Writing Clauses for Real Estate Offers (4)
On the Clause Writing Course, here are the next five (16 to 20) questions:
You are acting for John Mathews who is about to put in an Offer on a downtown Toronto property. It is clear that a privacy fence was erected by one of the previous owners of the property. It looks like the privacy fence has scooped in about another 14 inches from the neighbour’s property. The rear deck has been built right out to the privacy fence.
Is this a problem? Should anything be done? Do you need to say anything? If you identify a problem, would a clause help? If so, what would that clause say?
Your client Jordan Scott wants to purchase a property right in the same neighbourhood as his childhood home. The property is immediately adjacent to a small retail strip plaza which is located on a major street. As a child, Jordan remembers the operator of the Cleaners in the plaza dumping liquid at the back fence. This went on daily for decades and he is concerned about contaminated soil.
What can you do here? The present Owner is oblivious to this risk. When he purchased the property, the Cleaners had left the plaza, so he is completely unaware of any contamination risks.
How do you protect Jordan in this situation? Is there a particular clause that you would use in an Offer? If so, what would it say?
An elderly gentleman passed away, and you are acting for Roberto Alomar who would like to acquire the property. The real estate market is escalating rapidly. Roberto is located in a condo which he is renting from an investor. He can say as long as he likes. However, he wants to “invest” himself in Toronto real estate. He doesn’t want the deal to fall through, and if the Estate needs more time to get ready for the closing, he is willing to give it. He doesn’t want the deal to fall through and find himself buying this same type of property for more money later.
Do you have a clause that might help Roberto in the circumstances? If so, please draft it.
Frank Potter is now retiring. Strangely, the rural area where he is interested, has had numerous multiple Offers recently. The Listing Agent confirmed that there were lots showings and a great deal of interest. In fact, they set up Tuesday as “offer day”. The property is in a “low deposit” area. Frank just sold his own house in downtown Toronto for one million dollars with a $50,000.00 deposit. He would like to place a very large deposit on this deal. He feels that his Offer would then be chosen over the competition with others using $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 deposits. Naturally, he wants the money in the deal, but if the transaction doesn’t go through for one reason or another, he doesn’t want to risk the full $50,000.00.
How would you structure this deal? Is there anything you can do to protect Frank? If so, what type of clause would you propose?
Brendan, your Buyer client has found an old farm property in a rural area. It’s the farmhouse without the land. The property looks like it’s going through a severance. This is actually an application which has gone back for over 20 years with different lawyers and different surveyors. The intention has always been to cut off the corner, about 2 acres with a farmhouse, garage, pool and the barn from the rest of the acreage, being about 98 acres. Over the years, there have always been slightly different descriptions, sometimes the acreage was Part 1, and sometimes it was Part 2. That all depended upon the surveyor and the lawyer at the time. Nothing is registered on title.
The farmhouse property would be worth about ten times the value of the acreage.
How would you approach this situation to protect Brendan? Is there a clause you would suggest that might clarify matters? If so, please draft it.
Let me know if you have any suggestions for other types of issues which may arise in a real estate transaction?
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker