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Title Insurance – why am I buying this? D


id you just buy a home? Then your lawyer is likely obtaining a policy of title insurance for you


on your new home purchase. Almost all


transactions are title


insured in Manitoba and Ontario. Gross premiums for title insurance policies totalled over $8 million in Canada last year, and 99 % of home purchases were title insured. A policy


of surance title provides zoning in- cover-


age for unexpected title claims or encumbrances, protects and


against survey issues


and


against problems involv- ing improvements such as decks and additions that were com- pleted without permits. Should an issue like one of these be discovered after the purchase, you or your lawyer can put in a claim with the title insurer and a claims adjuster can start the steps to bring the property into compliance and settle claims.


Raymond Oakes


All insurance policies bear scrutiny for their terms. For the most part, though, the policies are very inclusive – they can


even provide protection against


the vendor’s outstanding water bills. This type of protection


is important


since there have been ex- amples of some water bills for more than $10,000 charged to homeowners on takeovers due to a mal- functioning toilet or an in- correct meter reading. We are currently seeing


an increase in residential claims for building permit issues. As we understand it, the City of Winnipeg has hired some additional


building inspectors. They are compar- ing residential houses for sale where a claim is made about a new garage or newly renovated basement to records for the building permits. Often, the City issues a Violation Notice and thus cre- ates a claim under the purchaser’s title insurance.


Title fraud is another area where title insurance protects the parties, and un- fortunately, title fraud is also increasing in frequency. The title insurance com- pany will restore clear title and pay the legal expenses in remedying these situ- ations. Title insurance policies usually do not


provide protection against: • Title defects that were known prior to closing • Environmental hazards and soil contamination


• Native land claims • Problems that would only be dis-


covered by a new survey or inspection, such as a smaller lot size than originally anticipated • Matters not listed in public records, such as unrecorded liens • Zoning bylaw violations caused by changes, renovations or additions per- formed by the policy owner • Certain government rights in land, such as the right of expropriation • Problems the buyer agreed to as- sume but failed to provide information about to the title insurer or lawyer


Ides, leprechauns and hope M


arch is a busy month. First come the Ides of March that weren’t so good for Julius Caesar back in the


Helen Harper


day. Then we swing into St. Patrick’s Day where Irish descent doesn’t factor in for most people but who like green and ale, sometimes together. You don’t need a blarney stone to hear a lot of it at the local watering hole. The best of all the March celebrations is the first day of spring. This is often under a lot of snow in Manitoba, but the ever positive atti- tude of prairie folks have us saying things like “The days are getting longer.” This is espe- cially nice for those 9 to 5er’s who have been


• The buyer’s ability to change the


use of the land or undertake renova- tions, construction or expansion. Title insurance can also provide gap coverage for a delay between the trans- fer of the purchase money and the sub- sequent registration of the property in the purchaser’s name. The insurance allows the sale proceeds of the transac- tion to be released earlier and reduces interim financing costs. Coverage lasts for the entire period of ownership, and most companies extend this coverage to the heirs who inherit the property, to a spouse in the event of a divorce, and even possibly to children if the property is gifted to them. Most real estate lawyers today regard


title insurance as a critical component of the transaction and will usually not close a purchase without it. You may wish, after reviewing this article, to in- sist on it.


Raymond P. Oakes, B.A., LL.B., prac- tices real estate, wills and estates, corpo- rate commercial law and succession plan- ning (including businesses and cottages in Manitoba and Ontario).


going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark for the last couple of months. Most of us have at least one or more snow storms to reminisce about during this month. Mine was the great storm of 1966. It was a dandy. The ‘no school’ was a bonus because they rarely closed. During this one, the doors were obliterated with snow banks as was our front door. My dad got stranded at work but spent a relatively comfortable night eating shrimp and drinking beer provide by the pub next door. They were in the old bus barns on Main Street so the men stretched out on the long back seats of the busses and snoozed un-


til the first snow clearing grader made its way down the street. Dad caught a ride with the first bus to head for Charleswood and was home by noon the next day. Shoveling that long driveway was a horse


of a different colour. But everyone on our street banded together and helped one an- other. I do remember lots of hot chocolate and fresh cookies and great snow banks to climb. We made some of the most awesome snow forts that year. Let’s embrace yet another turning of the season, find a friend and remember your big storm story.


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www.lifestyles55.net 11


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