Category Archives: Knowledge

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

What is an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)?

The Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) describes an Acquired Brain Injury in this way:

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is damage to the brain that occurs after birth from a traumatic or non-traumatic event. ABI is not related to a congenital disorder or a degenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is damage to the brain caused by a traumatic event such as, a blow to the head, a fall, a motor vehicle collision or a sports related injury. Non-Traumatic Brain Injury is damage to the brain caused by illness such as meningitis or encephalitis, oxygen deprivation (anoxia) or stroke.1

 

10 Facts about ABI:

Ruth Wilcock, Executive Director, OBIA states, “In Ontario alone there are close to half a million people living with a brain injury, with 18,000 new cases added every year.”2 The OBIA prepared a statistical snapshot of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and its effects on survivors and caregivers. The information was compiled in a report called: The OBIA Impact Report 2012.3 Below you’ll find just a few of the facts from that report:

1.  40% of ABI survivors sustained the brain injury as a result of an automobile crash.

2.  5% of respondents indicated that their injury was sports related.

3.  95% have trouble remembering some or most of the time.

4.  76% have trouble with depression some of most of the time.

5.  More than 90% have trouble with concentration, making decisions and memory.

6.  71% have trouble with dizziness some or most of the time.

7.  22% have trouble with seizures some or most of the time.

8.  69% have trouble controlling their temper some or most of the time.

9.  Nearly 80% have trouble with anxiety some or most of the time.

10.  Nearly 15% indicated that it took longer than 6 months to learn of their brain injury, 4% of which stated it being more than 5 years.

 

What can you do to protect yourself?

1. Commit to focusing on the road when you drive. The Ontario Provincial Police states, “Distracted driving is cited as a causal factor in 30 to 50 per cent of traffic collisions in Ontario, but is probably much higher due to under-reporting.”4 Combine those statistics with those of the OBIA Impact Report 2012 which indicates “40% of ABI survivors sustained the brain injury as a result of an automobile crash”5 and it’s easy to see that focusing on the road when you drive can significantly decrease your risk of sustaining a brain injury. Consider taking the “I D.O.N.T. Pledge” (Drive Only, Never Text.) Read more here.

2. Commit to wearing the proper protective head gear when participating in sporting activities. While it doesn’t guarantee you will avoid sustaining a head injury, it certainly reduces the risk and it just may end up saving your life.

3. Never ignore a blow to the head. To discover the symptoms of concussion and what to do if you’ve sustained a blow to the head, click here.

 

Sources:
1 What is ABI
2 Creating Awareness Through the 2012 OBIA Impact Report
3 2012 OBIA Impact Report
4 Ontario Provincial Police: Distracted Driving
5 2012 OBIA Impact Report

What is an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)? The Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) describes an Acquired Brain Injury in this way: Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is damage to the brain that occurs after birth from a traumatic or non-traumatic event. ABI is not related to a congenital disorder or a … Continue reading

Never Ignore a Blow to the Head

If you receive a blow to the head (or even to elsewhere on your body), you may have sustained a concussion. In their Guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) writes a concussion “may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an ‘impulsive’ force transmitted to the head.”1

What are the symptoms of concussion? Konkussion (an organization focused on becoming the global leader in concussion management and research) says, “Symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting and a sense of being out-of-it or feeling foggy. Most [individuals] fail to recognise their symptoms as a concussion. Parents may notice their child being slow to respond, off-balance or glassy-eyed. It’s critical that patients are evaluated by a health care professional following a suspected concussion. It’s crucial that a patient isn’t cleared to return to play until normal brain function has returned since a second concussion without recovering from the first may be fatal.”2

How long does it take to recover? According to the ONF: ”Most people will recover from a concussion within a relatively short period of time; usually anywhere from one week to up to three months. Unfortunately, up to 20% of people with concussion will continue to experience significant symptoms beyond three months. Some people can have the following troublesome symptoms for much longer:

• Post-traumatic headache
• Sleep disturbances
• Balance problems and dizziness
• Cognitive impairments
• Fatigue
• Depression and anxiety.

These persistent symptoms can impede a person’s return to activity including work, school, and recreation/sports.”3

What can you do?

If you’ve had a blow to the head (or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force transmitted to your head), don’t ignore the fact you may have sustained a concussion. Instead, see a health care professional for an evaluation. In addition, it’s important not to let the information you read online lead you into making a self-diagnosis. While it’s good to arm yourself with knowledge (see “Helpful Resources” below), the very best thing you can do is to see a doctor for a professional assessment.

