Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Reverse Mortgage You really want it?

An Excellent perspective.

Reverse Mortgage
A reverse mortgage is simple. You get a bag of money to spend on anything and never have to pay it back. In return the lender goes on the title of your house and charges you interest and fees that you never really see. So over time the debt grows – the opposite of a conventional mortgage. The money is eventually returned to the lender when you sell the property or croak, in which case your estate pays.
The advantage is tax-free funds and no payments. The disadvantage is you’re eating up your real estate equity every month. For example, a 70-year-old living in a paid-for $1 million house, qualifies for a reverse mortgage of about $350,000. If that cash lasts for ten years of expenses, at age 80 the reverse mortgage debt will have grown to $670,000. Seven years later it will top $1 million. The heirs will be pissed.Want it?

What you want can bite you later

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Sue the Condo Corp for Vandalism to your car

In a recent case, Friedich v. MTCC No. 1018, a condominium resident unsuccessfully sued the condo corporation after his vehicle had been vandalized.
The corporation had made changes to its security for the garage. The previous telephone entry system was replaced by closed circuit televisions and security guard patrols every two hours.
The resident alleged that the changes to garage security resulted in easy access to vandals. He argued that the corporation had breached its obligation contained in section 17 of the Condominium Act, 1998, to control, manage and administer the common elements and was also negligent under the Occupiers’ Liability Act in failing to keep the parking garage secure.
The resident’s case was dismissed after the Court concluded that the resident did not provide any evidence that the change in the garage security made it more likely that his car would be vandalized or that the corporation’s security protocol fell below industry standards. The resident did not even provide any evidence to substantiate that his car had been vandalized while in the parking garage.
The Court stated that the corporation was not an insurer and determined that if there was any vandalism that occurred to the resident’s vehicle while in the garage, the damage was caused by criminals, not the condominium corporation. The Court found that the corporation had acted reasonably in hiring the security firm and that there was no evidence that the security firm did not discharge its duties in a professional and reputable manner.
The Court decision was upheld on appeal to the Superior Court of Justice. The dismissal of the appeal was based on the fact that the resident failed to establish that the corporation had breached the standard of care required under the Occupiers’ Liability Act.
The Superior Court also acknowledged that the Board’s business judgment concerning the security system was entitled to deference. The Ontario Court of Appeal has recognized that the “business judgment rule” applies to condominium board decisions. As long as the board of directors has acted honestly and in good faith and exercised the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances, the courts will give deference to board decisions. Directors who have met the requisite standard of care won’t have to worry about the court “second-guessing” board decisions.

Condo Cameras VS the Right to Privacy

Police Surveillance Cameras in Condominiums
Should police be entitled to install video cameras in the condominium common elements in order to obtain evidence about suspect residents engaged in criminal activities?In the case of R.v. Brewster, it was revealed that the police had installed video cameras in the underground parking garages and the hallways of several condominiums. Some of the cameras were installed without a warrant, but with the permission of either the condo manager, or the condo manager and board of directors. Other cameras were installed after the police obtained a warrant authorizing the installations. The police obtained the warrant in the event that they would not be able to obtain the consent of the condo manager or board. However, consent was not refused by any of the condominiums.In all, there were 14 suspects associated with 14 units at 11 different condo buildings that were involved in the investigation. The police felt that video surveillance was necessary as it was not possible to conduct live physical surveillance as the suspects were armed, dangerous and members of organized criminal groups.When the warrant was granted certain restrictions were imposed:§ All observations could only be made by a police officer;
§ All cameras should be installed so as to minimize capturing any observations within a unit;
§ There would be no ability to capture any audio.
While the video cameras did not point directly at any residential unit, there were instances where the cameras captured glimpses of the interior of a unit and residents in the doorway (including residents of the condominium who were not the suspects of the investigation).In one condominium the condo manager gave the police a key fob and access code to gain entrance to the front lobby and the underground parking garage. This was done without the knowledge of the board. After police requested to install a hidden camera in the ceiling of the hallway, the manager obtained the consent of the board to allow the installation, but did not inform the board of the location of the camera.The accused in this case argued that their rights under section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated as the police investigation involved unreasonable search and seizure that was not authorized by law. They took the position that a warrant was required and that the consent of the condominium management/board was not sufficient to lawfully authorize the surveillance cameras.The Ontario Superior Court of Justice determined that the condominium property management and board have the “full authority to determine these kinds of issues, relating to the safety and security of the common areas of the building, including the installation of surveillance cameras”.
The Court also implied that the condominium management or the corporation, itself, had a moral or social duty to assist the police:“. . . the law-abiding citizens of the condominium building are entitled to cooperate with a police investigation, pursuant to their ‘moral or social duty’ and in order to protect their own interest in the security and safety of the building. In doing so, they act through the agency of the building management.”
 The Court also concluded that no warrant was needed to authorize the installation of the cameras in the common elements as police observations and videos of the hallway were no different than police observations and videos taken from the street or sidewalk of a free-standing house. It was also noted that many condominiums have their own video surveillance cameras installed in the common elements to enhance the security of the condominium.
“. . . surveillance cameras are commonplace in the lobbies, parking garages, elevators and hallways of condominium buildings, indicating that the owners accept this reduction of their privacy interest in these common areas that lead to their homes, in favour of collective security. This interest in enhanced security in the common areas of condominium buildings is not surprising, given that a resident of a multi-unit building is living in very close proximity to neighbours who may not be known and who may be suspicious or even dangerous.”” There is no reasonable expectation of privacy (or a very low privacy interest) in common areas like parking garages, lobbies, elevators and hallways, provided that police do not conduct intrusive surveillance of activities inside the apartment or condominium unit from their vantage point in the common areas.”The Court further noted that while there was some interference with the privacy interests of innocent third parties, these instances were brief and were not significant.The accused have appealed the decision. The appeal is scheduled to be heard on April 8, 2019. While the appeal decision will directly affect the accused in the case, the decision will also be of interest to condominium management, boards and residents as it will look at the extent to which police can install  video surveillance cameras in condominium common elements and the privacy rights of residents while on the common elements.

What do you think? 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Stepping up from “virtual tours” with Matterport

For decades, agents looking to advertise homes for sale had one option, the print media. Then, in the mid-80s, the the internet changed the world. But still that only offered a wider, and cheaper, exposure for Realtors’ still photographs. It took another two decades for dramatic advances to appear. Now Realtors are expanding their presentations with drone photography, virtual staging, and 3D tours. #Matterport The best 3D tours are truly stepping up from the “virtual tours” that appeared a just few years ago. Those either seem stilted or tacky in comparison to the 3D tour, and sometimes turn out to be simply slide shows with music. The more naturalistic 3D tour allows you to move around in the room, and among the rooms, and zoom in to inspect details. Change Levels, view the doll house view or switch to a floor plan of the home. All of these options are available for home and condo listings at , the website of Realtor David Pylyp (RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc Brokerage). 647.218.2414 Book your event today #Toronto #Canada April 08, 2019