A Condo Building is a combination of many Single Family residences.
NOT a hotel or Bed and Breakfast. It is not a Bnb
NOT a hotel or Bed and Breakfast. It is not a Bnb
The Criminal Code continues to forbid nudity without a lawful excuse on public property or on private property that is exposed to public view. Historically, municipalities have relied on this clause to prohibit female toplessness. Over the past few decades however Ontarians have successfully contested such rules on the basis of discrimination, since such prohibition only applies to females.
Perhaps the most famous case is the 1996 Jacob’s case, which once and for all, ruled that women in Ontario have the right to bear their breast in public. In this case, a Guelph woman was charged with committing an indecent act. The Court of Appeal applied the community standard of tolerance test and concluded that the act was not done for sexual gratification and did not harm the community. From this point forward, female public toplessness was understood to be authorized in Ontario.
Since the Jacob’s case, a number of Ontario municipal policies have been successfully challenged or modified on the basis of this precedent. In 1997, the city of Cambridge eliminated its toplessness policy after two women were charged with trespassing for swimming topless in protest of the city’s ban. In 2015, the city of Guelph changed its policy after an eight-year-old girl was told by city staff to cover up while she was in a wading pool wearing only a swim bottom. In 2015, there was a similar challenge out of Kitchener, after three sisters were asked to put their shirt back on while riding bikes.
Condominium corporations cannot, in my view, adopt a policy or a rule which is discriminatory. Any dress code would need to be reasonable, grounded in a bona fide requirement and equally applied to all.What do you think is fair?
For instance, a rule prohibiting fully-dressed swimming may be found to be reasonable on the basis that fully-clothed swimming may not be hygienic and may actually present a safety risk. But such dress code restriction would have to be applied to all, without discrimination of age or gender. You could also demand that pool users wear a swim cap.
On the other end of the spectrum, while swimmers cannot commit an indecent act or swim in the nude, both male and female are likely allowed to swim topless at the condo pool. While some may find this conclusion to go against their values or the social norm in Canada, courts have already rejected the argument that female breasts are somehow the object of sexual attraction and desire more than the male chest. In the Brantford case, her Honour concluded that “the manner in which the human torso, whether male or female, is perceived from a sexual standpoint is not gender specific. It is entirely dependant on the individuals involved at the relevant time”. … indeed, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. http://condoadviser.ca/2017/08/condo-pool-dress-code-the-debate-over-whats-too-much-and-whats-not-enough/condo-law-blog-Ontario
The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) was recently amended by the Rental Fairness Act, 2017 to address loopholes or abuses by some “small” landlords under the current RTA. Most of the amendments will take effect on proclamation by Ontario's lieutenant-governor within the next few months. Lawyers who advise small landlords on the operation, purchase or sale of small residential rental properties should ensure their clients are aware of the legislative changes.
Owners of rental units who want to increase the value of their property will seek to raise rental income, as that will greatly enhance the value of the building for sale or financing purposes. However, the RTA prohibits substantial rent increases and termination of tenancies to allow re-rental of apartments at higher rents.
A strategy engaged in by some owners and vendors of small rental properties, including individually rented condominium units, has been to seek termination of tenancy on the grounds that the landlord intends to reside in the rental unit, thereby freeing the unit from rent control so that it can be re-rented at a higher market rent. Other landlords have used the strategy to simply get rid of an unwanted tenant.
The RTA permits termination for “landlord’s own use,” as long as it is a bona fide request and the tenancy itself is not subject to a fixed term. It is the lack of bona fides by some landlords in deploying these strategies that has prompted the legislative amendments. The RTA amendment (to s. 48) states that a minimum of one year’s residential occupancy is required for a landlord (or member of a landlord’s family) who seeks to terminate a tenancy based on use by the landlord or member of the landlord’s family; furthermore, the landlord must pay the vacating tenant compensation of one month's rent.
