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What Is a Title and a State of Title Certificate? | Bernard Lau and Co.

When buying a home, one of the most important legal steps is for your lawyer to ensure who holds title to the property. This title verification is often done by way of a title search, and can be certified by a document known as the State of Title Certificate, which is simply a certified copy of the title search. In short, property ownership, whether commercial or residential, can be proven by a title or a state of title certificate. A real estate lawyer can confirm legal ownership by conducting a title search on your behalf so that the registered owner is consistent with the name of the seller on any contract of purchase and sale for that property. Sometimes the legal name on a title search may not always correspond with that owner having beneficial ownership of the property, such as in the care of a bare trust relationship, but that is beyond the scope of this article and you should obtain independent legal advice on this issue if you have any concerns.

What Is a Title?

A title shows the legal rights of ownership of real property consisting of land and buildings on the property. In simple terms, having title often provides the title holder with a bundle of rights, including:

Conveyance rights: This refers to the transfer of title or ownership of property from one person (the seller) to another (the buyer).

Disposition or collateral rights: The title holder often has a right to refinance, gift or transfer ownership of their property to someone else.

Exclusive use: The property owner is often entitled to utilize, occupy and enjoy the property or to allow others to do the same.

Types of Title

A title can be held by one or several persons. A single owner will hold sole title. However, multiple owners who hold title to the same real property can be categorized as either joint tenancy or tenancy in common.

Joint tenancy
Joint tenancy refers to two or more individuals who hold an equal percentage of interest in a property. Their title rights are equally shared. If an owner dies, the property in many cases, will transfer to the surviving joint owners.

Tenancy in common
Tenancy in common allows two or more people to hold equal or unequal percentages of legal ownership in a property. If one tenant in common owner dies, that share passes in accordance with the deceased’s Will or under the laws of intestacy if there is no Will, rather than automatically to the other surviving owner.

A real estate lawyer can advise you on your property ownership rights and discuss with you some of your options to hold title. Remember, title can be a complicated legal issue and the name you see registered on a title search may not always equate to that individual or company actually holding the beneficial ownership of that particular property, such as in the case of a trust relationship that may not be visible in a title search. Accordingly, if you have questions or concerns about title, it is best that you consult with a legal professional to examine title on a case by case basis since each set of circumstances behind title ownership are unique.

What Is a State of Title Certificate?

A state of title certificate is a certified copy of the title usually issued by the province or the land title office. This legal document identifies the legal owner of that property. The certificate lists key identifiers, including the property’s legal description and parcel identifying number (PID), the legal owner(s) name and mailing address, and any outstanding liens or encumbrances.

Real Estate Lawyer in Richmond, BC

Bernard Lau and Co. would be happy to provide legal advice on real estate law or if you have any questions about title ownership.

Call us at 604.285.5240 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

Benefits of Title Insurance | Bernard Lau

Buying a house is one of the biggest investments you will make in life. Whether it’s your first home purchase or your fifth, there are numerous responsibilities that come with a newly bought home.

 

While it may feel overwhelming – as well as exciting – it’s important to ensure that you and your new home are well protected. Although most of us know about fire insurance and homeowner’s insurance to protect our home’s physical structure and personal contents, it’s important not to forget about insurance coverage for our property’s title, which is just as important but more easily overlooked. One of the ways this is done is through title insurance.

What Is Title Insurance?

First, it’s necessary to understand what title insurance is. “Title” refers to the property’s ownership, while “title insurance” is a form of insurance that protects against risks to your title.

Title insurance can oftentimes protect both lenders and homebuyers against loss or damage occurring from illegal liens, encumbrances, or defects in a property’s title. Common claims filed against a title are tax liens, builder’s liens, certificates of pending litigation, and encumbrances such as mortgage loans, and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).

It’s essential to learn as much as you can before making such a substantial purchase. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced real estate lawyer about your specific situation. To get you started, here are some of the most significant benefits of title insurance.

Benefits of Title Insurance for the Homeowner

Title insurance can protect you for as long as you own the property. It protects against a number of risks. These risks may include:

Encroachments that would be disclosed by a new survey

For example, title insurance protects you if a neighbour’s deck is being partly situated on your land. Title insurance also covers encroachment issues such as if your backyard shed is actually on your neighbor’s property and must be removed. If the encroachment cannot be removed for safety reasons (such as a retaining wall), then you may need to compensate your neighbour for the encroachment, and title insurance may provide coverage for such costs.

Not having a survey

Although having a survey is advisable, title insurance can offer legal protection in lieu of a survey by transferring any risks that may have been disclosed by a survey, to the title insurer with respect to defects in title and other defects such as encroachments.

Someone other than the homeowner having interest

For example, a previous owner of the property not being properly discharged from title or a previous owner claiming a beneficial interest or unregistered title to the Property.

Liens from contractors, taxing entities or previous lenders

Title insurance can protect homeowners from charges accrued by previous owners. For example, if the former owner failed to pay municipal or school taxes and the tax authorities file a tax lien on title, title insurance may protect the new owner from title defects and unpaid tax liens or assessments. If previous mortgages or charges by lenders of the previous owner remain on title, title insurance may cover the costs associated with discharging these liens from title.