Helpful Resources:

Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF)
Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA)
Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC)

Sources:

1 Guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms
2 Konkussion FAQs
3 ONF Concussion/Mild Tbi

If you receive a blow to the head (or even to elsewhere on your body), you may have sustained a concussion. In their Guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) writes a concussion “may be caused either by a direct blow to the … Continue reading

Legal Terms Defined

During the litigation process, you may encounter legal terms with which you might be unfamiliar. Below are some common terms and what they mean.

Arbitration:
Arbitration is a dispute resolution process in which an arbitrator deems what the financial settlement to the plaintiff(s) shall be. The arbitrator’s decision is binding.

Arbitrator:
An arbitrator is an unbiased third party who is officially appointed to settle a dispute between two parties.

Damages:
Damages refers to the financial amount awarded to an individual who has suffered personal injury or loss.

Defendant:
The defendant is an individual or entity being sued or accused in a court of law.

Discovery:
Discovery is a pre-trial process for gathering information from both parties. This is the opportunity for the lawyers to ask questions of the opposing parties to find out what information they have about the about the issues.

Mediation:
Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which a mediator assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement. Unlike arbitration, it is non-binding.

Mediator:
A mediator is an unbiased third party who acts as an intermediary between the parties to assist them in trying to resolve the matter prior to going to court.

Plaintiff:
The plaintiff is an individual or entity suing or accusing in a court of law.

Statutory Accident Benefits (SABs):
The acronym SABs stands for Statutory Accident Benefits. This is the compensation for which the victim of a motor vehicle accident is eligible.

Tort:
A tort is a civil wrong which, as a result of negligence, causes someone personal injury or loss for which the court will allow the victim to recover losses financially in the form of action for damages.

Tort Claim:
A tort claim is the right to sue an at-fault party (an individual or identity) who caused you injury or loss.

During the litigation process, you may encounter legal terms with which you might be unfamiliar. Below are some common terms and what they mean. Arbitration: Arbitration is a dispute resolution process in which an arbitrator deems what the financial settlement to the plaintiff(s) shall be. The arbitrator’s decision … Continue reading

The Team Approach and The File Review Process

The Team Approach:

With Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP representing you, you can rest assured knowing you have an entire team working on your behalf to get the best possible outcome for your case. The team consists of lawyers, our paralegal, law clerks, and assistants. We have also built relationships with—and have fast access to–carefully selected, trusted, and reliable medical experts to assist you both in your recovery and in your case.

You will interact with different members of your Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP team during the litigation process. You might meet with one partner during the initial meeting, another during meetings for discovery, another during mediation, and so on. Each partner—and member of the team—with whom you correspond is fully aware of all aspects of your file. This is part of our dedication to being thorough with every case and client we serve. 

The File Review Process:

We ensure your Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP team is informed and updated through our file review process. The team meets regularly to discuss what has happened with your case (assessments, medical appointments, correspondence sent and received, etc.) and where your file is in the litigation process. That means, while you may meet or speak with different members of the team from time to time, each member knows exactly what is happening with your case every step of the way. That’s part of the FMT Advantage.

 

The Team Approach: With Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP representing you, you can rest assured knowing you have an entire team working on your behalf to get the best possible outcome for your case. The team consists of lawyers, our paralegal, law clerks, and assistants. We have also built relationships with—and … Continue reading

The Mediation Process Described

Mediation is the best chance to resolve your case prior to trial. Mediation is beneficial because trials are costly and can be unpredictable. That being said, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP will not agree to mediate until your case is ready for trial because this puts you in the best possible position for a fair and favourable resolution of your case.

What is mediation? Mediation is a non-binding dispute resolution process run by an experienced mediator. The mediator does not impose a decision on the parties; instead, a mediator is an unbiased third party who acts as an intermediary between the two parties involved to assist them in trying to resolve the matter.

At mediation, you and your legal counsel from Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP will meet with the mediator and with the representatives from the insurance company (the company insuring the party responsible for the accident) along with the insurance company’s legal counsel.

The mediator will speak directly to you to explain the mediation process. Again, the mediator’s task is to do the best job possible in resolving the case. The mediator is not there to take sides; only to use his or her experience to help settle the case so it doesn’t go to trial. Everything discussed in the room is confidential.

