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Title Transfer and Search: FAQs

The legal term that describes the transference of one registered owner of a property to another owner is known as a title transfer. In most cases, the person who is the title of a property is the one who actually owns it. It could be you, your parents, or your spouse. If there is a situation in which you need to do a title transfer in Toronto, a real estate lawyer can help you. Here are some important frequently asked questions (FAQs) about title searches in Toronto.

Is the deed to a house the same as a title?

Although the terms are used interchangeably, a title is different than a deed. Title shows that you own a right to something such as property. You can also transfer that interest or portion of your property to others. As for deeds, these are the legal documents that transfer title from one person to another. Deeds are often referred to as the vehicle of the property interest transfer.

Can you remove someone from title?

There are three scenarios in which you can remove someone from title to your property. These scenarios include divorce, tenants-in-common (if a tenant chooses to relinquish their stake in the property), and when a party in the title does not qualify for a loan.

How many people can be on the title?

There can be one or more people on the title and they would be considered either “joint tenants” or “tenants in common”. If the owners are registered together, it means if one of them dies, the property belongs to the survivors. The last surviving tenant alone can leave the property to someone in his or her will. If the property is owned by tenants in common, anyone can leave their share of the property to whomever they wish upon their death, since the property does not belong to the other tenants in common by default.

Can I put my wife on the title of the house?

You can add your spouse to your home’s title, however, your bank’s interest in the property will still take precedence over your spouse’s. If neither of you pay the loan, both of you can lose the house. Before adding your spouse to your title, consider talking to a real estate attorney to cover any legal fine print you should know about.

Can you force a co-owner to sell a house?

Yes. If two owners of a property cannot agree on the sale of the entire property, a partition lawsuit can be filed. In this lawsuit, the court can order the property to be sold and divide the proceeds among its owners. This is typically done as a last resort.

Can you add someone’s name to a mortgage?

Adding someone to your mortgage means they are equally as responsible for repaying the loan and their credit score will also be on the line. This process, however, can be complicated. Here are some important steps you must follow:

  • Be sure the person you are adding to your mortgage is trustworthy and responsible.
  • Call your mortgage company and ask what you need to do to complete the process.
  • Check the credit score of the person you wish to add to your mortgage. Your rate could increase if they have bad credit.
  • Shop for mortgages and find out about the interest rate, closing fees, any prepayment penalties, and points added to the loan. Compare these rates with others to get the best deal.
  • Collect all the necessary documents you will need to prove income, assets and debt. (Pay stubs, tax returns, bank and brokerage statements, loan information, etc.)
  • Apply for the loan and make sure the details on the loan are precisely what you were told earlier on. Check for any hidden fees and make sure everything is covered and clarified.
  • Sign the loan with your fellow applicant.

What is the proof of ownership of a house?

The best proof of legal ownership is the title. You may need to produce these documents to verify your ownership, especially if there are back taxes or tax liens owed. If for some reason these documents are misplaced or lost, an alternative document of proof must be presented such as a bill of sale. A bill of sale is a document written by the seller of a property to the buyer, transferring the ownership. It also acts as a sales receipt and documents the basic agreements of the sale. It works as alternative evidence that a property is now yours.

What are the legal fees for buying a house in Ontario?

Aside from your down payment and monthly mortgage amounts, there may be other fees when you buy a house in Ontario. These fees may include:

  • Home inspection fee
  • Deposit
  • Appraisal fee
  • Land survey
  • Legal fees
  • Land transfer tax
  • Harmonized sales tax
  • New home warranties
  • Mortgage default insurance
  • Life insurance or mortgage life insurance
  • Title insurance
  • Personal home insurance
  • Utilities and taxes
  • Moving costs

What is the title search process?

The steps of a title search process are as follows:

  1. Chain of title: Historical transfers of title to a property running from the present owner back to the original owner. In most cases this information can be obtained from public records or title plants that are privately owned and maintained by title companies. If this step is incomplete, even if the records go back 70-100 years, there is a cloud on the title. This means the present owner does not have a marketable title.
  2. Tax search: A tax search shows the status of real estate taxes on the property and can determine if there are any assignments against the land. Unpaid taxes will create a lien against the property.
  3. Inspection: In every case, an inspection of the property should be ordered to reveal any matters that could impact the title.
  4. Name and judgement search: In this step, research is done to find out if there are any unsatisfied judgements against the seller or previous owners. Getting title insurance can protect against these judgements.
  5. Closing: The lender, buyer, and seller can proceed with the closing of the property once any issues have been cleared up from the searches.

Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers: Get Help from the Experts

If you need assistance dealing with your title, residential mortgage lawyers in Toronto can help you. Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers is a full service residential real estate law firm that provides fixed closing costs to buyers and sellers when they buy, sell, mortgage, or title transfer their property. We have been in business for 25 years and have closed over 21,000 real estate transactions. We have three lawyers to service our clients and were one of the first firms to provide fixed closing costs. We provide professional service and reasonable real estate lawyer fees and have thousands of satisfied clients to prove it. If you need any assistance, contact us at 416-321-8766 for more information about our services.