How to own property in Ontario

One of the first concerns when purchasing property is ownership. If it is a single purchaser, their name is the only name on the deed. They are the sole owner.

A deed is a written document, that allows land, defined as real property to be legally transferred from the seller to the purchaser. In the Canadian Legal System, nearly all matters having to do with land must be done in writing. This deed must describe what is being transferred, usually a legal description of the land, the cost, the amount of land transfer taxes, as well as the city, municipality and province. The transfer will also detail who is transferring to who..

With a purchase of a residential home or condominium, the purchaser is the owner of the property.

Often with condominiums, the purchaser is not only buying the unit to live in or rent out, but they are often purchasing a locker and a parking space, which also must be in the deed for example

Unit 155, Level 1, Unit 155, Level A, and Unit 307, Level A Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation.

Once money has been paid and the property registered at the local Land Registry Office, the person who purchased the property becomes the legal owner.

Where things can get complicated is when more two or more parties purchase the same piece of property, be it a home, a cottage or vacant land.. The issue is raised as to how are the parties will own the property. Multiple purchasers have two ways to own land. Either as joint tenants or tenants-in common.

Joint Tenancy, allows 2 or more persons to own the property as joint tenants. As joint tenants, they share equal ownership of the property purchased. Each party has equal ownership and responsibility of the land. It is not possible for a joint tenant to own more than the other joint tenants, even if this party has paid more for the property than the others.
Upon the death of one of the joint tenants, the remaining owners obtain the land. The last one alive gets the property entirely.

A joint tenant can be used by relatives, friends, a couple in a sexual relationship. It can be dissolved or severed by either mutual agreement of the joint tenants, selling one’s share, or doing some act that indicates that the property is owned by tenants in common. Any of these acts will deem the parties owners as Tenants in Common.

A tenancy in common – allows multiple purchasers to own property in proportion to the amount that they paid. For example, if party A paid 40% of the purchase price and party B paid 60% of the purchase price, the tenancy in common would reflect the unequal ownership. Either party can do what they will with their portion of the property – will it away, lease it. If one party dies, their portion of the property, that they held as tenants in common would go to their estate.

Please take the time to plan ahead when purchasing property.

This article is not intended as legal advice but as general information only. Please contact Prince Law Office at 416-469-3443 to get legal advice about your unique situation.

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