Retainer Agreement for Clients Purchasing Real Estate in Ontario - Last Revised March 10, 2020
Congratulations on your upcoming Real Estate Purchase and thank you for
choosing Mandani Law for your legal needs!
Please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time if you have any
questions as the transaction progresses. We will need to meet shortly
before you take possession to your property to review the entire
transaction, sign the documents and arrange for funds. Someone from our
office will contact you to arrange such a meeting closer to when this date
Please review this agreement thoroughly. This agreement establishes the
solicitor-client relationship (i.e. lawyer and client). If you do not
understand any of the terms or language, please contact us and we will
gladly explain any questions you may have. This agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities between our law firm and you the client.
SCOPE OF SERVICES
At this time, Mandani Law have not been retained to represent you generally
or in connection with any other matter. We will not be able to advise you
on tax matters as we do not practice tax law but we can work with tax
professionals you retain, to obtain advice that we can incorporate into the
relevant documentation. By agreeing to this Retainer Agreement, you, the client(s) shall hold Mandani Law Professional Corporation, it's lawyers, staff, agents, heirs and successors harmless and shall indemnify them from all claims and liabilities relating to taxes liabilities and concerns.
During the retainer, we have authority to act for and on behalf of you in
connection with such matters and to conduct such matters in all respects.
Except where you have specifically instructed otherwise, we may act on your
behalf and bind you in all necessary and related legal forms and procedures
within reason and we will be expected to take all steps reasonably
necessary to further and protect your interests.
The closing date of your transaction will be listed in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and may be amended by an amendment form agreement to the original Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Your real estate agent should be able to assist with any amendments to the closing in the early stages of your transaction. Please keep our office informed of any delays or changes in the closing date.
Additional Fee For Delays Caused By Client
If any delays are caused by you as a result of not having adequate
financing or funding available on the closing date or other reason in your
control, then we reserve the right to charge an additional $350 plus HST
FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS
Our legal fees for completing a standard real estate purchase transactions with resale homes
are $999.00, plus HST, and all applicable disbursements and taxes. We charge $999 plus HST for a standard new build house closing and for condominium closings. To process new build occupancy closings, our fee is $350 plus HST which is in addition to the closing fee. For Commercial Properties, we generally charge by Rashesh Mandani's hourly billable rate.
New Build Homes and Condominiums
For new build homes, we require a $250 plus HST deposit for the review of the initial building documents. If you do not continue with the closing, the deposit will be retained as our fee for reviewing the new build home documents. If you continue with the purchase of the new build home, the deposit will be kept in our trust account and will be applied to the final closing. For clarity, if you choose to continue with the closing, the deposit will not be an extra fee in any way and will simply form part of the legal services we normally charge on closing. Prior to reviewing your builder documents, you must accept this retainer agreement and email transfer or provide a cheque made out to Mandani Law Professional Corporation, in trust for the $250 plus HST deposit ($282.50).
For new build homes and condos, builders will require you to take occupancy of the unit prior to the legal closing. The occupancy closing usually requires cheques to be provided to the builder, administration fees paid and occupancy agreements to be signed. Depending on how much work your builder requires to deal with an occupancy closing, we reserve the right to charge for our time. Any courier fees or bank fees will be charged to you as disbursements.
Changes in Fees
Mandani Law reserves the right to amend its fees at any time in accordance with rules of professional conduct.
Rural, Commercial, Farms and Agricultural Properties
Rural properties, cottages, commercial properties, farms, agricultural and other types of properties are subject to additional fees given their complexity. Please contact us for a detailed quote on these types of properties. If you are purchasing one of these types of properties and are intending on making changes or additions to the property, please advise us ASAP as we may need to contact relevant authorities such as conservation authorities to inquire about restrictions on the property.
In some real estate transactions, there may be unforeseen issues, complexities, and/or difficulties that arise as a result of matters beyond our law firm's control. Mandani Law reserves the right to increase fees to reflect any additional time expended with the completion of your transaction and will contact you to discuss same.
