5 things to Know when selling a home occupied by a tenant


Watch the video: https://youtu.be/2UQKiIbKfwA

As a result of the latest changes to the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act, you need to have the right strategy when selling a home occupied by a tenant.

Here are 5 things you need to know:

  1. First review any lease

You cannot terminate a tenancy until the end of the lease. So if the tenant lease extends for another 6 months, they cannot be evicted before the lease ends. In addition, check to make sure the tenant does not have the right to renew the lease for an extra year. If so, then they cannot be evicted until the end of their renewal period.

  1. You cannot evict just because you want to sell your home

Even if the lease has ended, you cannot evict a tenant just because you want to list the home for sale. This means that you first have to sign a buyer to an agreement BEFORE you can send the eviction notice to the tenant. This also means no home staging without the tenant agreement.

  1. Once agreement signed, you need to give the tenant 60 days’ notice

Once the Buyer signs the offer, then you have to give the tenant the 60 days’ notice using form N12, You should schedule your closing date to match the notice date or to occur shortly after this date to ensure you can deliver vacant possession on closing. A penalty of $25,000 could be payable if the buyer or their family do not stay in the property for at least 12 months after closing. As such, the following clause, contained in my Ontario Guide for Landlords, should be considered:

  • “The buyer agrees that they or their immediate family intends to move into the property on closing. In this regard, the seller agrees to provide the applicable 60 days’ notice to the tenant using Form N12 under the Residential Tenancies Act, on behalf of the buyer. The buyer agrees to provide whatever support information may be required to demonstrate that the buyer or their immediate family will in good faith  be moving into the property on closing and to indemnify the seller for any damages the seller suffers if the buyer does not remain in the property for at least one year after closing. In the event that the tenant disputes the notice as given, then the parties agree to extend the closing of this transaction to a period not more than 30 days, in order to effect the eviction of the tenant.”
  1. Monitor the situation carefully

It is extremely important to monitor the situation if you are trying to evict a tenant before closing.

In a transaction I completed on October 2, 2017, the agreement was signed in July and the tenant was on a monthly tenancy. Notice was given by the seller/landlord for the tenant to leave on September 30, 2017, as required. However, the tenant indicated that they intended to challenge the notice. As such we arranged for a hearing before the Landlord and Tenant Board in late August, at which time the buyer attended as well and convinced the adjudicator that they in good faith intended to move in on October 2, 2017. The Adjudicator granted the eviction order for September 30, 2017 and with that order, the tenant moved out on that date and the deal was closed in time.

  1. Practical advice

If possible, try and arrange a new place to live for the tenant before you even put the property up for sale. You will not have any issues with home staging, notices or providing vacant possession on closing.

It is important to understand all of your rights and responsibilities when selling a home occupied by a tenant when your buyer wants to move in on closing.


If you have any any questions on this topic or have a situation where your own clients would benefit from our mobile signing service, where we go to our clients from 7am – midnight, 7 days a week at the time and location of their choice, we would be delighted to assist you.







Canadian home sales surge in December


CREA monthly statistics and MLS HPI December 2017

Ottawa, ON, January 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), show national home sales continued to climb in December 2017.



  • National home sales rose 4.5% from November to December.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 4.1% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.3% from November to December.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in December was up 9.1% y-o-y.
  • The national average sale price advanced by 5.7% y-o-y.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems posted their fifth consecutive monthly increase in December 2017, fully recovering from the slump last summer.


Getting Paid Commission When Signing Electronically

Getting Paid Commission When Signing Electronically

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/l0vwWBbsWf4

Everyone thought that by signing documents securely through electronic signatures, it would be easier to prove a claim for commission. A recent case will make you tighten up your procedures to ensure you are not caught on the wrong side of things.

Century 21 First Canadian Corp. and its agent David Lachance brought an action for commission against Lloyd Charron for $8,828.13. This was based on a Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA) signed by Charron through the Authentisign system at the time they put in an offer with Lachance on another property which was not accepted. Charron later purchased a different property during the term of the BRA and Century 21 and Lachance sued for commission.

In an interesting defence, Charron claimed that he had never signed a BRA before and that both the Agreement of Purchase and Sale for the property that was not accepted and the BRA were sent for signature in one email, as one attachment. When the attachment was clicked open for signature, the Authentisign system then automatically moved from one signing page to another, without the review of the entire agreement. Thus Charron claimed that he thought he was only signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale that was not accepted, and had no idea that he had also signed the BRA.

The judge reviewed several cases where buyers had successfully avoided paying commission under a signed BRA where they could prove the legal defence of non est factum, meaning that they did not understand what they were signing, typically when documents were signed in a hurried manner late at night, without proper explanation.

In a decision dated December 28, 2017, Deputy Judge K.J. Brooks of the London Small Claims Court held in favour of Century 21 and Lachance. While the judge stated that the agent did not follow proper practice in explaining the documents, he found the buyers were careless in not reviewing the BRA document on their computer screen and could thus not later claim that they did not understand what they were signing.

Still, the case could have gone either way. Here are 5 things to remember when signing anyone to a BRA, whether in person or through an electronic method:

1. Explain all key provisions of the BRA in advance;

2. To the extent possible, try and sign the BRA early in the process, preferably before the time you actually obtain your first offer to submit;

3. If using electronic signature, make sure that in any email, you clearly set out all documents that you are asking to be signed;

4. Make sure you remind the client to view any electronic document in advance and email themselves a copy of the signed document before sending it back to you; and

5. Email the client a copy of anything signed afterwards for everyone’s records.

At our firm, we are 100% digital and over 90% of clients choose to sign documents electronically through our mobile signing process, where we come to the client home at their convenience to sign the closing documents so they do not have to take time off work.  All documents are signed digitally, with each document reviewed with the client before signing to ensure their understanding.  Immediately after signing, all documents are emailed directly to the client for their records.

If you have any situation where your own clients would benefit from our mobile signing service, where we go to our clients from 7am-midnight, 7 days a week at the time and location of their choice, we would be delighted to assist you.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you need assistance with a closing a real estate transaction!