Real Estate FAQ

Real Estate FAQ2021-07-11T13:02:08-04:00
As a Non Resident Can I Sell My Property in Canada?2022-11-17T23:33:34-04:00

Yes, as a Non Resident you can sell your property in Canada and Team Kalia can help you with this.

Several forms and documents must be submitted before a transaction can go through. Hence, seeking professional legal and tax advice before selling is a must. The CRA is very vigilant regarding property sales by non-residents because they want to ensure the deal is secure and the non-resident owner has fulfilled all their monetary and tax obligations.

Read more on what it takes to sell a property in Canada as a Non Resident.

Team Kalia has been serving our local and overseas clients since 2003. We can refer our clients to not only to lawyers and accountants, but also to handymen and other tradespeople, as needed to successfully sell your property in and around the GTA.

Why is there a difference in prices between similar properties within a particular City?2020-10-26T14:26:19-04:00

There can many reasons for the price difference, including:

  • Age of home
  • Square footage of homes
  • Number of rooms
  • Interior finishes
  • Property lot size
  • Age of furnace, AC, Appliances etc.
  • Upgrades/ updates done to the bathrooms, kitchen and other areas of the home
  • Exterior features: roof, windows, lawn, curb appeal etc.
  • Some neighborhood are more expensive than others
  • School ratings in the area
  • Proximity to public transit
  • Sometimes sellers strategically list at a lower price to attract more buyers and or to have more showings
  • Sellers motivation to sell quickly or wait for the best price

Realtors are trained to look at the above criteria plus many other things to arrive at an opinion of price. The same knowledge or techniques are also used when we give an opinion of price when listing seller clients’ properties.

Realtors use past and current data to come to the correct listing or purchase price. We evaluate market trends, inventory level to further refine the price. Realtors go through many months of education, licensing etc and are trained to help their clients buy to low and sell high in any given market. Buyers and Sellers should trust their Realtor team to get them the best results.
Can You Help Sell Matrimonial Home in Divorce Cases?2020-08-07T17:00:17-04:00

Dividing Real Estate in Divorce is a very critical & emotional step for spouses parting ways. We have helped clients with the sale of their matrimonial home during this stage of life with full respect, fairness and professionalism. Contact us to discuss your personal home selling situation.

What is Co Ownership or Joint Ownership2019-12-19T15:47:58-04:00

Co-ownership housing is a shared living arrangement where two or more people own and live in a home together. There are different ways to co-own a home. A groups of individuals can co-own the house outright or co-owners can use a corporation model. This allows the owners to share in the up-front and ongoing costs of owning a home. Learn how you can buy a home or a condo in Mississauga & area as a co owner or a joint owner.

First Time Home Buyer Incentives2022-01-03T12:18:56-04:00

There are several incentives and schemes for first time home buyers

  • RRSP Home buyers plan
  • Ontario Land transfer tax rebate of up to $4,000
  • HST rebate for new home buyers
  • First time buyer tax credit

What is RRSP Home Buyers Plan (HBP)?

Home Buyers Plan is a program that allows first time home buyer to borrow up to $35,000 from their “Self-directed Registered Retirement Savings Plan (SDRSP)”. If you’re purchasing with someone who is also a first time homebuyer, you can both access $35,000 from your RRSP for a combined total of $70,000. You must be a Canadian resident who has not used this plan before. The loan is not taxable as long as the funds are repaid into the RRSP (registered retirement savings plan) over a 15 year period. The money cannot be withdrawn until 90 days after the RRSP contribution. After 90 days one can use the Home Buyers’ plan to withdraw $35,000 without penalty. This way you will receive a tax rebate.

Is there any HST home buying rebate?

Resale homes are exempted from HST in Ontario. HST is payable on new builder homes and condos.

Do first time buyers pay land transfer tax?

If you are a first time home buyer, you qualify for rebate of up to $4,000. Certain conditions and restrictions apply for which you need to read up on the Land Transfer Tax.

What is first time buyer tax credit?

To assist first-time home buyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home, Budget 2009 introduced a First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief starting in 2009.

Are Landlords allowed to take pictures to identify how Tenant has kept the unit?2019-07-26T18:41:01-04:00

Yes, but only with permission of the tenant.