In addition to these fees, you are required to pay on closing Land Transfer Tax (LTT) to the Province of Ontario. Please contact us and we can help calculate how much LTT you will be required to pay on closing. If you are a
first-time homebuyer, please contact our office and advise us of same as you may qualify for the first-time homebuyer rebate.
Before your closing date, you must therefore provide Mandani Law with
sufficient funds by certified cheque, bank draft, money order or wire
transfer to complete your transaction. These funds include the amount owing
to the vendors plus legal fees, disbursements and adjustments for extra
expenses and taxes as outlined above. We will advise you prior to closing
of the total funds required.
What Are Disbursements?
Disbursements are expenses that your lawyer charges you for out-of-pocket
expenses that you would otherwise be required to pay if you handled the
transaction yourself. Because your lawyer generally pays these expenses,
the lawyer requires you to reimburse them by including these items in their
account. Examples of disbursements include but are not limited to:
Under the Ontario Solicitors Act, bills for fees and disbursements
remaining unpaid more than 30 days after the bill is delivered, will bear
interest at a prescribed rate as specified on the bill. Payment is due on
all of our accounts when rendered. If any account is not paid within 30
days, interest will be charged on the outstanding balance at a rate of 5% per annum from the date of the account, until paid.
You must know the manner in which you wish to take title to your new
property. You must provide us with the legal name or names you want on the
Transfer (please note that initials cannot be used) as well as the dates of
birth for each. There are several options as to how title to the property
may be recorded. Where more than one person's name is to be recorded on
There are several options as to how title to the property may be recorded.
Where more than one person's name is to be recorded on title, choices
include "Joint Tenancy" and "Tenancy-in-Common".
If you choose joint tenancy, in the event of the death of one of the joint
tenants, the survivor(s) will own the entire property by right of
survivorship. For a married or partnered couple, this is the most
convenient way to deal with a house when one of the spouses or partners
If you choose tenancy-in-common, then upon the death of one co-owner, that
person's interest will pass to his or her beneficiary under his or her will
or in accordance with intestacy legislation if there is no will.
Ensuring you have financing and all the required funds for closing in a
timely manner is of utmost importance. Ideally, you should attempt become
pre-approved from a lender prior to firming up real estate closing. This
helps ensure you have enough money on closing to close the transaction.
Failure to have enough funds on a firm deal can lead to you breaching the
Agreement of Purchase Sale contract which may lead to the loss of your
deposit and potential legal liability as the vendor will have the
opportunity to sue for damages caused by the failure to close. This can
include but is not limited to legal fees, real estate fees, financing
charges on mortgages and bridge loans of the vendor, losses from selling
the home to a third party for a lower amount after the breach, and more.
BRIDGE LOANS - If you are buying and selling properties where the purchase occurs before your sale and you are relying on sale proceeds to pay for the purchase, you will need to obtain a bridge loan to cover the difference that you need to close the purchase file if you do not have personal funds to cover the difference before the sale.
If you are closing a purchase and sale on the same day where you will be relying on the sale proceeds to pay for the purchase, we strongly recommend that you look into obtaining a bridge loan from your lender just in case your sale is delayed or fails to close on time. If you do not have sufficient funds to complete your purchase as a result of a delay or inability to close your sale file, you will be in default of your purchase closing and you may incur significant losses as a result.
Mandani Law charges an additional $150 plus HST and disbursements for each bridge loan.
Please ensure that Mandani Law receives mortgage instructions from your
lender as early as possible since a majority of your file cannot be
processed until we have a full understanding of financing and the
requirements of the lender.
Additional Fee - Late Mortgage Instructions
Please note, we charge a $350.00 plus HST fee premium if we receive the lender
mortgage instructions less than 48 hours before the closing date. If mortgage instructions are received with less than 48 hours, our office is forced to delay other files by diverting staff resources and/or we are required to spend time outside of working hours to rush to complete all the required legal tasks prior to closing. A large number of documents and tasks related to the closing rely on having mortgage instructions in hand for important information. As such,
please ensure that you finalize your financing with your lender as soon as
possible before the closing date to ensure we receive mortgage instructions
in a timely fashion.