Next, the lawyers representing both sides will have the opportunity to give a summary of their side of the story. After the summaries have been given, both parties will go into separate rooms. That’s when the mediator will begin to go back and forth, from room to room, in an attempt to reach a resolution.

The first offer of settlement will typically be presented by your legal counsel at Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP. The mediator will then take that offer back to the other party. After some time passes, the mediator will re-enter the room with the other side’s counter-offer. This process continues back and forth in an attempt to present a solution that is acceptable to both parties.

If a resolution is eventually made, you will sign paperwork called Minutes of Settlement. The Minutes of Settlement outlines all of the terms agreed upon during mediation—your case has been resolved. However, if a resolution is not made, the case then moves to the next phase in the litigation process.

Mediation is the best chance to resolve your case prior to trial. Mediation is beneficial because trials are costly and can be unpredictable. That being said, Falconeri Munro Tucci LLP will not agree to mediate until your case is ready for trial because this puts you in the best possible … Continue reading

Real Estate, Corporate & Estates Law – Tarion Warranty

The Ontario Building Code governs the minimum requirements of health and safety for new homes built in Ontario. These homes come with a statutorily mandated warranty provided by builders to the purchaser of the new home. Tarion Warranty Corporation provides protection against certain defects in newly constructed homes in accordance with the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, which prompts builders to comply with specific requirements and enrol in the warranty protection program prior to the commencement of construction. The scope of the coverage, as well as its duration and the amount backed by Tarion varies depending on the type of property in question, the type of defect that arises and other defects or potential losses which may arise during the construction and purchase of a new home. Essentially, the main areas of coverage provided by Tarion and covered in this article include deposit protection, delayed closing coverage, statutory warranty coverage.

Deposit Protection

The Tarion Warranty for deposit protection protects the deposit that a home buyer pays towards a new home to a maximum of a specific amount. For a freehold home, the deposit is protected for up to a maximum of $40,000 and up to $20,000 for condominium units. These portions of a purchaser’s deposit will be protected in the event that a builder goes bankrupt or if the builder fundamentally breaches the agreement for some other reason. Essentially, if the deposit is forfeited through no fault of the purchaser, it will likely be covered by Tarion.

Delayed Closing Coverage 

Another area of coverage provided by Tarion becomes effective when a closing delay arises. This coverage, however, will not be effectuated automatically upon any delay in closing, as there are certain circumstances where the builder will be within its rights to extend the closing date. This coverage will come into play if the builder did not comply with proper extension procedures. Oftentimes, the builder will be required to compensate the purchaser in the event that a delay of this nature occurs.

Proper extension of the closing date can be achieved in two ways:

Major Delay (A delay that endures for greater than 15 Days)

A builder must notify a purchaser in writing at least 65 days prior to the original closing date in the purchase agreement in order to delay the closing date up to a maximum of 120 days. As part of this notification, the builder must also set a new closing date which will be referred to as the “extended” closing date.

Minor Delay (A delay of 15 days of less)

A builder must notify a purchaser in writing at least 35 days prior to the original or extended closing date in your purchase agreement in order to delay your closing up to 15 days. The builder must also set a new closing date at that time. Both types of delays combined cannot, however, exceed a total of 120 days.

Assuming that the extensions were improper, or if the maximum of 120 days of proper extensions have been exceeded, a purchaser may or may not be able to recover some of the costs involved in the extended delay. There are different criteria for determining whether or not expenses would be permitted under this portion of Tarion’s coverage. The way this coverage operates depends on whether a home is freehold home or a condominium.

Freehold Homes 

The first factor which must be assessed in regards to Tarion’s delayed closing coverage for freehold homes is the date of the signing of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Whether or not this date was on or before June 30, 2008, or on or after July 1, 2008 will determine when a purchaser can invoke Tarion coverage. Furthermore, it must be noted that compensation will not be paid for delays caused by events beyond the builder’s control such as flood, strike, or delays caused by the purchaser.

