or hurts another of our clients. If we have to withdraw our services for you because of a conflict of interest, you will only have to pay our disbursements and expenses up to the time we stopped acting for you.
While acting for you, we will gather information and documents which relate to your business and affairs. We shall keep the information and documents confidential, except where disclosure is required by law.
Unless we agree otherwise in writing, we will use electronic communications, (e.g. e-mail, voicemail, fax, web form) to communicate with you and others in relation to any matter. This carries certain risks. Please be advised that all email correspondences from me are secured and confidential. However, it is important that you take the steps to protect any communication received by me, and we assume no liability in this regard. If you would prefer or require that we not use electronic communications, please promptly advise, in writing, those working on your matters of this preference or requirement and how you wish to receive communications from us. If that is the case, we would be pleased to facilitate the requisite protocol and use other forms of communication.
ELECTRONIC CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE
The Law Boutique has taken reasonable precautions to ensure your confidentiality however Email transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be corrupted, lost, destroyed, or contain viruses. The Law Boutique therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of the message, which arise as a result of e- mail transmission.
TERMINATION OF RETAINER
BY YOU: You have the right to terminate our services to you upon written notice to us. If you do, you agree to pay our fees and expenses for our legal services up until the time we stop work. We will ask you to sign a court form which tells the court we are no longer your lawyers.
BY US: Subject to our obligations to you to maintain proper standards of professional conduct, we reserve the right to terminate our services to you for good reasons which include, but are not limited to:
(a) if you fail to cooperate with us in any reasonable request;
(b) if our continuing to act would be unethical or impractical;
(c) if our retainer has not been paid; or
(d) if you fail to pay our accounts when rendered.
If you terminate our services or we withdraw, you would only have to pay our fees and expenses up until the time we stopped acting for you.
In the event legal action is required to enforce any provision of this Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable lawyer’s fees and costs.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Pursuant to By-law 7.1 made under the Law Society Act, lawyers are required to verify the identity of their clients in the circumstances and in the manner they are set out.