Note: taking your handyman to do a quick check-up on plumbing/ toilets / caulking etc. is not a bad idea. You must inform the tenant of the visit and provide 24-hour notice.

For more FAQs, visit the Housing Law section of Steps to Justice site.  Q&As on the site are organized in “steps” that lead people through common scenarios. Community Legal Education Ontario created the website together with justice sector partners, including the Landlord and Tenant Board.

What should the Landlords be talking about with the Tenants during visit?2019-07-26T18:35:53-04:00

As a landlord you can inquire about general items such as: How’s your stay? Anything you need? How’s everything else?

As a Landlord how often should I visit the unit?2019-07-26T18:33:14-04:00

Two or three visits in a year are good to inspect the unit. Need to provide 24-hr notice.

As a Landlord what I should be checking for in unit?2019-07-26T18:31:36-04:00
  • Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to check if all looks good inside and there is no water damage
  • Check microwave filter, replace with new one
  • Check bathroom shower and see if there is no mould
  • Check mirror closet door to see if there are no cracks
  • Check balcony glass door
  • Ask tenant if taps / showers / toilets don’t leak etc.
  • Ask if all appliances are working fine
  • Check washing machine linen filter and also linen trap on ceiling of washer / dryer closet.
Can a landlord evict a tenant for having a pet?2019-07-26T18:28:35-04:00

A tenancy agreement cannot forbid a tenant from having a pet. And once there is a tenancy agreement, a landlord cannot evict the tenant simply for having a pet. This is true even if they agreed that the tenant would not have a pet. However, there are some cases when the landlord can apply to the Landlord Tenant Board to evict a tenant who has a pet. These are some common examples:

  • the pet is making too much noise, damaging the unit or causing other tenants to have allergic reactions
  • the breed or species is inherently dangerous
  • the rules of the condominium corporation does not allow pets like the one tenant has.
Can a landlord refuse to rent to a person who has a pet?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Yes. A landlord can refuse to rent to a person who has a pet. A service animal is not considered a pet. Visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site for more information.

What happens when a lease ends? Does it renew automatically?2019-07-26T18:22:48-04:00

A tenancy does not end when a fixed term lease expires, unless:

  • The landlord or the tenant gives proper notice to end the tenancy for a reason permitted in the RTA.
  • The landlord and tenant both agree that the tenancy will end.
  • The LTB or the court has issued an order ending the tenancy.

Otherwise the tenancy will renew automatically with the same terms and conditions. However the tenancy will become a month-to-month agreement instead of a yearly one, or a week-to-week agreement if the tenant pays rent weekly. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for further information.

Can a tenant be evicted if the landlord sells the house and the buyer wants to move in?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Yes, but only if the person buying the building needs the rental unit for their own use, the use of an immediate family member or the use of a person who will provide care services to the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family, who is living in the same building or complex. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for details.

Can a tenant be evicted if the landlord wants to use the unit themselves?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Yes, a tenant can be evicted if a landlord requires the unit for:

  • their own use
  • the use of an immediate family member
  • the use of a person who will provide care services to the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family, who is living in the same building or complex

Starting September 1, 2017, the landlord must either give the tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent or offer the tenant another unit that the tenant accepts. Only individual landlords, not corporations, can give notice of termination for this reason. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site for additional information.

What is the difference between assigning and subletting a unit?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Assigning a unit means that the tenant moves out of the unit permanently and transfers their tenancy to another person. Subletting a unit means that the tenant moves out of the unit for a period of time but plans to move back in before the end of the tenancy. A tenant must have the landlord’s approval to assign or sublet the unit, but the landlord must have a good reason to refuse. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for detailed information.

Can a tenant break a lease?2019-07-26T18:11:49-04:00

Breaking a lease means that a tenant wants to leave their unit before their tenancy agreement is over. An example would be: a tenant who signed a one year lease might want to move out after eight months. A tenant and landlord can agree to break a lease. It is best if this agreement is in writing and signed by the landlord and the tenant. If the landlord is not willing to break the lease, the tenant can assign the unit to a new tenant with the landlord’s consent. For process and information, please refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board.