Additional Fee - Class "B" Lenders And Private Mortgages
We charge an additional $300 plus HST fee premium for mortgages that are
from "B" Lenders. "B" Lenders generally are smaller financial institutions,
lending companies and investment companies that are not chartered banks.
Some example lenders include but are not limited to Home Equity Bank,
Equitable Bank, Hometrust, small credit unions, etc. These lenders usually
have easier requirements to get qualified for a mortgage or may offer a
lower interest rate than those offered by the larger class A lenders.
We do not charge a premium for the large chartered Canadian banks and class
"A" lenders such as TD Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal, National Bank, Royal
Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), etc.
The reason for this premium in fees is because, generally, smaller lenders
usually do not have physical branches, and usually ask for many more
requirements and documents to be processed by our law firm as compared to
the larger class A lenders. Our premium is to cover the extra resources we
need to invest for files with mortgages that request more information than that of
a standard file.
If you have received a survey from the vendors, please provide us with a
copy as soon as possible. Please also let us know whether you are aware of
any physical changes, additions or alterations to the building(s) on the
property. Without the benefit of a current survey of the property, we are
unable to comment on any changes, additions or alterations to the buildings
and we are unable to ascertain the location of any subsequently constructed
structures and possible encroachments such as fences, buildings, hedges or
If you would like us to obtain an up-to-date survey for your property,
please advise us as soon as possible to discuss the cost and any time
constraints. An up-to-date survey may not be required if you obtaining
title insurance with your purchase - see the next section below.
INSURING TITLE TO YOUR PROPERTY
Lawyers acting for purchasers in Ontario are required as part of their
responsibilities to advise their clients as to their options with respect
to insuring the title to their property. You may opt for a lawyer's opinion
on title or you may choose to purchase a title insurance policy from one of
the various title insurance companies operating in Ontario.
OPTION 1 - Lawyer's Opinion on Title
If you opt for a lawyer's opinion on title, after your transaction has been
completed, you will receive from us an opinion as to whether you have good
and marketable title to your property. The opinion will be based on the
title and off title inquiries that we make on your behalf and the
availability of an up to date survey showing the location of the buildings
and boundaries. Our opinion of course will be subject to the accuracy of
the information that we am provided with from the various governmental
offices, and the currency and accuracy of any survey provided to us(which
we have already discussed above) for review. Unlike a title insurance
policy, which is discussed below, we cannot provide you with any opinion or
protection from losses with respect to title fraud.
OPTION 2 - Title Insurance
Your other option is to purchase a title insurance policy. In that case, we
do not provide you with a lawyer's opinion on title; instead, we provide
the opinion to the title insurer who in turn issues a policy to you.
A policy of title insurance will insure you against losses resulting from
the various covered matters in the policy-including the matters that we
would otherwise be giving an opinion to you such as:
There is also coverage for many survey related matters, including
encroachments (other than fences and boundary walls) and violations of
municipal set back requirements. With certain exceptions, such as for
post-policy date title fraud, coverage for losses applies to the extent
that these matters exist as of the policy date (being the date your
Transfer is registered) but that are unknown to you at that time.
In addition, the benefits of a title insurance policy include:
As with all insurance products, title insurance does not cover defects
which you are aware of prior to the closing of the transaction (such as
adverse circumstances disclosed in a home inspection report or seller
property information statement) or which you may have agreed to in your
Agreement of Purchase and Sale. All policies are subject to exclusions and
exceptions, including, but not necessarily limited to environmental matters
and native land claims.
In the event that title insurance is obtained, there are a number of off
title searches that we will not be performing as most losses related
thereto that exist as of the closing date, but are unknown to you at that
time, are covered in your title insurance policy. You will save the
disbursement costs related to these off title searches. However, in certain
circumstances, such as where the size of the property is important, or if
you are planning on adding onto an existing structure, or changes to the
use of the property are contemplated, we recommend that certain off title
searches be done even if title insurance is being purchased. If this is the
case, please advise our office as soon as possible.
