Showing posts tagged with: Residential
Understanding Forced Removal Encroachment and How Title Insurance Helps

Understanding Forced Removal Encroachment and How Title Insurance Helps


After spending months looking at houses, you have finally found your dream house. It meets all your needs and is within your budget. You are excited to proceed only to discover after you have purchased the property that a structure situated on the property is encroaching onto the neighbouring lands!

An encroachment is the projection of the actual building or a portion thereof including any improvements on the lands as of the date you purchased the property onto the land belonging to the adjacent property owner. This can include but is not limited to, a portion of the home, garage, shed or driveway encroaching onto the neighbouring lands.

As a homebuyer, can you proceed with the transaction if you become aware of an encroachment issue before you complete your transaction? Well, the short answer is you should consult with your lawyer/notary who can then liaise with your title insurer to determine whether there is any comfort or coverage available for the known defect. The title insurer will then explain the nature of the limited coverage available if any, and you can make an informed decision while instructing your lawyer/notary on how you wish to proceed.

In some instances, depending on the nature of the encroachment, no coverage may be possible for the issue. With title insurance, you may get a limited form of coverage or be able to close with the known defect, but without coverage. Read the following story to see how title insurance may provide coverage for an encroachment.


How Chicago Title Settled the Insured’s Endorsement Claim

An insured purchased a property that had an encroachment onto the neighbouring property. The purchaser was aware of the encroachment and it was noted as a known defect as it did not affect the marketability of the property. So Chicago Title issued an owner’s policy that covered the encroachment to the adjacent property (with an Identified Risk – Enforced Removal Endorsement) owned by the School Board.

Shortly after purchasing the property, the Insured reached out to the School Board to purchase part of the lot or to obtain a servitude to park or servitude for vehicular access.

The School Board sent an email refusing to sell a portion of the lot or to provide any servitude. They advised that they were open to a temporary servitude to allow the Insured to rectify the encroachment of the exterior cladding, the two Hydro-Quebec electrical meters and the two ventilation outlets.

Since the insured had a Chicago Title insurance policy with the Identified Risk – Enforced Removal Endorsement, we settled the claim by paying the cost of rectifying the encroachment.

Title insurance provides coverage from an actual loss suffered by the insured resulting from the forced removal of a structure encroaching on an adjoining property or a public utility easement.

In unique cases like this, the underwriter will consider the possible title insurance endorsements and exclusions from coverage and review the property comprehensively. This includes considering easements and servitudes, standard restrictions, the option to purchase or the right of first refusal and other reservations mentioned in the title commitment. It is important to review the policy issued for actual coverage and exclusions.

Title insurance helps and it’s an essential form of insurance. Chicago Title provides insureds with coverage for any actual loss suffered in relation to matters that are covered under the title insurance policy and are not otherwise excepted or excluded from coverage. For a competitive, one-time premium, an owner’s title insurance policy protects the purchaser or the existing owner from title issues, fraud and other title defects more specifically set out in the title insurance policy.

Title insurance from Chicago Title can help provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your client’s interests are fully protected. For more information, contact your Regional Manager today!

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Chicago Title Insurance Solves Swapped Title Problem
Chicago Title Insurance Solves Swapped Title Issue

Chicago Title Insurance Solves Swapped Title Issue


Imagine the house you have been in living does not belong to you! This happened to a townhome owner in Ontario recently but luckily they had Chicago Title Insurance.

The Complication of Swapped Titles

The Insured purchased a new townhome in Brampton, directly from the developer. Several years later, they received a letter from a lawyer who represented a neighbour in the townhome development. The letter informed them that the developer had made an error with some of the transfers of the townhomes, theirs included.  Sadly, this meant that the legal descriptions for the Insured’s townhome and the neighbour’s townhome got swapped.  In other words, the Insureds had possession of the home they intended to purchase, but the legal description in their deed was that of their neighbour’s home and vice versa.

Resolution by Chicago Title:

Thankfully, the swapped title was not actively causing any loss or damage to our Insured but was causing issues for the neighbour.  This issue would eventually cause a problem for the Insured when they decided to sell or refinance their home. Additionally, without the Insured’s cooperation in resolving the issue, the neighbour would be forced to file a legal action seeking a court order rectifying the legal descriptions.

Chicago Title Claims did not want to take a premature position on the basis that the Insured had not suffered a loss (that could trigger a duty to indemnify) or had not been sued (that could trigger a duty to defend). The Company instead decided to pay the legal and transaction fees involved in facilitating a deed swap between the insured and the neighbour. Fortunately, this resolved the neighbour’s problem and corrected the swapped title issue. Without title insurance, the insured could have suffered a significant legal bill rectifying the situation at a time when they had no time to spare.

