Real Estate Lawyers in Toronto, Ontario
Buying a Real Estate Property in Toronto Downtown
Selling a Real Estate Property in Toronto Downtown
Refinancing a Real Estate Property in Toronto Downtown
About Toronto Downtown
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Sure, provided your condominium corporation’s bylaws, rules, or regulations allow it. The right to make changes to exclusive use common elements like balconies, steps, or yards is included in section 98 (2) of the Ontario Condominium Act, 1998.
You must satisfy your corporation board the changes won’t:
- adversely affect other owners’ units
- incur costs for the corporation
- detract from the appearance of buildings or affect their structural integrity
- contravene the corporation’s declaration “or any prescribed requirements”.
Before you begin your landscaping project, talk to the building’s property manager or email the condominium corporation. That way you won’t be forced to remove your handiwork or pay a fine if the corporation disagrees with your interpretation of section 98 (2).
Changing jobs during a mortgage renewal is tricky. Lenders want proof your new job is stable, and that means making it through the probationary period, or being confirmed in your position.
A promotion in the same company may be seen as low risk, but moving employers can put the brakes on your renewal. A new position that’s commission based or tied to performance targets, or moving from employee to manager can equally cause a lender to hesitate.
Renewing your mortgage early (120 to 180 days before it’s due to expire) could give you some reassurance, but remember your lender can demand repayment at any time. Whatever you do, be honest about your situation. Not admitting to changes that could affect your financial circumstances is potential mortgage fraud, and could cost you your mortgage.
If renewal is uncertain, you can always ask a mortgage broker to locate a new lender who may be more risk tolerant. Private lenders tie their decision to the equity in your property, not your immediate income or job prospects. Switching lenders could give you the time you need to get established in your new position, and look for longer-term mortgage financing.
Only if it is zoned residential or live/work.
For purely logical reasons, insurance policies typically don’t permit you to live in a commercial strata unit you lease or buy. Besides obvious concerns, like who’s liable if a fire breaks out, purchasers are bound by municipal bylaws. While living where you work may sound genius to you (save on rent and commutes!), bylaws exist for more practical reasons.
- Are hazardous materials stored on site?
- Does the fire department have to wait for security to unlock the gates?
- Is the building insulated for cold or damp weather? Could you get sick or freeze because of it?
- Do doors and windows open inward? Could you get out easily if they were blocked from outside?
- Is it sanitary, with hot water for cleaning and showering?
A commercial warehouse can be a cold, barren place at night, isolated from neighbours, and a long way from emergency aid. Even in a downtown office tower, you could be surprised to find centrally controlled HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems switch on and off throughout the night. Turning up the heat (if you can) will be noticed by building management. Your vehicle in the parkade is a dead giveaway.
The City of Toronto ruled out using condos strictly for short-term rentals in 2019. Homeowners have to register, remain onsite, and pay a 4% MAT (municipal accommodation tax). That said, Airbnb rules in the Greater Toronto Area vary by municipality and building. Start by checking your condominium corporation bylaws, rules, and regulations. Your corporation may deny or restrict short-term rentals.
Now that you know the rules, what happens if you make an offer on a condo building before you realize it has a reputation for being a “ghost hotel” or party hang-out? Given how popular Airbnbs have become, you need to seriously investigate before you buy.
As part of the “subject-to” conditions in your offer to purchase, your realtor can give you a contact to request a mandatory status certificate from the condominium corporation. Checking a year or two of corporation minutes for complaints from current owners could give you the information you need to decide if you want to proceed with your offer.
Axess Law Downtown Toronto advises on your buyer’s right to cancel by reviewing your agreement of purchase and sale. Protect your legal rights if your worst fears are confirmed by talking to us before or after you make an offer.
How you respond to market conditions depends on the timing. Selling a home for less than the outstanding mortgage amount makes you liable for any shortfall. Legally speaking, you could be forced to forfeit your home if the lender forecloses, or pursues their right to sell (called power of sale).
Consequently, now is not the time to switch lenders if you can avoid it, or make hasty decisions. You could keep the mortgage paid on schedule, and hope prices recover. When your mortgage term comes due, your lender may simply have you sign the paperwork to renew on the understanding home prices fluctuate.
If the gap catches up with you, consider your options:
- A loan from family can help if you’re asked to make up the difference.
- Taking a leap of faith by borrowing on a credit card or credit line could keep you afloat long enough for home prices to make an uptick.
- Selling would leave you with a shortfall. Renting for less or relocating could allow you to pay that off with other savings, then rebuild your investments.
That’s the time allowed under the Ontario Mortgages Act to make up missed payments when you receive a notice of sale under mortgage from your lender. Lenders can issue a notice of sale within 15 days of a single missed mortgage payment.
The Mortgages Act gives you 35 days (40 for legally married couples) to redeem your mortgage by bringing it into good standing or paying it off in full, including your lender’s legal fees. Failure to do what the lender requests results in a statement of claim filed in court, and a legal order to evict you and repossess your home.