How much notice does a tenant have to give to move out?2019-07-26T18:09:18-04:00

When a tenant decides to move, they must provide a written notice to the landlord. In most cases, the notice provided to the landlord must be at least 60 days before the last day of the rental period, or their lease. For example, if it is a monthly tenancy that begins on the first day of each month and the tenant gives the landlord notice on June 15th, the termination date would be August 31st. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site for details.

Can a landlord change the locks?2019-07-26T18:07:13-04:00

A landlord can change the locks while the tenant is living in the unit as long as they give the tenant a key for the new lock. Once a tenant has been evicted from the unit, the landlord can change the locks, even if the tenant has left property in the unit. The landlord does not have to give the former tenant replacement keys in this case. Refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for more information.

Can a tenant change the locks?2019-07-26T18:05:12-04:00

A tenant cannot change the locks or add locks that might stop a landlord from entering the unit. If the tenant does change the lock, the tenant should give a copy of the key to the landlord immediately. Fore more information, please visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

Can a landlord enter a tenant’s unit?2019-07-26T18:02:50-04:00

A landlord can only enter a tenant’s unit in specific circumstances. In most cases, the landlord must first give the tenant 24 hours written notice, stating when they will enter and for what reason. There are some exceptions to this requirement, for example, in case of emergency. For more information see the brochure: A Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act or visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

Can tenant withhold rent because landlord isn’t properly maintaining the unit?2019-07-26T18:00:28-04:00

No. If you withhold rent, the landlord can give you a notice of termination for non-payment of rent and then file an application to evict you. For more information, please visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

Who is responsible for maintaining the rental unit?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

It is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the unit in a good state of repair, even if the tenant was aware of problems in the unit before they moved into it and the lease says that the tenant is responsible for maintenance. However, the tenant is responsible for keeping the unit clean, up to the standard that most people consider ordinary or normal cleanliness. The tenant is also responsible for repairing or paying for any damage to the rental property they caused or caused by their guests or another person living in the rental unit. Please visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for more information.

Can the landlord charge a damage deposit?2019-07-26T17:54:30-04:00

No. A landlord cannot collect a damage deposit from the tenant to pay for damage done to the unit. If the landlord finds that a tenant has damaged the unit, the landlord can give the tenant a notice of termination and/or ask them to pay for the damages. If the tenant doesn’t pay, the landlord can apply to the Landlord Tenant Board to determine if there are damages and what should be done.

Does a landlord pay interest on rent deposit?2019-07-26T17:51:55-04:00

The landlord must pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit every 12 months. The percent interest is the same as the rent increase guideline that is in effect when the interest payment is due. The guideline is set each year by the Ministry of Housing. Please refer to the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board for details.

How much rent can a landlord legally increase?2023-01-25T18:47:56-04:00

Rent Increase for Homes & Condos

Most Ontario tenants are protected by rent controls that limit how much rent can increase year-over-year. The rent payable by tenants may also decrease in limited situations. Normally, the landlord can increase the rent only once every 12 months. The landlord must use the Landlord and Tenant Board- N1 Form and give the tenant at least 90 days’ notice before the rent increase is to take effect. The rent can be increased by no more than the rent increase guideline unless the Landlord and Tenant Board approves a rent increase above the guideline. The guideline for each year can be found on the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website. For example, the rent increase guideline for 2023 is 2.5%.

However, there are some exceptions:

  • In some cases, landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise your rent by more than the rent increase guideline.
  • New buildings, additions to existing buildings and most new basement apartments that are occupied for the first time for residential purposes after November 15, 2018 are exempt from rent control. Use N2 Form.

Link to N1 and N2 Forms

Rent Increases above the Guideline:

The landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise the rent by more than the rent increase guideline. Affected tenants can oppose this application at the Landlord and Tenant Board. This kind of rent increase is called an above-guideline rent increase. The Landlord and Tenant Board can allow this kind of rent increase if:

  • the landlord’s municipal taxes and charges have increased significantly,
  • the landlord has done major repairs or renovations, or
  • the costs of external security services (i.e. not performed by the landlord’s employees) have increased, or external security services are being provided for the first time.

The landlord and tenant can also agree to an above-guideline rent increase, if the landlord agrees to renovate or add a new service for the tenant. Certain rules apply. Rent Reductions:

The landlord must reduce the rent if:

  • the municipal property tax goes down by more than 2.49 per cent, or
  • the rent was increased above the guideline to pay for repairs or renovations and the costs have been fully paid for (this only applies to tenants who were living in the unit when the above guideline rent increase happened).