Freehold homes with an Agreement of Purchase and Sale signed on or before June 30, 2008 will be entitled to claim up to a maximum of $100 per day of delay for living expenses, up to a total maximum of $5,000. The purchaser will have up to one year to claim compensation by submitting their intent to receive compensation via a Delayed Occupancy/Closing form to both the builder and to Tarion. If the builder refuses to close, then it is advised that the purchaser contacts Tarion directly. Furthermore, the purchaser retains a right to terminate the contract. This occurs when the cumulative delays requested by the builder exceed 120 days. A 10 day “window” will then arise which will give the purchaser the right to terminate the agreement. From the 121st day to the 130th day, the purchaser will have the ability to unilaterally terminate the purchase agreement. If the agreement is not terminated within the window, the builder is then entitled to delay the closing by up to 120 further days. If these next 120 days lapse without the completion of the purchase, and the builder cannot agree on a new closing date with the purchaser, then the agreement may automatically terminate and the builder will be required to refund the deposit with interest which has accrued since the deposit’s payment.

Homes which are sold with an Agreement of Purchase and Sale after July 1, 2008 require the builder to provide a Delayed Closing Warranty at the time of the agreement. This type of warranty requires that the builder classify the closing date in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale as either Firm or Tentative. A Firm Closing Date will force the builder to pay compensation if the construction extends beyond the specified date, and a Tentative Closing Date will enable the builder to extend the closing date twice by 120 days each time without being forced to pay compensation.

Condominium Units 

The way that compensation for a condominium’s delayed closing operates is fundamentally the same as for freehold buildings with a few pertinent exceptions. First and foremost, the determining date for which set of rules applies to Tarion coverage is the signing of the Purchase Agreement for the first unit sold in your condominium project. If it was signed on or after July 1, 2008, then the rules including a tentative or a firm closing date would apply, and can be found here for more detail: (https://www.tarion.com/Warranty-Protection/Understanding-Delayed-Closings-and-Occupancies/Pages/Delayed-Occupancy-Warranty-For-Condominiums.aspx). If this Agreement of Purchase and Sale was signed on or before June 30, 2008, then the previous set of rules would apply, as it appears here: (https://www.tarion.com/Warranty-Protection/Understanding-Delayed-Closings-and-Occupancies/Pages/Delayed-Occupancy-Protection-for-Condominiums.aspx).

For condominium units built after July 1, 2008, the builder will be required to provide a tentative (or firm) closing date to each purchaser within 30 days of the completion of the roof. If the date is tentative, rather than firm, then the builder will be permitted to extend the date once for up to 120 days, provided that they give the purchaser 90 days’ written notice. If this newly extended date passes without closing the units, compensation will be owed to the purchasers.

Statutory Warranty Coverage 

Tarion’s statutory warranty coverage comes in three varying types and time-intervals. The included coverage periods include a One-Year Warranty, a Two-Year Warranty, and a Seven-Year Warranty. Each warranty is tailored to protect against specific defects which may arise after the construction of a building. The respective coverage periods operate as follows:

One-Year Warranty

This coverage commences on the date of possession and ends the day before one year elapses. This warranty is provided by the builder and is in regards to the quality of the homes’ workmanship. This warranty will ensure that:

  1. The home is constructed in a “workmanlike manner and free from defects in material,” essentially assuring a buyer of a degree of professionalism in the construction of their home.
  2. The purchaser has protection against “unauthorized substitutions.” (What will qualify as unauthorized substitution can be found at http://www.tarion.com/Warranty-Protection/Pages/Unauthorized-Substitutions.aspx).
  3. The home is “fit for habitation.”
  4. The home is protected against violations of the Ontario Building Code.

Two-Year Warranty

This coverage commences on the date of possession and ends the day before two years elapse. This warranty is also provided by the builder, and it will ensure that these defects will be covered:

  1. Water penetration through the basement of foundation walls.
  2. Defects in materials that affect windows, doors and caulking and defects in work that results in water penetration into the “building envelope.”
  3. Defects in work or materials in the electrical, plumbing and heating delivery and distribution systems.
  4. Defects in work or materials that result in the detachment, displacement, or deterioration of exterior cladding (such as brickwork, aluminum or vinyl siding); and
  5. Violations of the Ontario Building Code that affect health and safety.

Seven-Year Warranty

This coverage commences on the date of possession and ends the day before seven years elapse. This warranty is also provided by the builder, and it will ensure that major defects will be covered:

As of June 30, 2012, a major structural defect is defined in The Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act as any defect in work or materials in respect of a building, including a crack, distortion or displacement of a structural load-bearing element of the building, if it:

  1. Results in failure of a structural load-bearing element of the building,
  2. Materially and adversely affects the ability of a structural load-bearing element of the building to carry, bear and resist applicable structural loads for the usual and ordinary service life of the element, or
  3. Materially and adversely affects the use of a significant portion of the building for usual and ordinary purposes of a residential dwelling and having regard to any specific use provisions set out in the purchase agreement for the home.