Things to Know about Title Insurance:

Title insurance is an essential form of insurance that provides coverage for future claims or future losses against the title. For a competitive, one-time premium, an owner’s title insurance policy protects the purchaser or the existing owner from suffering a loss due to swapped title issues, fraud and other title defects.

Title insurance from Chicago Title can provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your client’s interests are fully protected. For more information, contact your Regional Manager today!

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Condo owner impersonations a
Beware! Condo owner impersonations are on the rise!



In a shifting real estate market, criminals are always trying to take advantage and become increasingly sophisticated with their real estate scams, especially condo owner impersonations.

A fraudster impersonated the owner of a unit at the Montreal Canadians Tower, a condominium property situated in downtown Montreal, Quebec. The fraudster borrowed an amount of $300,000 CAD from a Private Lender (the “Insured”) which was guaranteed by a first mortgage.

As part of this transaction, the Insured obtained a lender’s policy underwritten by Chicago Title Insurance Company. The fraudster provided a false ID to the notary who transacted the mortgage.

Chicago Title paid $358,995.98 to the insured lender and an additional $31,032.00 CAD in legal fees. The homeowner regained their unencumbered condo unit. Without title insurance, the end of the story would have been very different. (WHY WOULD WE HAVE PAID MORE THAN THE FACE VALUE OF THE $300,000 POLICY?)

Stay one step ahead of fraudsters

At some point in your life, you will encounter fraudulent activities. It’s not a matter of if, it is only a matter of when.  Fraudsters are an increasing threat worldwide and it is not restricted to just the real estate industry. What is worrisome is that the criminals have improved their tactics. This is why you need to have a good understanding of how they work and how to spot fraud before it’s too late.

The good news? At Chicago Title, we are proactive at spotting fraud warning signs and at protecting our clients. We have made it our company mission to create processes and safeguard protocols to ensure a fair and accurate real estate transaction each time. (IT’S HARD TO SAY THIS AFTER WE JUST PAID OUT THE CONDO FRAUD ABOVE.  HAS THE COMPANY IMPLEMENTED A CHANGE IN PRACTICE SINCE THE ABOVE FRAUD?)

Choose wisely

We continue to increase awareness of fraud trends through educational resources that help lawyers, notaries, their staff and clients. Choose wisely and call us now for your free consultation.

We are here to help. For more information, contact your Regional Manager today!

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Understanding title insurance - blog post resize
Understanding Title Insurance

Understanding Title Insurance


Buying a home can be an emotional, exciting journey and probably the single largest investment you could make in your life. Understanding title insurance can help you protect your property’s title.

Do note that when buying a home, many hidden issues may spring up after you purchase it. This is why it is important to get an owner’s title insurance policy as it protects you from legal title discrepancies and other fraud issues. Here are other reasons why understanding title insurance is vital to protecting your home.

Everyone has a checklist of things they look for when buying a house. This could include a quiet tree-lined street, a neighbourhood with good schools and others. These are all important things to consider but what about the property’s history?

Did you know there could be issues like pre-existing liens, easements, zoning violations, outstanding work orders, forged identity and more? These issues could cause confusion over who has right to the property. And the last thing you want as a homeowner is a big confusion that puts your property in jeopardy.

Here is where title insurance comes in when you buy or refinance a home. Title insurance confirms there’s no dispute over who has rights to the property.

Peace of mind with a one-time fee!

Unlike homeowners’ insurance where you pay a monthly premium, title insurance only requires a  one-time fee to protect you and your property. Title insurance gives you and your client peace of mind that any disputes or restrictions that may arise are resolved or known.

Regular title insurance covers you against losses from unknown title defects that could impact your property ownership, title fraud, unforeseen mistakes in public records and surveys, issues regarding encroachment and more.

Title insurance from Chicago Title can provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your client’s interests are fully protected. To learn more get in touch with us at Chicago Title today.

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cottage season
5 Things to Consider When Buying a Cottage + Bonus Tip
Industry News

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Cottage + Bonus Tip


Now that the weather is warming up, cottage season is upon us. Vacation properties have become a red hot market driven by the allure of short-term rental investment properties to those who are looking for a quiet place to relax outside of the city. Before dipping your toes into the market, or into the lake, there are 5 things you must consider to protect yourself, and your dream investment from becoming a nightmare:

  1. Property and Surroundings

Start the process by visual inspection of the property. Look for things like missing shingles, holes or damage on the roof, cracks in the foundation, and damage to porch screens, decks or chimneys. If the property is on a lake, don’t forget to check docks, lifts and boathouses.

