Real Estate – Transfer of Title
Transfer title to Ontario real estate quickly and easily with Axess Law's low flat fee legal services. We're often asked how much does it cost to transfer property title? At Axess Law, you pay just $649 to transfer title of the property in Ontario. You can register one or more legal owners or transfer titles between family members for the same low fee.
Our experienced real estate team understands the ins and outs of land transfer tax, first-time home buyer rebates and land transfer rules for spouses, parents, children or any situation you encounter.
We prepare land transfer tax affidavits and ensure property is legally yours when you close real estate transactions. We work with you if liens or legal claims against a property title threaten to delay real estate purchases. Our experienced Greater Toronto Area real estate lawyers can advise you on finding property survey lines and what to do if neighbours encroach on deeded titles.
Property Title Transfer in Ontario
Title registration changes let you transfer ownership in a property, add someone to a property title or remove parties who no longer have property interests. Any time you change ownership in raw land, purchase a rental property in Ontario or add a spouse to a matrimonial home, title transfers are legally necessary.
You need a property title transfer when:
- marry, separate or divorce and own joint property
- add parents or children (one or more) to a property title
- buy a shared home with friends
- invest with partners in commercial property
- add or remove mortgage loan guarantors when you refinance a home
- a legally married spouse or common law partner dies and the home was held as joint tenants, leaving you with rights of survivorship as the legal property owner.
Why You Need a Title Transfer Lawyer
If title transfer is so simple, you may be thinking why do I need a lawyer to transfer land title? To prevent fraud and abuse, only licensed Ontario lawyers and certain registered officials can transfer property titles. Axess Law real estate conveyancers:
- confirm if liens or debts are registered against a property
- review encumbrances like hydro or municipal rights of way
- inform you of any restrictions on what can be done with property you are buying
- verify outstanding property taxes or utilities are paid before transfers take place
- prepare title transfer forms
- register title change documents and give you copies
- advise mortgage lenders of title changes
- or confirm title ownership with condo management firms if needed.
With limited exceptions, Ontario lawyers cannot legally act for both real estate buyers and sellers. We recommend real estate buyers hire independent lawyers to prevent conflicts of interest with property sellers or realtors.
Who Owns Leasehold Property
Leasehold titles are held by whoever owns the land or land interest. For condos or life leases, that may be investment groups, commercial property owners, non-profit organizations or charities. Crown land is owned by provincial or federal governments. You may own buildings or strata units or otherwise use the property during the leasehold term, but do not own title to the land.
Gifting Land Titles
You can gift title to a property to adult children or next-of-kin without consideration (money). You pay capital gains tax based on the property's fair market value. For principal residences, the family member you gift it to owes capital gains on the property's appreciation when they sell.
Transferring real property in inter vivos or living trusts allows you to keep legal ownership while watching others enjoy your gift while you are alive. Axess Law's Wills and estate lawyers can discuss setting up trusts with you.
Paying Land Transfer Taxes
Provincial tax is owed on all real estate purchases in Ontario. Some communities (like Toronto) charge additional municipal land transfer taxes for single family homes or duplexes. You'll pay between 0.5% and 2.5% depending on the type and assessed value of your land or land interests.
Certain transfers are exempt. Your Axess Law real estate attorney can advise if land transfer tax is due when you exchange property:
- between spouses, if done for "love and affection"
- held by family business corporations
- farmed by family members
- or that includes a life lease from a non-profit organization or charity.
Buying Title Insurance
Wondering if you need property title insurance? It's optional in Ontario, but highly recommended to prevent legal problems with property titles like:
- municipal zoning issues
- property survey disputes
- public record errors affecting your title
- construction work orders
- liens or legal claims, such as outstanding mortgages or condo fees
- lawyer errors
- or title fraud.
Title insurance compensates you or mortgage lenders if problems crop up after you purchase a home, business premises or raw land. Title insurance covers but some but not all the risks of buying property in Ontario, including preventing title frauds by identity thieves or fraudulent property transfers that leave you owing exorbitant mortgage amounts. Axess Law can advise you when title insurance is needed.
You can insure principal residences, condos or cottages, rental properties, vacant land or commercial property like business offices or warehouse space. If you suffer a loss due to property title problems, you may not have to go to court to prove negligence, but can merely collect on your title insurance.
What's Excluded From Ontario Title Insurance
Title insurance covers many circumstances but not:
- title defects known when insurance was purchased
- unregistered property encroachments, which are liens not on the public record
- environmental hazards
- Indigenous land claims
- zoning infractions you may make.
Finding Real Estate Lawyers in Ontario
Axess Law's Ontario real estate lawyers arrange transfer of title for home buyers and real estate sellers, regardless of property type or location. We do remote video calls or can meet you at any of our Greater Toronto Area law offices. Our title transfer lawyers are available 7 days a week, day or evening. Book online, pop into our offices or call our 1-647-479-0118 lawyer line to make an appointment.