This major structure defect warranty covers significant damage due to soil movement, major cracks in the basement walls, collapse or serious distortion of joints or roof structure and the chemical failure of certain materials. Damage that would be excluded from this warranty would be dampness not arising from failure of a load-bearing portion of the building, damage to drains or services, and damage to finishes, amongst other things.

Conclusion 

Tarion warranty protection is a good way to ensure that prospective home buyers are getting a product that was constructed in a professional and satisfactory manner (or will be compensated if it falls shy of the expected standards.) It shifts the burden from the purchaser to the builder in the event that a home is of substandard quality or defective, and ensures that all parties can walk away from the transaction satisfied. This paper only delved upon the three most common areas where Tarion coverage is pertinent and arises, however, more information can be obtained about specific and/or other ways that Tarion coverage can work for a prospective home buyer. Additional information can be obtained at http://www.tarion.com.

The Ontario Building Code governs the minimum requirements of health and safety for new homes built in Ontario. These homes come with a statutorily mandated warranty provided by builders to the purchaser of the new home. Tarion Warranty Corporation provides protection against certain defects in newly constructed homes in accordance with the Ontario … Continue reading

Real Estate, Corporate & Estates Law: HST and Rebates on New Homes, Renovations, and Rental Properties

On July 1, 2010, the HST tax was implemented by the government, which included an additional 8% (the former PST) being included in the amount to be taxed on new homes in Ontario. To help alleviate the additional financial pressure, the government introduced a rebate program to kick back a percentage of the additional tax for new homes. The rebate operates as follows:

Which homes or renovations are eligible for this rebate?

Events that would trigger eligibility for this rebate include:

  • Building a home or contracting someone to build one.
  • Buying a newly constructed or substantially renovated home from a builder.
  • Buying a newly constructed house from a builder, where you lease the land from the builder under the same agreement to buy the house.
  • Substantially renovating a home or building a major addition to one.
  • Rebuilding a home destroyed by fire; or
  • Buying a share of the capital stock in a newly constructed cooperative housing project.

How long must one live in a property in order for it to be eligible for rebate?

Whether or not an individual is eligible for this rebate depends on the intention of the buyer according to a recent case. (Wong v. Her Majesty the Queen.) The buyer must have purchased the property with the intention of using it as his or her primary place of residence, or the primary place of residence for a close relative. The purchaser’s intent matters only at the time of the initial transaction and not at any time thereafter. The end result is that on a buy and flip, since the property was never intended to be the person’s primary residence, there will be no rebate granted. The time that one must reside in a building is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and usually hinges on how reasonable a claimant’s usage of the property as their primary residence seems taking into consideration all of the facts.

How does the HST affect purchase of new homes?

As of July 1, 2010, a 13% HST tax, consisting of 5% federal tax and 8% Ontario tax, was imposed on new home buyers. The tax applied to a builder’s sale of newly constructed or substantially renovated homes where both ownership and possession are transferred after June 30, 2010.

There are two exceptions to this rule where the old GST rules will continue to apply:

  • If either ownership or possession was transferred before July 1, 2010; or
  • If a written agreement of purchase and sale was entered into on or before June 18, 2009.

Rebates are available for both the GST portion and the Ontario provincial portion of the HST Tax, and both operate differently.

The GST Rebate on New Homes

The GST rebate is available upon the purchase of new homes valued at less than $450,000. This rebate will amount to a 36% kickback of the 5% GST portion of the HST. For instance, in a new home that is valued at $100,000 the GST portion of the HST would be $5,000. Multiply this amount by 36% and an individual will be eligible for a rebate of $1,800 on the purchase of this new home. This will be true for any purchase of a new home of which its value does not exceed $350,000. Once this amount is exceeded, there will be a gradual dwindling of the amount rebated until the value of $450,000 is exceeded, at which point such rebate will total $0. The formula to calculate the amount that the rebate will decline can be found on the GST191 form, and this rebate operates separately from the Ontario Provincial Rebates.

