ILN: BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE - AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE

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[BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE IN CANADA - ONTARIO]

are formed under the Limited Partnerships Act. In limited partnerships, the only entity legally capable of holding title to the real property is the general partner. Alternatively, partnerships can use a nominee, as discussed below. A nominee or trustee, usually a corporation, may hold registered title to a property on behalf of a beneficial owner. A nominee agreement or declaration of trust would stipulate the terms on which the nominee or trustee holds the property. Nominee companies offer flexibility when there are multiple beneficial owners of real estate as it allows for a single legal title holder and, for example, new joint venturers can acquire an interest in the nominee without having to register changes at the land registry office. This is also sometimes used for privacy reasons. V. TITLE INSURANCE In both residential and commercial transactions, title insurance is a contract with a title insurer that may protect the buyer and mortgagee from possible financial losses such as: • title to the estate or interest insured being held other than as shown in the policy; • any title defect and charge, lien, or encumbrance on the title, including defects that may have been disclosed by an up-to-date survey;

is outstanding. An owner is not covered by a lender's policy as only the mortgagee's interest is insured. Title insurance can be beneficial in that it allows buyers and lenders to "insurer over" selected problems and may reduce legal fees as certain searches may be waived by the title insurer. It is imperative that the buyer's lawyer discuss the benefits and limitations of a title insurance policy with their client, including, but not limited to, whether the buyer has an knowledge of a title defect, their intended future use of the property and the usefulness of a current survey of the property. VI. RECORDING REAL ESTATE DOCUMENTS In Ontario, the Land Titles system has replaced the old Registry System, although approximately 30,000 properties have not yet been converted to Land Titles. The Land Title system is an electronic registry housing all private property ownership information in Ontario. It contains official records of title, deed, mortgage, and other land documents. Under the Land Titles system, search results are certified by the government, with no requirement to look any further into prior registrations of the property, with certain exceptions. The Land Titles system provides a statement of title. Each separately owned piece of land is called a "parcel" and each parcel has an assigned number or a "PIN". On closing, the transfer of the property is usually registered electronically by the buyer's lawyer, along with any related instruments such as a mortgage. VII. THE PLANNING ACT The purpose of the Planning Act is to regulate how land can be developed and used. Subdivisions are used to divide one large parcel of land into two or more smaller parcels for

unmarketability of title;

certain types of fraud; and

• lack or a right of access to and from the land. Separate owner and lender policies are available. Owner policies are generally a one- time purchase and protects a buyer for as long as they, or their heirs, hold title to the property. Similarly, a lender policy is usually a one-time purchase and effective while the mortgage loan

ILN Real Estate Group – Buying and Selling Real Estate Series

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