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Real Estate Subcommittee

Real Estate Subcommittee Mandate 

The Hamilton Law Association's Real Estate Subcommittee exists to advise on matters pertaining to Real Estate that are relevant to the HLA Board or Committees, and Hamilton area Real Estate lawyers.  The subcommittee meets six times per year on Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. at the John Sopinka Court House in the 5th Floor Boardroom.  Those interested in joining the committee are invited to contact the Chair.

2019-2020 Subcommittee Members:

Looking for an opinion or guidance on a real estate matter?  The following members of the HLA Real Estate Subcommittee are available by phone or email:    

Li Cheng, Li Cheng Professional Corporation 289-639-8080
Maria DurdanSimpsonWigle Law LLP 905-528-8411
David A. Elliot, Agro Zaffiro LLP 905-527-6877 
Mark R. Giavedoni, (Chair) Gowling WLG 905-523-5666 
 Samantha GrilliHarbour Legal  905-526-4250
Brian HurrenInch Hammond Professional Corporation 905-525-4481
Thomas Lazier, Ross & McBride LLP 905-526-9800 
W Patric Mackesy, Mackesy Smye LLP 905-525-2341 
Gregory Mallia, Regency Law Group 905-383-0500
John P. Millar, Millar, Alexander 905-528-1186 
Bilal Mirza, SimpsonWigle LAW LLP 905-528-8411
Catherine Roberts, Roberts Law 905-627-3500 x1
Bruno Uggenti, Campbell Mihailovich Uggenti LLP 905-318-7717

To speak to an HLA staff person regarding the Real Estate Subcommittee, please contact:
Wendy Spearing, Manager of Finance
tel: 905-522-1563, email: wspearing@hamiltonlaw.on.ca

JUNE 4 | Real Estate Update

Jun 04, 2020

Remote Commissioning

Bill 190, COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020 passed first, second and third reading and received Royal Assent on May 12, 2020.  Schedule 4 includes amendments to the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act to permit remote commissioning, subject to regulations made under the Act. 

The regulations are currently being drafted and the FOLA Real Estate Co-Chairs will be participating in stakeholder consultations with the Ministry of the Attorney General on June 10, 2020. 

Authorization for Virtual Meeting

Many lawyers are now meeting with clients remotely. To ensure that clients understand and consent to the risks associated with virtual meetings, FOLA recommends obtaining written consent from clients to video communications. A sample Authorization for Virtual Meeting can be found here.

Tarion Information Sessions for Lawyers

Tarion will be hosting two webinars for real estate lawyers next week, aimed at sharing information about how the provincial orders related to COVID-19 are impacting the new home warranty. 

Real Estate Lawyer Webinar: Impacts of COVID-19 on the new home warranty.

Thursday June 11, 2020 11:00am - 12:30pm

This webinar is ideal for lawyers who provide services to both new home vendors/builders and new home buyers. During this session, Tarion representatives will discuss:

  • The emergency order that suspends all statutory timelines related to the warranty
  • How Tarion is handing form submissions, repairs and inspections during this time
  • Tarion’s advice for buyers on how to conduct the PDI safely in consideration of social distancing
  • Potential delays that new home purchasers may be facing

At the end of the short presentation, there will be time for a question and answer session

You can register here.

Real Estate Lawyer Webinar: Understanding the Unavoidable Delay Process

Thursday June 11, 2020 2:00 – 3:30pm.

This webinar may be of interest to lawyers who represent new home vendors/builders.  During this session, members of Tarion’s legal team will outline the steps that need to be taken for new home vendors/builders to use the unavoidable delay provisions of the addendum to gain relief from delays stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.  A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

You can register here.

Digital signatures

Many lawyers are asking about the use of digitally signed documents.  Some lawyers love them and want to use them exclusively during this pandemic and others will not accept documents signed digitally. Some lawyers also differentiate between documents signed digitally using platforms like Docusign and documents signed on a tablet in the party’s own handwriting.

The Law Society confirms that this is a substantive legal issue to be determined by the lawyer. (see the LSO FAQ on this topic here.)

FOLA is also not taking a position for or against the use of digital signatures, but cautions lawyers to confirm that documents signed in such a manner will be acceptable to the recipient(s) before using digital signing platforms for closing documents.  Will the lenders, the other lawyer, CRA, etc. accept the document signed in this manner?

Communication is essential to prevent issues on closing.

Zombie Deeds

A “Zombie Deed” is a transfer that is registered after an owner dies – not by the Estate Trustee, but purportedly by the owner themself.  These situations arise when an A&D for the Transfer is signed by the owner, but before the Transfer is registered, the owner dies.

The Director of Titles has spoken out against “Zombie Deeds” in the past and the Courts have recently rendered a decision confirming that such transfers are improper.  See the latest A Lot from the DOT here.

If and when we receive further information of interest to the real estate bar, we will pass it along. 

Stay up to date with FOLA’s real estate information at https://fola.ca/real-estate-law.

HLA Real Estate Events

The Real Estate Subcommittee welcomes suggestions and ideas for future seminar topics.  Please contact the Subcommittee Chair as noted above.


Best Practices

Standardized Real Estate Documents 

At the 2017 May Plenary of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations, the below standardized real estate closing documents were endorsed by all 46 County Law Associations in the Province of Ontario, including The Hamilton Law Association. We encourage the use of these documents on residential real estate transactions created pursuant to an OREA standard form of contract. The rationale document supporting the use of these documents can be found at www.lawyersworkinggroup.com and the use of standardized documents for these transactions has been strongly encouraged by LawPRO and the current Director of Titles.

Non-Resident Speculation Tax

New Housing Rebate Forms

Canadian Bankers Association

Other Resources & Practice Aids