If, within one year of the tenant vacating the unit, the landlord advertises the unit for rent; advertises the rental unit or the building it is in for sale; enters into a lease with someone other than the former tenant; demolishes the rental unit or the building it is in; or takes any step to convert the use of the rental building or unit it is in, it will be presumed that the landlord gave the notice in bad faith, thus exposing the landlord to fines of up to $50,000 and a payment of compensation to the tenant who vacated. The amendment also prohibits a corporate landlord from giving a “landlord’s own use” notice of termination.
The RTA amendment (to s. 47) requires a landlord to use a written “prescribed” form of lease that must be signed by the landlord and the tenant. Failure to use the prescribed lease and provide a copy of the signed lease to the tenant will entitle the tenant to demand a copy of same within 21 days, failing which the tenant is entitled to withhold a maximum of one month's rent until such time as the prescribed form of lease is provided and presented for signature.
If the landlord fails to provide the prescribed lease within 30 days of the tenant withholding a month's rent, the tenant is not required to repay the sum to the landlord. Upon presentation of the prescribed lease following the demand, it is open to the tenant to reject the lease, regardless of its proposed term, and to give 60 days' notice to terminate the tenancy prior to the end of a rental period.
Another RTA amendment (to s. 134) prohibits a landlord from collecting or attempting to collect from a former tenant of a rental unit any amount of money "purporting to be rent" with respect to any period after the tenancy has terminated and the tenant has vacated the rental unit. In situations where a tenant wishes to “break” a fixed-term lease, a usual tactic is deliberate non-payment of rent or to hold a "lease-breaking party," in order to receive an eviction notice from the landlord. The eviction notice requires the tenant to vacate the unit within a matter of weeks, and if the tenant does so, the tenancy is terminated.
Prior to the RTA amendments, it was common for landlords to demand or formally claim any lost rent pending re-rental of the unit as “damages” for the tenant’s deliberate breach of contract. Now, such a claim is prohibited, and where a landlord makes demand for same, the landlord is also exposed to substantial fines.
The amendments referred to above are three components of the full range of amendments found in the Rental Fairness Act, 2017. However, they are changes that can directly affect the operations of small landlords in particular. The amendments to ss. 47 and 48 are not yet in force, but the s. 134 amendment is currently in force and will affect demands for recovery of damages made after May 30, 2017, or those outstanding in any proceeding after that date.
Joe Hoffer is a partner with Cohen Highley LLP who specializes in residential tenancies law. https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/4204/advising-landlords-on-traps-in-ontario-s-new-rental-fairness-act
Rent Control Changes to the Residential Tenancies ActOntario has passed the Rental Fairness Act, 2017 which modifies the Residential Tenancies Act. Rent control now applies to all private rental units, including those first occupied on or after November 1, 1991. Any notices of rent increase given for these units on or after April 20, 2017, must be capped at the rent increase guideline. Notices given before April 20, 2017 are not affected by the changes.
Our buyer cannot sell their existing home, now what?
Your buyer cannot sell their existing home, now what?
By Mark Weisleder
I am now being consulted by buyers who have purchased homes without any conditions and cannot sell their existing homes. This could be as a result of the recent government housing policy announcements, increased number of listings, uncertain lending conditions and fewer bidding wars. As such, you need to understand all the issues and consequences to provide timely advice and do what is necessary to protect your clients and your deals. Here are 5 things to understand:
1. What if the buyer cannot close?If the buyer cannot close, they will likely forfeit their deposit and be subject to a lawsuit from the seller, for the difference in the sale price if the seller now sells the property for a lower price than the buyer agreed to pay.
2. What are some options available to the buyer?One option is to approach the seller and request an extension of their own purchase agreement, so that they have more time to sell their existing home without panicking. Another option is to sell or assign their agreement to a third party buyer, to have another buyer take over their agreement, pay them back their deposit, and close directly with the seller.