The tenant can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to reduce their rent if:

  • municipal property taxes or charges on the rental property go down,
  • the landlord reduced or removed a service without reducing the rent, or
  • the landlord did not keep a promise they made in an agreement for a rent increase above the guideline.

How is the rent increase calculated?

It is calculated using the Ontario Consumer Price Index, a Statistics Canada tool that measures inflation and economic conditions over a year. Data from June to May is used to determine the guideline for the following year. For more information, issues or concerns on the rent increase guideline or any landlord tenant topics, you can contact the Landlord and Tenant Board. For full guidelines on other types of residential dwellings, please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

How is rent decided?2019-07-26T12:54:23-04:00

When a rental unit is vacant, the market rent determines the price. Since there is always a shortage of rental units, rent negotiation between landlord and tenant plays a smaller role. Once the tenancy begins, the rules about rent in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) apply. For more information, visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

What information a landlord must give to new tenants?2019-07-25T18:28:51-04:00

A landlord must give all new tenants the brochure: Information for New Tenants, which includes information about the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, the role of the LTB and how to contact the Landlord Tenant Board. The landlord must give the tenant the brochure on or before the day the tenancy begins, even if the tenant does not move in on that date.

The landlord has 21 days after the tenant has signed and returned the tenancy agreement to give the tenant a copy with the signatures of both the tenant and the landlord.

Where there is no written tenancy agreement, the landlord must provide the tenant with his or her legal name and address within 21 days of the start of the tenancy.

For more information, please visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

What should I do for repairs to my unit?2019-07-25T18:23:37-04:00

Tell your landlord and put the problems in writing and give the list to the landlord. If the landlord refuses to do the repairs, you can find more information on how to deal with the situation on the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

What can landlord do if tenant is late with rent?2019-07-25T14:46:44-04:00

If a tenant does not pay rent on the date that it is due, the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent the day after the rent was due. For more information visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board site.

How often can landlord increase rent?2019-07-25T14:24:45-04:00

The landlord can increase the rent once every 12 months. The landlord has to give the tenant a 90 day written notice of the increase. For more information visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant site.

What can I do about second hand smoke from a neighbour?2019-07-25T14:10:55-04:00

Your neighbours can smoke in their homes, unless there are condominium bylaws that say they can’t. However, if second-hand smoke from tobacco or marijuana from another unit is bothering you, speak to your landlord. If your landlord cannot resolve this issue, you may apply to the Landlord & Tenant Board. For more information, please visit the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board Site.

What is the Rent Now – Buy Later program?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

As part of our unique Rent Now – Buy Later Program, we can assist you with finding a suitable property to rent for 1-2 years (max). Closer to the end of your lease term (or earlier depending on your readiness to purchase), we will start sending you for sale listings that closely match your needs. We will arrange for showings so that you can cherry pick the home or condo you would like to buy. As a Buyer, when you Buy your home or condo with Team Kalia, you DO NOT pay us any fee or commission, as the Buyer Broker fee or commission is typically covered by the Seller in Canada.

What are the Rent Now-Buy Later Program Benefits

  • Ideal for Newcomers, People on Work Permit, Millennial Home Buyers, First Time Home Buyers in Mississauga
  • Gives you peace of mind – helps you secure a unit for rent in a typically tight rental market
  • Gives you confidence – knowing that you will soon become a homeowner & contribute towards your own mortgage payment
  • Allows you time to save for a down payment towards your home purchase
  • Gives you time to figure out the best neighbourhood to buy in, based on your work, school & other criteria
  • Makes you an informed buyer as we will educate you about mortgage, resale vs. builder new options, first time buyer incentives & much more
What happens when damage occurs after you made an offer to buy a home?2018-12-03T16:48:22-04:00

If the home is not in the same condition as when you made the offer, you should tell your real estate agent and also discuss with your real estate lawyer.

In Ontario, there is a clause in the standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale that makes the seller liable for damages that occur between signing and closing. This is called a risk allocation clause.

Your lawyer will want information about the seller’s insurance policy and to review the APS in addition to the estimate for repairs.

