WHAT’S NEW & WONDERFUL IN THE PRACTICE OF REAL ESTATE LAW!

A lot has been happening in the Real Estate business the last year.

I haven’t posted anything on the Blog for a while as the information and emails have been fast and furious.

In any event, if you practice in the Real Estate, you need to know the following:

TERAVIEW 9.0 IS BEING RETIRED IN REGION A

Teraview 9.0 is being retired on Monday, February 19, 2018 and after this date you can only access Teraview via the Web. If you haven’t obtained your RSA credentials and Token for the new system yet and you want register in these Registry Offices – you need to do so now.

LRO 2 – Brantford (Brant) LRO 20 – Milton (Halton) LRO 41 – Woodstock (Oxford)

LRO 3 – Walkerton (Bruce) LRO 22 – Goderich (Huron) LRO 44 – Stratford (Perth)

LRO 7 – Orangeville (Dufferin) LRO 24 – Chatham (Kent) LRO 58 – Kitchener (Waterloo)

LRO 11 – St. Thomas (Elgin) LRO 25 – Sarnia (Lampton) LRO 59 – St. Catherines

LRO 12 – Windsor (Essex) LRO 33 – London (Middlesex) LRO 61 – Guelph (Wellington)

LRO 16 – Owen Sound (Grey) LRO 37 – Simcoe (Norfolk) LRO 62 – Hamilton (Wentworth)

LRO 18 – Cayuga (Haldiman)

You might also want to confirm that other lawyers with whom you will be closing transactions have also upgraded to Teraview on the Web so as to avoid any closing issues.

LAND TRANSFER TAX STATEMENTS

We have been advised that the Ministry of Finance is prosecuting lawyers for false statements contained in Land Transfer Tax statements (relating to the first time homebuyer rebate, as far as we know). Pursuant to section 6 of the Land Transfer Tax Act (LTTA), it is an offence to make, participate in, assent to or acquiesce in the making of a false or deceptive statement, affidavit, return or other document prepared, submitted or filed under the LTTA. Apparently, one such lawyer has inquired of FOLA to inquire as to whether others are being investigated and/or prosecuted in an attempt to determine the extent of such actions and to possibly put those lawyers in contact with one another. If you have been or are the subject of an investigation or prosecution under the LTTA, please let me know (and confirm whether or not you wish to be connected with others).

Lastly,

TERAVIEW 9.0

Are you having problems with Teraview 9.0? If so please email Jennifer Connell at Teraview with your concerns. Her email address is: Jennifer.Connell@teranet.ca

They want to hear from Users so they can address issues you or your staff have.

I have advised her that I thought there could be changes made to the program which would “streamline” it and make it more user friendly when gaining “access” and then trying to sign for registration. They are looking into it.

BUT, if you don’t tell them you concerns or issues they can’t fix them.

LTT To Go Up

Tax Freeze on Multi unit Residential Buildings proposed

accountant-accounting-adviser-advisor-159804

The following is reproduced with the kind permission of Federation of Ontario Law Associations:

Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced a few changes to the Land Transfer Tax regime in Ontario and as real estate practitioners in Ontario, you and your colleagues should know. 

In summary, the changes are:

1. Double the maximum Land Transfer Tax (LTT) refund to $4,000 for eligible first-time homebuyers, as of January 1, 2017.

  • With the increased maximum, no LTT would be payable by qualifying purchasers on the first $368,000 of the cost of a first home.
  • With the doubled refund, more than half of first-time homebuyers in Ontario would pay no LTT on the purchase of their first home.

2.  As of January 1, 2017, the government is proposing to increase LTT rates on the portion of the value of consideration:

  • Above $2 million, for transfers of one or two single-family residences, such as detached and semi-detached homes, townhomes and condominiums, to 2.5 per cent from two per cent.
  • Above $400,000, for all other types of property, such as commercial, industrial, multi-residential and agricultural properties, to two per cent from 1.5 per cent.

3.  Additional information regarding purchasers will be required to be submitted, including the intended use of the property (principal residence or rental) and residency/citizenship status.

In addition there will be a freeze on property taxes on apartment buildings while the government reviews how the high property tax burden on these buildings affects rental market affordability. The average municipal property tax burden on apartment buildings is more than double that for other residential properties such as condominiums.

 

LAWPRO Reduces Fees by more than 10%

LAWPRO base premium decreased to $2,950

PLUS strategies to promote access to justice

Toronto, ON, September 22, 2016 –LAWPRO is pleased to announce that Convocation of the Law Society of Upper Canada approved its 2017 insurance program for the Ontario Bar.

After careful analysis of claims history, capital accumulation, and the need to continue to operate the company in a commercially reasonable manner, the 2017 base premium was reduced from $3,350 to $2,950.

“LAWPRO offers an affordable and effective insurance program that is sensitive to the needs of a changing bar. Our commitment is to refine the insurance policy and terms to take into account developments in the profession we serve and the needs of lawyers’ clients,” said LAWPRO CEO, Kathleen Waters.

The 2017 LAWPRO insurance program also includes the following updates:

  • To promote access to justice and to address the lower demonstrated risk of certain government employed lawyers, there is a new 75% premium adjustment available for those employed by specific Designated Agencies. These Designated Agencies will typically assist those who would otherwise have challenges in accessing legal advice, and thus advance access to justice. Civil litigation transaction levy payments are not needed for the services provided in the course of the lawyer’s employment with a Designated Agency.
  • The 2017 primary insurance policy has also been amended to better address coverage for seconded lawyers and to extend the $250,000 defence-only coverage to the benefit of the seconded lawyer if the “employer exclusion” of the Policy applies.

For details on the LAWPRO 2017 insurance program, see LAWPRO Magazine Insurance Issue.

About LAWPRO

LAWPRO is owned by the Law Society of Upper Canada and is licensed to provide professional liability insurance in Ontario and title insurance in numerous jurisdictions across Canada. Through its malpractice insurance program, LAWPRO insures over 25,500 practising lawyers in Ontario, as well as providing them with risk and practice management information under the practicePRO® banner. LAWPRO’s TitlePLUS® title insurance program is available to Canadian lawyers and Quebec notaries to better meet their clients’ needs for professional legal advice and superior protection for their real estate transactions.

Contact:
Naomi Dummett, Director of Communications
Naomi.dummett@lawpro.ca
416-596-4652

® Registered trademark of Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company

New Treasurer Elected

Paul Schabas, of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto, is the new Treasurer.

Paul Schabas

Mr. Schabas was elected Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada, on a third ballot at Convocation’s June meeting. He has served for two previous terms as a Bencher and has been very active in many Committees.

Mr. Schabas beat out the other candidates Howard Goldblatt, Raj Anand, and Susan McGrath   It took three ballots, with Mr. Schabas defeating Mr. Goldblatt by a vote of 38-21. Mr. Schabas is a partner and trial and appellate lawyer He is also adjunct professor at the University of Toronto.

I am hoping to interview him in the near future and publish the interview in this blog.

Have any questions???? Please send them to me and I will do my best to see if I can get answers.

Ontario Land Registry Office Closings and Consolidations

As we all know, the government has taken numerous steps to automate the land registry system. Our jobs have become much easier in terms of searching titles and closings. In an effort to cut costs and redundancy, the government has announced the closing of several land registry offices.

Below is a Q&A document which includes a list of offices scheduled to close and their closing dates. This document should also answer many questions you may have. Please feel free to call or email the appropriate government offices if you have further questions.

Land Registry Stakeholder Q and A

I will try to pass on you comments (as long as they are civil) to Service Ontario as well.