3. Do you need the seller permission to assign this agreement to another buyer?Under the terms of the OREA re-sale agreement, no permission is required. However, it is best to be up front and work with the seller for a number of reasons. The seller salesperson could have a list of buyers who have already seen the property who may be willing to take over this deal. In addition, any new buyer would want to see the home and since your client does not yet own it, they have no right to show the home. By obtaining the assistance of the seller, you can show the home and hopefully arrange for a new potential buyer to take over.
4. Who will pay the real estate commission?The real estate commission will still have to be paid on both transactions. Therefore, the original buyer will likely have to sell for more than they paid, just to break even. In my experience, this should be made clear when trying to arrange this with the original seller, that the buyer will not be making any profit on this re-sale, and is just looking for someone to take over their purchase obligation.
5. Who pays land transfer tax?Land Transfer tax will only be paid once in this scenario, by the new buyer who finally closes the transaction with the seller.
In my experience, it is best to deal with all these issues early in the process, by being up-front and honest with your seller and finding a solution that works for everyone. By working together, you can likely reduce the potential losses on all sides and in most cases, complete the transaction to the satisfaction of everyone.
At our firm, we not only close real estate deals all over Ontario, we also provide timely advice on how to deal with any closing issue you or your clients may face.If you have any questions about any closing issue, do not hesitate to contact me toll free at 1-888-876-5529 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
5 Things to know about the New Ontario 15% Non- Resident Speculation Tax
Although the Province has just announced the 15% Non-Resident Speculation tax, there are already more questions than answers. Here is what you need to know.
1. The tax is for non-residents of Canada buying 1-6 residential units in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario.This tax is in addition to any Land Transfer Tax payable. It applies only on 1-6 units of residential property purchased by a Non-resident of Canada in the Golden Horseshoe Region of Ontario, including Toronto, Niagara, Hamilton, Peterborough, Simcoe, Waterloo and York. It thus does NOT apply to any apartment building with at least 7 residential units, or any commercial property, industrial property or vacant land.
2. What if you are a Canadian citizen but also a non-resident?If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not pay the tax. Even if you are a non-resident, living in the US, Great Britain or Hong Kong, as long as you are a Canadian citizen, you will not pay this tax.
3. What if there are 3 buyers buying a property that cost $500,000.00, each owning a third of the property, with 2 owners being Canadian citizens and one being a non-resident?Here it becomes very problematic. Even if the non-resident will own only one third of the property, they must pay 15% on the entire purchase price of $500,000.00, or $75,000.00
4. Lenders ask for parents to sometimes co-sign a mortgage for their children buying a home and take a small percentage of title, even 1%, to do so. What happens if the children are permanent residents of Canada but the parent is a non-resident?This is a disaster, because under the new rules, even if the parent was holding the 1% title in trust for the children, they must pay 15% of the tax on the ENTIRE purchase price. Mortgage brokers, lenders and realtors must be aware of this when qualifying potential buyers. In this regard, lenders will have to start giving serious consideration to accepting a guarantee instead from the non-resident parents, to avoid the non-resident parents having to take any interest in the property, triggering this tax. The issue, however, is that if the children do not qualify based on their income, the parent may have to go on title to satisfy the lender requirements. In addition, the guarantee will likely require the parents to obtain independent legal advice , and permit them to raise more defences if the bank tries to enforce it. As you can see, this is not easy, and this must be determined before anyone in this situation puts in an offer to buy a home.
5. RebatesEven if the tax is paid, rebates will be available if the non-resident becomes a resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen within 4 years of closing, or if the non-resident is a foreign student who has been enrolled as a full-time student at an approved Ontario institution for at least 2 years after closing, or the foreign national has worked at a full-time Ontario job for at least one year after closing.
At our firm, we close real estate deals all over Ontario including the Golden horseshoe area. With our mobile signing service we can come to you at the time and location of your choice to sign your closing documentation.
f you have any questions about the 15% non-resident speculation tax, do not hesitate to contact me toll free at 1-888-876-5529 or at email@example.com
Mark Weisleder is a Partner, author and speaker at the law firm Real Estate Lawyers.ca LLP. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 1-888-876-5529