We recommend that your transaction is completed by way of title insurance,
and in the event that our firm does not hear from you to the contrary, we
will be ordering a policy from either Stewart Title or Chicago Title for
closing. You will sign an Acknowledgment confirming the manner in which you
have chosen to insure your title and confirming our right to disclose
relevant information to the title insurer, in relation to your transaction,
for the purposes of obtaining a title insurance policy.
Should you wish to discuss in further detail your options in this regard
(including the option to purchase title insurance from another company) or
if you wish to receive a sample title insurance policy, please contact us
as soon as possible, as your decision will affect the manner in which we
proceed with your transaction.
INTENDED USE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF PROPERTY
Please advise us as soon as possible if your plans for the property include
uses other than owner-occupied residential (e.g. rental property) and/or if
you plan on making any additions and/or substantial renovations.
If your property is to be tenanted on closing or if your Agreement of
Purchase and Sale provides for multi-unit use, you may be assuming prior
obligations of the landlord to the tenants. Subject to the limitations in
the agreement, purchasers usually protect themselves by relying on
warranties from the vendors and acknowledgments from the tenants. If your
agreement provides for such documentation, we will ensure that we obtain
same from the vendors' solicitor on closing. If your agreement does not so
provide, we will not be making any further inquiries and you may want to
consider making your own inquiries directly with the tenants in this
It should be noted
that neither a title insurance policy nor our opinion will cover fire
retrofit issues (that is, the property, as it sits today, would pass an
inspection by the Fire Marshall); the only way to obtain such an assurance
would be to have the Fire Marshall inspect the premises some time prior to
closing, or at least rely on the services of a qualified home inspector.
Please advise immediately if you would like usto pursue either of these
avenues (additional costs will apply). Furthermore, a title insurance
policy does not cover legality of rents or lost rental income.
Please also advise as to whether the property is located on a
waterfront, highway, ravine, escarpment, or is subject to or near any
This information may affect the scope of the enquiries we may need to make
on your behalf.
Prior to closing, you must arrange for fire insurance to be placed on the
property as of the closing date.
Protecting Your Lender
If you are obtaining mortgage, the lender must also be noted as loss payee
on the policy and you will want to ensure that the policy provides for
"guaranteed replacement cost" as this is a requirement of most lenders.
Your insurance agent will need to provide uswith a Binder Letter or
Certificate of Insurance showing that the insurance is in place. Please
make the necessary arrangements for this as soon as possible.
We cannot use mortgage proceeds on closing unless we first verify the fire
insurance policy is in place and the lender is listed as an additional
insured on your insurance policy.
You will need to contact utility authorities (electricity, natural gas, hot
water tank rental, water, internet, phone, TV, and satelitte) to create new
accounts in your name for closing and to advise of your closing date and,
where applicable, to request that the meters be read on the closing date.
Advise them that you will be the new occupants and that you can be reached
at the property. As a precaution, we advise that at least one week before
your closing date, you should also contact the local utilities and phone
company directly in the event they require further information to set up
your new accounts.
We will receive the keys to your property on closing, but it may also be
convenient for you to arrange to obtain them from the vendors or your real
estate agent directly. We are unable to release the keys to you until all
the appropriate documents have been registered with the local Land Registry
Office. We cannot guarantee when this will occur. While we assure you that
we will do what we can to ensure the timely closing of your purchase
transaction, it is not uncommon for the keys to not become available until
close to 5:00 pm on your closing date. As such, please ensure that you make
the appropriate moving arrangements to account for the delivery of your
keys at that time of day.
We will meet with you shortly before your closing date to review your file
and to have you sign documents. We will need to meet with each person whose
name will appear on the Transfer. If any person whose name will appear on
the Transfer will not be available at that time, please advise us as soon
as possible as alternative arrangements may have to be made. If you require
a lawyer, such as Rashesh Mandani to travel and visit to you, Mandani Law
reserves the right to charge a travel fee to cover the lawyer's time.
