Disclosure: Nasty Neighbours

The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door - Wikipedia

Question:

Are there any disclosure requirements when it comes to neighbours? One of my past clients who has considered selling in the past due to the neighbours being difficult told me of an altercation she had with them this past week that involved the police due to hate speech and anti-semitism. A warning was issued and my clients have the option to press charges. Thinking ahead, if they decide to sell, would any disclosure be required and would the requirement to disclose change if they chose to press charges?

Answer:

Interesting question. First, there’s the “old law”. The answer would simply be “no”.

Then, there’s the law, 10 years from now. In that case, my expectation is that the answer would be “yes”.

So, what’s the law in 2022? The correct answer is: “whatever the Supreme Court of Canada thinks it is in 2022, when they make a decision in 2029.

There is an existing case (out of step with others) that speculates that a bad neighbour could be a latent defect in your house. The Trial Judge in that case (Justice Hoy), now sits in the Ontario Court of Appeal and would likely be part of a three Judge panel making a decision in this type of case.

I would recommend “forward thinking”.

Charges or no charges would likely go to the seriousness of the matter.

On a scale of 10, it likely would not be necessary to disclose a 1, but certainly it would be required for a 10. Where a Court would draw the line, depends upon the seriousness of the matter.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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