  1. Water Supply

A reliable water supply is critical. Ensuring that the plumbing is in order and testing water potability, gives you the peace of mind that you will have a reliable and safe water supply for the cottage season.

  1. Septic System

Take note of potentially strong odours, water pools or damp spots around the septic tank. This also includes gurgling sounds in the plumbing system and slow draining bathtubs, showers and sinks. The last thing you want to be surprised with is water or sewage coming up your toilets, drains and sinks. Pay close attention and engage a professional if you see any red flags.

  1. Mold or Mildew

Check for mold and mildew around the sills. Remember that bathrooms are often a hot spot for growth as the conditions often provide the perfect environment for mold and mildew to flourish. If you find any mold or mildew be sure to never touch or disturb it, as even a small amount may be a health hazard.

  1. Ease of Access:

If you intend to make regular use of your vacation property, look for one with unencumbered access by road. Remember, Cottages that offer access by water only, may cost less, but you must also factor in the added expenses of operating, parking and protecting your boat. Being isolated by water also provides yet another opportunity for potential intruders to go unnoticed.

Bonus Tip

Lastly and most importantly, remember that title insurance coverage is one of the greatest tools you have to protect against potential losses arising from issues like encroachment, zoning violations, fraud and more.

That’s it. By exercising the precautions above and ensuring you have protected your investment with a title insurance policy you can ensure that your dream property does not become your worst nightmare. Click on the link to learn more about our seasonal property endorsement.


Chicago Title offers comprehensive coverage for your cottage.  Contact your lawyer for more information on our coverage today!

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Chicago Title Paid $62,000 to Discharge Construction Legal Hypothecs Against Condo Unit
Chicago Title Paid $62,000 to Discharge Construction Legal Hypothec Against Condo Unit

Chicago Title Paid $62,000 to Discharge Construction Legal Hypothec Against Condo Unit


In Quebec, Chicago Title insured almost all the owners of a condominium project. After taking possession, to the owners’ dismay, two Construction Legal Hypothec were registered on their titles. It was discovered that the developer had not paid two sub-contractors for their work during the construction of the condominium units.

Construction legal hypothec guarantees full payments to the parties involved in constructing the building.

To make matters worse, the developer declared bankruptcy after the sale. Chicago Title retained counsel to represent the insureds.

How Chicago Title Solved the Construction Legal Hypothec Issue

Chicago Title paid approx. $62K to the sub-contractors to obtain a discharge of their Construction Legal Hypothec against our insureds’ condominium units. It also paid the legal fees for the retained counsel.

Title insurance is an essential form of insurance that provides coverage for future claims or future losses. It safeguards the owner of any real estate property or the insured mortgage lender from title ownership discrepancies. It also protects against overall real estate fraud or the effect of events prior to the acquisition of the property.

Title Insurance from Chicago Title can provide peace of mind with the knowledge that your client’s interests are fully protected.

About Chicago Title:

Chicago Title Insurance Company Canada has proudly provided security for Canadian real estate transactions for over 70 years. We bring years of experience and specialized expertise to protect your real estate transactions. We take the time to understand your specific circumstances and offer customized solutions for each of them. To learn more, visit

Our team is available for a no-obligation, free consultation. Get in touch with us today to safeguard your title and ensure a smooth transaction.

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correct insurance policy
Avoid Nasty Surprises: Buy the correct insurance policy

Avoid Nasty Surprises: Buy the correct insurance policy


Sylvia and Jay received an inheritance that finally allowed them to get into the Ontario housing market.  They purchased a legal duplex with the intention of renting out the second unit, to assist with cash flow.

Jay and Sylvia’s law firm overlooked the multi-unit property type on the agreement of purchase/sale and failed to complete the requisite off-title searches.  Three months after their closing, the new homeowners received a notice from the city. An outstanding municipal work order stated that the electrical work in the secondary unit was in violation of municipal building and electrical codes. The city issued an order to comply.

The Insureds submitted a claim to Chicago Title but unfortunately, it was denied. Their single-family dwelling policy did not afford coverage for outstanding works on a multi-unit property.

This nasty surprise could have been avoided had the law firm recognized the property type and conducted the required off title searches. An abatement in price or some sort of corrective action might have been negotiated before the sale was finalized.