Forgery or fraud

Title fraud, which occurs when a person uses false identification to impersonate you to obtain a mortgage or sell the home without you knowing, is one of the more common risks that can be addressed by title insurance. Such consequences can be devastating and recovery through the Courts or other means without title insurance can be time-consuming, stressful and costly.

Title Insurance vs. Homeowners’ Insurance

Some homeowners assume that title insurance is included within a home insurance policy. Because of this misunderstanding, an alarming number of Canadians today do not have title insurance.

While home insurance may protect homeowners from unexpected circumstances that occur on or against their property or its contents, such as fire or earthquakes, title insurance protects the homebuyer from unexpected circumstances that affect the title to the property, such as financial loss from title fraud or other issues. The title insurance’s coverage is often less tangible and inconspicuous compared with the physical damage that a fire may cause, but the financial consequences of title fraud or a fraudulent mortgage registered against your property may be even more severe.

Fortunately, unlike home insurance, title insurance is a one-time premium that is typically purchased at the same time as the property. However, title insurance can also be purchased by existing homeowners who already own their property.

Are You Looking For a Real Estate Lawyer?

Title insurance can only be purchased through legal professional. If you, or someone you know, is looking for a real estate lawyer or would like more information on ordering title insurance, contact Bernard Lau and Co. Our knowledgeable and experienced team can provide personalized advice on a case-by-case basis.

Call us at 604.285.5240 or get in touch by email at info@bernardlau.com.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

What to Know about the New 3-Day Cooling Period

To help protect buyers in the real estate market, the BC Government is enacting a mandatory three-day Homebuyer Protection Period (HPP). This process, previously called the three-day “cooling off period,” becomes effective on January 1, 2023.

Some people are unclear about how this works and the effect it may have on the housing market. If you have questions, contact the legal team at Bernard Lau and Co. to request a consultation.

Here is everything you need to know about the HPP/three-day cooling-off period.

What Is the New Three-Day Cooling Period?

The HPP, or three-day “cooling off period,” is a safety net for buyers to conduct their due diligence and re-consider their offer before their offer becomes binding. During these three days, potential homebuyers can perform due diligence such as scheduling inspections, confirm financing and decide whether to proceed with the purchase of the property.

However, to make things more fair to the seller, certain fees are payable if buyers make the decision to back out of a sale during the cooling period that is unrelated to any subject-clauses:

Cancellation fees

Buyers wishing back out of a sale must pay 0.25 percent of the purchase price, or $250 for every $100,000 of the price. This fee helps balance the interests of both the buyers and the sellers by compensating the seller in the event an accepted offer falls through, while preserving the buyer protection mechanism at a small cost to the buyer.

Backing Out of a Deal during the Cooling Period 

Homebuyers who no longer wish to purchase the property during the three-day cooling period should serve the seller with a written rescission notice in at least one of the following forms:

  • email with read receipt
  • registered mail
  • fax
  • personal service

The rescission notice must include:

  • names and signatures of buyer
  • name of the seller(s)
  • address and description of the property
  • date of notice

Note: Buyers will still be able to make offers conditional on home inspections or financing at any time. The Homebuyer Protection Period does not prevent buyers and sellers from negotiating the inclusion of traditional subject conditions and removal periods in their contracts. If subject conditions exist in a contract and are not waived, buyers could potentially walk away from accepted contracts without needing to pay the 0.25% penalty.

Your Real Estate Lawyer in Richmond

The 3 day cooling period is still very new and has not been implemented yet. Accordingly, there will be more answers in the coming months as the cooling period comes into effect. This article is only for information and reference purposes. You should not rely on any information in this article before consulting a lawyer or other qualified professional. Bernard Lau and Co. and its principals will not be liable for any damages resulting from the use of the information and you should obtain independent legal advice prior to acting on the basis of any information in this article.

The accomplished legal team at Bernard Lau and Co. can help you with your next home sale or purchase. Our team has the real estate and litigation experience to guide you through all stages of your real estate transaction, from negotiating the terms of the Contract of Purchase to collapsing deals. 

Call us at 604.285.5240 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

'Acted with malice': B.C. man's negative reviews on Google, Yelp cost him $90,000 in defamation case

A disgruntled customer who was found to have defamed a B.C. wood products company in his Google and Yelp reviews has been ordered by a judge to pay $90,000 in damages.

Continue to read the full article on the Global News website here.

The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Bernard Lau and Co. (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Bernard Lau and Co. does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this website and should not be relied upon as being proper, accurate, timely or fit for any particular individual’s own circumstances other than for educational purposes.
Accessing or using this website does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Although your use of the website may facilitate access to or communications with members of Bernard Lau and Co. via e-mail transmissions or otherwise via the website, receipt of any such communications or transmissions by any member of Bernard Lau and Co. does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Bernard Lau and Co. does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of any communications made by e-mail or otherwise through this website.

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Bernard Lau & Co. remains fully operational during the COVID-19 health emergency. Our commitment to providing excellent client service is still a priority. While you may be used to coming in to our office to drop off your information and to meet with us in person, we are recommending the following alternatives: phone calls or video conferences may be scheduled in lieu of face-to-face meetings, and your personal information can be emailed to us at your convenience. We are providing remote signing for conveyancing.Learn More