The Ontario Construction Lien Act allows lien claimants
to register a single construction lien against more than one lot or
property in certain circumstances. This single lien against
multiple properties is referred to as a "general lien".
In order to be able to register a general lien, the contractor,
subcontractor or supplier must:
(a) have a single contract to supply services and/or materials
to the multiple lots; and
(b) the lots must have been all be owned by the same owner at
the time the work was completed.
A general lien simplifies the process of registering a lien
against multiple properties because the lien claimant does not have
to try to apportion the contract amount between the multiple
properties. The time to register a general lien runs from either
the publication of a Certificate of Substantial Completion or the
last day of supply of goods and services to any of the lots within
the group of lots. As a result, a general lien allows a
construction lien to be filed against properties which otherwise
would be out of time because the lien claimant had not supplied
services or materials to that specific lot within the last 45 days
(i.e. the usual deadline for filing a lien against a property).
Once a general lien is filed, the owner is able to have the
general construction lien with respect to any individual lot
removed through payment of a portion of the lien amount to be able
to sell individual lots without payment of the whole amount of the
general lien. On request by the owner, the Court will apportion the
amount of a general lien over the lots covered by it and the owner
can pay into Court the amount specified by the Court to remove the
general lien on a specific lot.
Some owners may wish to avoid having to deal with general liens.
If an owner wants to avoid a general lien, but the owner still
wants a single contract for work to more than one property, a
clause can be included in the contract with the contractor or
supplier stating that construction liens arise and expire on a lot
by lot basis. If this clause is included in the contract, a lien
claimant does not have the right to register a general lien and
would then have to file separate construction liens against the
individual lots within 45 days of the publication of a Certificate
of Substantial Performance or the last day of supply of goods and
services to that particular lot.
The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that courts will generally support and uphold decisions of condominium directors because they are better positioned than judges to make decisions pertaining to their buildings.
According to the city bylaws in Calgary, the grading of lots for new buildings must be done properly so that the water never flows toward the new building or any other nearby properties, but away from those buildings.
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