The Law Society of Upper Canada and your mortgage lender require us to
verify your identity. We must also ensure your matter doesn’t conflict with
another matter or client.
At our meeting, we will require each person, to bring two pieces of
identification, one of which must be Canadian/Federal or Provincial
government-issued photo identification such as a driver's licence or
passport. Unfortunately, a health card is not acceptable identification. If you
have any questions about what is an acceptable form of identification or if
you do not have Canadian/Federal or Provincial photo identification, please
contact us as soon as possible.
Buying a property is one of the most significant purchases that most people make and it Mandani Law's goal to ensure that your transaction proceeds smoothly and that you obtain good title to your property. If we can be of any assistance prior to your closing date, please do not hesitate to contact us.
TERMINATION OF SERVICES
By you, the client
You have the right to terminate our services to you upon written notice to our firm.
By us, the Solicitor(s)
Subject to our obligations to you to maintain proper standards of
professional conduct, we reserve the right to terminate our services to you
for good reasons which include, but are not limited to:
· if you fail to cooperate with me in any reasonable request;
· if our continuing to act would be unethical or impractical;
· improper behavior or aggression;
· if or retainer has not been paid;
· you are dishonest; or
· if you fail to pay our accounts when rendered.
If you terminate our services or we withdraw our services, you would only
have to pay fees, disbursements, and expenses up until the time we stopped
acting for you.
We would also have to withdraw our services if we learned of a conflict of interest that would make it unethical for us
to continue to act for you. A conflict of interest occurs when what is best for one of the clients of our firm somehow is not best for or hurts another of our clients. If we have to withdraw our services for you because of a
conflict of interest, you will only have to pay our fees and expenses up to the time we stopped acting for you.
Fees Collected On Terminated Or Cancelled Matters With Flat Rate
Please note for matters that have flat rate fees such as Real Estate
closings, we reserve the right to charge for our time and resources spent
up to the termination of the solicitor-client contract.
Terminations may also occur upon a client’s failure to close as a result of a lack of funds or other breach of contract. Mandani Law shall have the right to charge for its time and resources on files that are terminated as a
result of client negligence. For clarity, Mandani Law shall have the right to charge for its time and resources for if a flat rate closing file fails to close for any reason. For clarity, Mandani Law shall have the right to charge for its time and resources for if a flat rate closing file fails to close for any reason.
OFFICE HOURS AND RESPONSE TIMES
Mandani Law’s regular office hours are 10 AM to 6 PM, Monday through
We aim to manage and prioritize our clients files depending on the nature and need of each matter. As such, please allow us to return your emails,
phone calls and faxes within one business day. We appreciate your patience and understanding that we are maintaining and dealing with numerous files for multiple clients at any time. Emails, calls, and faxes received on holidays or weekends will be responded to the following business day. Please only leave a maximum of two messages a day on our voicemail, email, or fax systems.
YOUR AGREEMENT TO THE RETAINER AGREEMENT FOR SOLICITOR AND CLIENT
By entering in your information below and by clicking “I Agree”, you are
acknowledging that you have read this retainer agreement in full and that
you agree to abide by the terms set out above.
If you do not agree to this retainer agreement, there is no solicitor-client relationship. Do not fill out the information below and submit this form agreement if you do not agree to these terms. Please advise us immediately of any questions, concerns, comments or if you do not agree to this retainer agreement.
To help speed up your file, you can upload relevant documents relating to your property and
closing below. You can also email us documents or bring them with you when you visit our office. You can upload scanned documents or photos from a smartphone.
If you don't have a scanner but have a smartphone you can try to use a free
scanner app such as Adobe Scan: Mobile PDF Scanner (Available for
) which allows you to capture documents into a PDF using your phone’s
Here’s a short video to help you learn how to use the app.