If the damage is substantial, the buyer may choose to cancel the transaction and get their deposit back. They could also choose not to back out and instead receive money from the seller’s insurance policy. All the options must be reviewed discussed with all parties: seller, buyer, their lawyers and the insurance company. The lawyers can recommend the best way forward.

The seller’s home insurance policy will terminate the day you take possession. If you find any problems after you move in, you’ll have to discuss next steps with your lawyer.

Hence a pre-closing visit is very important for the buyer to ensure the home they bought is in the same condition as when they made their offer, and that the seller has fulfilled conditions mentioned in the APS.

What is SRES®?2018-04-12T14:34:27-04:00

Amit Kalia is also a qualified SRES®. A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® is a REALTOR® who is qualified to assist seniors in housing sales and purchases. The SRES® designation is awarded only to REALTORS®who have successfully completed a series of educational courses on how to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions. They also draw upon the expertise of a network of senior specialists, such as estate planners, CPAs, and eldercare lawyers, and are familiar with local community resources and services. Their mission is to help seniors and their families navigate the maze of financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany the sale of the home.

Can we buy a home on a work permit?2023-01-26T17:22:58-04:00

Starting from January 1, 2023 Non-Canadians are  restricted from purchasing a residential property in Canada for a period of two years. The Act and Regulations provide exceptions for the following persons:

  • Temporary residents working in Canada, if they:
    • hold a valid work permit or are authorized to work in Canada
    • have worked full-time in Canada for at least 3 years within the 4 years preceding the year in which the purchase was made
    • have filed income tax returns for 3 of the 4 taxation years preceding the year in which the purchase was made
    • have not previously purchased a residential property in Canada while the prohibition is in effect

More details can be found here: The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act

Earlier you could buy a property by paying a Foreign Buyer Tax or NRST. On October 25, 2022, the NRST rate was increased from 20% to 25% and expanded to all regions of the province. However, this amount was reimbursable when you got your Permanent Residence (PR).

Rules keep changing so please contact Team Kalia, who can put you in touch with seasoned mortgage specialists, and help you buy your first home in the GTA.

You may want to also explore the Rent Now – Buy Later Program.

As a tenant, can I sub lease a room on Airbnb?2017-11-16T15:35:58-04:00

Without permission from your landlord, you will not be able to sublet a room or part of the property you lease. Cities are allowing Airbnb rentals for owners who are looking to rent out a portion of their home or condo. As a renter, you must check the rules with your landlord.

Can I smoke marijuana in my unit?2018-12-05T13:14:34-04:00

Smoking is prohibited inside units at all times. Marijuana laws have changed since October 2018. Almost all condo buildings will not allow residents to smoke marijuana inside the units or in the common areas of the building for recreational purposes. You may be allowed to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes. But, before you do that, check with your property management. Contact your condo board and look into your lease agreement if you will be allowed to smoke marijuana in your Mississauga condo.

How much down payment do I make, & how does it impact mortgage?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00

Canadian residents and Permanent Residents who wants to buy a property in Canada without a down payment of at least 20 per cent of the purchase price is usually required to get mortgage loan insurance from the CMHC, which requires a smaller down payment of 5 per cent on a home worth up to $500,000.

A 10 per cent down payment is required for the portion of the price over $500,000, with $1 million being the maximum property value allowed.

Foreigners who want to buy properties need to come up with a down payment of at least 35% to 50%. There is a 15% foreigner buyer’s tax of buying price in the GTA. Mortgage rates are same as any other Canadian or PR person.

People often have a related question: whether it is better to pay off your mortgage loan or not.

Does buying a property make sense over renting?2016-03-14T09:59:46-04:00

If you have 5% down payment, a good credit and job, then yes, buying a property can make better sense over renting a freehold home or condo. You can read about more about Renting vs. Buying. I will help you make an informed decision and make the whole process much easier for you.

Can a tenant buy the landlord’s property at the end of lease?2017-09-28T13:03:10-04:00

As long as both parties agree to this arrangement, it is possible for a tenant to buy the landlord’s property. Brokerage fees may be required to be paid by tenants living in rental homes or condos, if this was indicated in the original listing agreement for lease. A tenant may be able to purchase landlord’s property through the lease to buy option.

Can landlords evict a tenant?2019-11-17T05:58:31-04:00