Make certain you understand your clients’ future use of the property they are buying so there are no nasty surprises.  Off title searches are required when ordering a multi-unit policy. See Chicago Title’s Resource Library for Search Guidelines.  Off title searches add extra cost to the closing and give the purchaser a chance to take corrective action before it’s too late.


When placing an order for a title insurance policy, it is important to select the correct property type in your conveyancing platform so that the Insured gets the correct coverage.

One of the most common errors that we see is a single-family dwelling policy ordered for a property with a basement apartment or multi-unit residence. Avoid nasty surprises and make sure to select the correct property type.

For more information on ordering the right policy for a property containing more than one unit, please refer to our information sheet.


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Transaction Protection Endorsement saved a lawyer
Transaction Protection Endorsement saved a lawyer from financial damage

Transaction Protection Endorsement saved a lawyer from financial damage


A lawyer was saved from financial and reputational damage due to Chicago Title’s Transaction Protection Endorsement (TPE).

An insured property owner who was not a citizen or permanent resident purchased a property in St. Catherines/Greater Golden Horseshoe Region, Ontario. Due to his status as a foreign investor, his transaction was subject to an additional tax called a Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST), which is supposed to be paid at closing when the transfer gets registered. A Non‑Resident Speculation Tax (NRST), also called foreign buyers tax, “is a 15% tax on the purchase or acquisition of an interest in residential property located in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region, Ontario, by individuals who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada or by foreign corporations (foreign entities) and taxable trustees.”

However, the insured’s lawyer made a mistake and did not realize the property was within the area where NRST would apply. The insured got hit with a surprise bill a few months later, including several thousand additional interest and fees. The insured paid the principal soon as they learned of this error but submitted a claim to Chicago Title for the interest and costs. 

The Chicago Title Resolution

Chicago Title accepted the Transaction Protection Endorsement (TPE) claim that protects the insured against actual loss sustained by the insured due to inadvertent transaction errors made by the lawyer or notary. While the insured remained responsible for the principle of the tax, Chicago title covered the interest and fees.

Transaction Protection Endorsement exists to protect the insured against the unpredictable. As a Notary or Lawyer, you are protected from financial and reputational damage when issues that may take you to court arise while acting on behalf of the purchaser and vendor in a real estate transaction. 

Click on the link to learn more about Transaction Protection Endorsement: 

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someone trying to avoid blocks being expose to risk!
Claim Story – Insured was exposed to risk due to inaccurate search results

Claim Story – Insured was exposed to risk due to inaccurate search results


An Insured purchased a commercial property formerly used as a theatre. At the time of purchase, the property was in violation of fire codes. Insured purchased the property knowing about this issue and that he would be responsible for correcting it. Chicago Title issued an owner’s policy noting the issues on schedule along with our standard with a Government Response Endorsement. Post-closing during an inspection, the inspector found several new violations. The insured did not know about these violations when he bought the property and that left the insured exposed to risk!

Chicago Title accepted the insured’s claim who was exposed to risk

Since the new violations were not mentioned in the earlier notice that was available before the sale, Chicago Title accepted the claim under the Government Response Endorsement. We reimbursed the insured for the cost of remedying the new violations. The story would have been very different if the insured had purchased a GAP-only policy, leaving him exposed to risk. Gap coverage ends when the title is registered, and any issues like inaccurate search results that arise after the registration are not covered, but with Chicago Title’s title insurance policy, your clients get full coverage!

Find out more about our other commercial endorsements.

Watch the video to learn more.

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Get Maximum Coverage with Title Insurance
Get Maximum Coverage with a Title Insurance Policy

Get Maximum Coverage with a Title Insurance Policy


The insureds bought a home in Calgary, and their closing date was July 5. The insureds had maximum coverage with a title insurance policy.

The deed got sent immediately to be registered. Due to delays at the land registry office, the deed got officially registered on July 19. However, between July 5 and July 19, a judgment creditor of the seller registered a Writ of Enforcement against the Property. Which effectively constituted a lien on the title that took priority over the insured owners and their lender.

Maximum Coverage with the Chicago Title Solution

Since the insured had maximum coverage with a full title insurance policy, Chicago Title paid the amount of the judgment against the seller. And they obtained a discharge of the writ from the title for $26,643.75. With a title insurance policy, your clients are covered from such title defects, but a GAP-only policy does not cover title defects.

Watch the video to learn more about the differences between Title insurance and Gap-only coverage[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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