Predatory Rent-to-Own? That Could Net You a $250,000 Fine!

This is what gives Rent-to-Own (a.k.a. Lease-Options) a bad name.

The British Columbia real estate regulator issued a rare ‘Emergency Suspension’ to a BC realtor and his company. Briefly, the realtor allegedly looked for homeowners in foreclosure. Then he would buy the properties from them at less than market value and rent them back under a Rent-to-Own scheme. The homeowners were always unrepresented by realtors or lawyers.

Here’s the kicker; their rent payments were double their mortgage payments. Of course, if the homeowners could not make the mortgage payment, they could never consistently make a rent payment that was double the mortgage payment! Once they couldn’t make a payment, the realtor would evict them.

Here’s what the regulator said: Continue reading

Flipping / Assigning Properties? Don’t Go To Jail!

CRA Investigating Tax on Undeclared Earnings for Flipping Offers to Purchase Real Estate in Canada

We’ve all heard the stories. In red-hot real estate markets like Toronto and Vancouver, brand-new projects, especially condo projects sell out fast. When sales open, there are lineups around the block. Desperate purchasers clutch serious deposit money in their anxious hands, hoping against hope that by the time they get to the front of the line, there will be a unit left for them to buy. Often, when sales to the public start, a 100 unit project has only 40 units left, the others are already sold. Who got to buy those units and how does that work? Continue reading

Secondary Suites and Real Property Reports in Alberta

Podcast Episode 106:

“A Real Property Report
with Municipal Compliance Doesn’t Prove a Suite is Legal.”

Are you looking to buy a property with a secondary suite? Ideally, you want to buy properties with legal secondary suites. But guess what? A Real Property Report doesn’t prove a suite’s legality in Alberta.

Download the audio file HERE.
Download the handout HERE.
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Continue reading

Legal vs. Illegal Rental Suites in Edmonton

house with cash register

“Basement Suites and the Abominable Snowman.”

Why are basement suites like the Abominable Snowman? Because they don’t exist, at least not in the City of Edmonton, Alberta.

My client Jane was excited when she saw the advertisement, “beautiful, 3-bdrm bungalow with spacious 2-bdrm basement suite.” As part of due diligence, Jane went down to City Hall in Edmonton, and visited the Planning and Building department.

“Tell me about basement suites,” said Jane to the friendly development officer. Continue reading

Wills, Estates, and Selling Property

Will and Testament

Podcast Episode 105:
Probate Sales Need Patience

This Tale is about the legal process in Alberta (and some other Canadian jurisdictions) of selling property as part of an estate after someone dies. A long-time client got in touch to say that her Dad had passed away. I knew her Dad and had done seven or eight real estate transactions for the family over the last 15 years. Dad was a great guy and I was very sorry to hear of his passing.

My client said it was a simple estate; basically a bank account, some personal possessions, a few stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, and an acreage where Dad still lived at the time of his passing. There was a Will appointing my client as sole executor and an estate lawyer was already on working on probate.

Download the audio file HERE.
Download the handout HERE.
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Continue reading

Guarantees, Title Insurance, and New Legal Precedent in Canada

Podcast Episode 104:
Sellers, Are You Guaranteeing Title?

Wow, a recent bombshell of a legal case from the Ontario Court of Appeal is causing huge ripples in the Canadian real estate world. In the Courts and in the world of precedent there is a pecking order. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court in the land. The Ontario Court of Appeal is the court of last resort in Ontario. Ontario is Canada’s largest common law jurisdiction. Therefore, any decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal is extremely influential. It recently ruled that marketability of title and marketability of property may be linked.

Download the audio file HERE.
Download the handout HERE.
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Struck Corporations, Land Titles, and Tax in Alberta

3D stickman with red letter envelope

Podcast Episode 102:
“Corporate Matters Matter.”

Here at RMLO Law LLP in Edmonton, Alberta, we are the corporate registered office for many corporations. We get lots of letters addressed to those corporations because that’s part of being registered office. Anyone who wants to send something official to a corporation can send it to the registered office. Those official notices are often notices of trouble…

A recent letter was no different. It was a scary letter!

Download the audio file HERE.
Download the handout HERE.
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Continue reading

Tenant Problems After Move Out

landlord tenant law

Previous Owner Skeletons.

In a recent purchase of an Alberta fourplex, our client took over existing tenants. There was one utility service and utilities were apportioned between the tenants. The arrangement was that tenants would pay their rent plus an estimated portion of utilities. At the end of the year, the landlord would add up the actual utilities and either refund money or collect extra money from each tenant.

When our client took over, one particular tenant was on a month-to-month tenancy. It became immediately apparent that she was “one of those tenants!!” Continue reading

Hidden Problems After Real Estate Purchase

Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware.”

What can you do if you discover major problems with a property after buying real estate in Alberta? There are a number of legal and practical issues. First let me tell you about a situation that a client brought to me, and then I’ll explain what I advised. Continue reading

What is an Encroachment?

Focus on Real Estate: Quick Tips.

In this video, you’ll find out what an encroachment is, and what types of encroachments there are. If you need an Edmonton real estate lawyer, get in touch through RMLO Law LLP.

Straight to the point, there’s no filler in the Focus on Real Estate with Barry C. McGuire series of videos.

Hire an experienced real estate lawyer in Edmonton, Alberta. Use the contact form below!

Videos co-produced by the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) as a Google Partner.