Real Estate

Are you buying or selling real estate? You will need the assistance of a real estate lawyer. Not only is it required by law in Ontario, a lawyer may be able to help you through the potential stresses of fee negotiations and legal agreements, right down to the moment you get your keys on closing day. 

There are many moving parts to a real estate transaction, and each case is unique. Whether your plans involve a detached home, a condo, a semi-detached house, a townhouse, or another kind of real estate, our real estate lawyers would be happy to learn about your specific needs. Contact us today to see how we might be able to help.

How Can A Real Estate Lawyer Assist With My Real Estate Purchase or Sale?

When you’re buying or selling residential property, there can be many items of business of which to keep track. Contract negotiations, mortgage agreements, coordinating with your bank and/or lending provider – these are just some of the matters that might be on your plate. Working with a lawyer can help make sure you understand all the legal documents you’re signing, and that the process runs smoothly. 

Here are some aspects of a real estate transaction with which our real estate lawyers may be able to help you:

  • Communications with your real estate agent
  • Keeping your contract accurate and in order
  • Negotiations of fees, terms, and conditions
  • Helping to organize your Agreement of Purchase and Sale
  • Title and off-title searches (eg. building inspection records, zoning, taxes, etc.)
  • Reviewing all legal documents involved in your transaction
  • Advising you in matters of title insurance
  • Advising you in any issues that may arise
  • Communicating with your bank and/or lender regarding your mortgage
  • Planning the specifics of title transfer with the other party’s lawyer
  • Keeping you updated on financial specifics, including an estimate of the final dollar amount
  • Helping through the transfer of funds, exchange of keys, and Statement of Adjustments on closing day 
  • And more

Types of Real Estate Transactions Handled by Real Estate Lawyers at Cohen Highley LLP

A real estate transaction may involve the movement of property through a purchase or sale, but this legal area can also include leases, non-profit housing, expropriation. Keep reading to learn more about ways our real estate lawyers may be able to help you.

Residential Real Estate

Residential property is any land or structure meant for private occupancy, whether that is temporary or permanent. As overviewed above, there are many steps to buying or selling such a property – and there are also many different kinds of residential real estate. This might include:

  • Detached houses
  • Semi-detached houses
  • Row houses (eg. townhouses)
  • Condominiums
  • Apartments in multi-unit residential complexes
  • Apartments or flats in duplexes
  • Moveable dwellings, such as mobile homes

Some residential real estate buyers purchase property as their primary residence, while others purchase investment property to then lease out to tenants. Our real estate lawyers appreciate the unique goals and circumstances of each client. Give us a call today to see how we might be able to help in your transaction.

Residential Tenancies

A real estate lawyer may be able to help with more than just a property purchase or sale. We might also be able to provide assistance in related areas, such as residential leasing. 

At Cohen Highley LLP, we have experience representing landlords and property managers in a range of issues concerning landlord and tenant relations. We may be able to assist through matters concerning arrears (overdue rent), property damage, demolition, noise and disturbance issues, evictions, and more. 

With more than 30 years’ experience providing legal services to residential landlords, our lawyers and paralegals may be able to provide general consultation as well as representation before the Landlord and Tenant Board as well as in Small Claims Court.

Non-Profit Housing Corporations

A non-profit corporation, or cooperative, provides residential housing for people whose household incomes fall in the low to moderate range. Subject to specific government regulations, they typically offer reduced rates thanks to rent-geared-to-income programs, wherein the cost of rent is tied to a percentage of the household’s monthly income, rather than a set number.

Non-profit housing typically depends on the work of a volunteer board, often themselves residents of the community or building, to make decisions in the management of the cooperative or corporation. This can include hiring building staff, organizing maintenance, and deciding on matters of occupancy. Some decisions, such as filing an eviction, might cause interpersonal tensions between the board and fellow residents, and unfortunately sometimes issues may escalate and need to be resolved in court.

From drafting and amending bylaws and advising on meetings to responding to Human Rights Complains and representing clients before the Superior Court of Justice, our team of real estate lawyers may be able to help in a range of issues concerning non-profit housing corporations

Commercial Tenancies

Just as in residential contexts, there may be issues between landlords and tenants in a commercial circumstance. At Cohen Highley LLP, our real estate lawyers might be able to provide legal service to either side of a commercial tenancy issue. 

Here are some areas in which we might be able to help:

  • Disputes as to lease terms and conditions
  • Sublets and lease reassignments
  • Lease termination
  • Rent arrears
  • Rent recoverable
  • Levying of distress
  • Pursuing tenants for fraudulent removal of goods
  • Lease forfeiture and injunctive relief
  • Dispute resolution
  • Legal proceedings
  • Bankruptcy matters
  • And more

Each case is unique; if you would like to speak with a lawyer to see what your legal options are, contact us for a consultation today.

Land Leasing

A land lease is an agreement wherein tenants might own their place of residence – be it a detached house or a mobile home – but do not own the land beneath  it. They pay rent to the land owner, who is responsible for overseeing the overall maintenance of the land. Often an affordable path to home ownership, land leases might also be used in recreational tenancies such as campgrounds.  

The ownership and management of land brings its own unique host of challenges. The costs of water management can add up, as well as ongoing maintenance of community infrastructure. Sometimes landlords need to deal with municipal bodies about zoning laws, or address issues with tenancy agreements. With experience navigating many issues facing land owners in land lease and mobile home tenancies, the team of lawyers, rent control consultants, and licensed paralegals at Cohen Highley LLP might be able to help you in your unique land leasing needs.

Expropriation Law

In Canada, there is a law called the Expropriation Act which allows the government to take possession of private land without the consent of that land’s owners. The intention is then for the Crown to use this land for public purposes, such as building roads or railway tracks, or schools. 

Ruled by numerous specific clauses and exceptions, matters of expropriation can be quite complicated to navigate. At Cohen Highley LLP, our real estate lawyers might be able to help, whether you are a government ministry or municipality, or a landowner who has been served a notice of expropriation. 

If you are a government entity, we might be able to:

  • Help you plan and execute the expropriation process;
  • Negotiate settlements;
  • Advise in strategy to help reduce your costs;
  • If needed, represent you before the Ontario Municipal Board, and the Courts.

If you are a landowner, we might be able to:

  • Negotiate and secure your compensation;
  • Strategize a plan to maximize what you receive;
  • If needed, represent you at hearings before the Ontario Municipal Board, and the Courts.

Contact Our Real Estate Lawyers Today For a Consultation

While you legally require the assistance of a licensed lawyer when purchasing or selling real estate in Ontario, it can be a good idea to hire a lawyer for a number of other real estate matters. From tenancies – both commercial and residential – to expropriation law and land lease and mobile home tenancies, a lawyer may be able to help make sure you understand your legal rights. Our team of real estate lawyers at Cohen Highley LLP would be pleased to discuss the specifics of your unique case. 

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