Category: Commercial Real Estate

Mortgage Lenders and Brokers Take Note: Ontario Proposes Changes to Modernize Regulation of Provincial Mortgage Businesses

October 9, 2019

The Ministry of Finance recently released Protecting and Modernizing Ontario’s Mortgage Broker Industry, a report on the legislated five-year review of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (MBLAA) led by Attorney General of Ontario Doug Downey and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance Stan Cho. The review first launched in November 2018 with a view to improve…

Forever Means 40 Years: Court Limits Perpetual Restrictive Covenants in Ontario Real Estate

September 24, 2019

Restrictive covenants registered on title to real property in Ontario that are stated to survive indefinitely will no longer survive forever. In a recent precedent-setting decision, Andrews v. Rago (Andrews), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice stated that restrictive covenants registered on title to real property in Ontario stated to survive indefinitely are deemed to have expired 40 years after…

Quebec Tightens Restrictions on Construction and Other Projects in Flood-Prone Areas

July 18, 2019

In 2017 and 2019, Quebec was struck with severe spring flooding. In the Spring of 2019, floods affected more than 250 municipalities, damaged thousands of residences and forced the evacuation of over 13,500 people. Following these incidents, municipalities and the Quebec government were criticized for issuing construction permits in flood zones over the years. In response, the government has set…

Transparency is Coming: B.C. Passes Real Estate Beneficial Ownership Disclosure and Public Registry Law

May 28, 2019

On May 16, 2019, the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), one of the B.C. government’s signature pieces of legislation to address hidden ownership of real estate in B.C., became law. LOTA requires disclosure of individuals who hold, directly or indirectly, beneficial interests in land in B.C., including through corporate and partnership structures. It also creates a publicly searchable registry of…

B.C. Strengthens Protections for Heritage Sites, Introduces Mandatory Reporting Requirements

March 14, 2019

The British Columbia government recently introduced amendments to the Heritage Conservation Act (Act) to strengthen protections for heritage and archeological sites and objects in the province. Proposed amendments include a duty to report the discovery of a site or object that may have heritage value, which may impact both existing and planned property development and infrastructure projects. Failing to report…

There Must Be Some Mistake: Purchase Price Must Be in Numbers and Words…or Not

February 15, 2019

The recent decision of Intergulf Investment Corporation v. 0954704 B.C. Ltd. from the British Columbia Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) serves as a reminder to buyers and sellers of real estate, and their agents, to exercise care when drafting purchase and sale agreements. It should also help put to rest an outdated and unnecessary practice of writing the purchase…

What the New Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act Means for B.C. Real Estate

January 4, 2019

British Columbia’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act (Bill 45) (SVTA) recently received royal assent. As announced in the 2018 provincial budget, the SVTA introduces a tax on residential properties left vacant for six months or more within a calendar year (Speculation Tax). APPLICATION OF TAX The Speculation Tax applies on the basis of an owner’s interest in a residential property…

Ontario Seeks Input on Regulation of Provincial Mortgage Businesses

December 11, 2018

The Ontario Ministry of Finance is seeking input from the public and other stakeholders with respect to a legislative review of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (MBLAA). The review focuses on streamlining the MBLAA and reducing any unnecessary regulatory burden and costs. The review may also afford those in the mortgage industry the opportunity to seek to…

Real Estate Developers in B.C. Face New Reporting Requirements for Assignments of Pre-Sale Purchase Agreements

November 19, 2018

Effective January 1, 2019, developers marketing real estate development properties located in British Columbia will be subject to new information collection, reporting, and document retention requirements with respect to assignments of purchase agreements. Developers currently undertaking (or planning to undertake) a new development must ensure their purchase agreements comply with the new requirements. These changes follow the province’s passage of…

B.C. to Crack Down on Hidden Ownership of Real Estate with New Reporting Obligations

July 4, 2018

On June 20, 2018, the B.C. Ministry of Finance released a white paper on draft legislation that will require reporting on beneficial ownership of land in B.C. The draft legislation, titled the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), follows the government’s announcement in the 2018 budget that it intends to collect and make available information about beneficial ownership of land in…