The Ontario Provincial Rebate on New Homes

The Ontario provincial rebate is available upon the purchase of new homes for any amount up to $400,000. This portion of the available rebate operates differently, however, in comparison to its GST counterpart. A house priced in excess of $400,000 will not result in forfeiture of the entire rebate, as is the case for the GST portion, but rather a rebate will be awarded for every dollar spent up to $400,000 but none thereafter. This rebate is applicable for 75% of the amount charged for the PST portion of the HST (8%) on the first $400,000 spent. For example, if one were to purchase a new home valued at $500,000, the PST portion of the HST rebate would be 8%, or $40,000. Of this amount, only $32,000 was taxed on the first $400,000, and this only this amount will be eligible for rebate calculations. You must then multiply this number by the 75% portion that will be returned as a rebate, resulting in a rebate of $24,000. This is the maximum amount available for a rebate on any new home valued over $400,000.

How the Builder Applies the Rebate

The Ontario new housing rebate will enable builders to pay or credit the Ontario new housing rebate to the individual purchaser of new housing, just as they currently can pay or credit the GST new housing rebate. If a builder did not pay or credit the rebate at the time of purchase, the individual will be able to file a rebate application for the Ontario new housing rebate with the government directly. To apply for this rebate, an individual would use Form RC7190-ON, GST190 Ontario Rebate Schedule. Typically, however, these rebates are incorporated into the price listed upon the sale and purchase of the new home. If this discount is in fact incorporated into the price, then the rights to the proceeds of it are being transferred to the builder upon signing the agreement.

The HST as Applied to Rental Buildings

Builders of newly constructed or substantially renovated rental housing, who make a supply by way of lease, licence or similar arrangement of the house, apartment or condominium unit are considered to have paid and collected tax under the self-supply rules for rental housing. Where the self-supply occurs after June 2010, the HST at 13% would apply. The HST would be calculated on the fair market value of the property, including the building and the land reasonably necessary for the use of the housing as a place of residence for individuals. The self-supply is deemed to occur at the later of the time of construction (or substantial completion of the substantial renovation) and the time possession or use of the rental property is given under a lease, licence or similar arrangement to an individual who is the first to occupy it as a place of residence. If a builder is required to pay tax on a self-supply before July 2010, the provincial part of the HST would not apply. However, the GST at 5% would apply. Purchasers who rent out a new home so that the first occupant of the new home is a tenant are entitled to the New Residential Rental Property Rebate (NRRPR) but cannot obtain the NRRPR from the builder. Such Purchases must apply for the NRRPR directly after closing.

An example of a property which would qualify as a self-supply would be as follows. An individual (“Individual A”) hires a contractor to substantially renovate a house that they own and that they intend to rent out to an individual who will occupy it as a place of residence. The substantial renovation is substantially complete in August 2012, and on November 1, 2012, they give possession of the house under a lease to an individual who is the first to occupy it as a place of residence following the substantial renovation. Individual A meets the definition of “builder” for GST/HST purposes. Individual A will be considered to have made a taxable self-supply (sold and repurchased) the house on November 1, 2012, which is the later of the time the substantial renovation of the house is substantially complete and the time that you first give possession of the house to the individual. Since the self-supply occurs on or after July 1, 2010, the HST applies and Individual A will be considered to have paid and collected the HST on the fair market value of the house (i.e. building and land) on November 1, 2012.

Furthermore, for residential properties which are purchased for the first time which is to be used as a rental property in a non self-supply fashion, the application of such rebate is slightly different than the standard New Home Rebate. Despite the fact that they operate fundamentally in the same fashion, the way that they are applied differs. For rental properties, the rebate is obtained via an application for reimbursement after closing the deal, whereas in the New Home Rebate, the rebate is often incorporated into the sale price of the home and the builder will apply for it for themselves. This may put some additional, albeit temporary, financial strain on those purchasing an investment property.

The Ontario Portion of the HST Rebate and Its Applicability to Rental Properties

The Ontario new residential rental property rebate would be available in respect of the provincial part of the HST so that qualifying newly constructed or substantially renovated properties of any price would qualify for a maximum rebate amount of up to $24,000 per rental unit. Landlords who purchase newly constructed or substantially renovated residential rental properties and pay the HST would be entitled to claim the Ontario NRRP. Landlords who build their own residential rental properties and are required to account for the HST under the self-supply rules would also be entitled to claim the rebate.

The Ontario NRRPR would be available for the same type of residential rental properties for which a GST NRRPR is available. Qualifying housing would include newly constructed and substantially renovated rental housing, new additions to traditional apartment buildings, co-operative rental housing and long-term residential care facilities. This rebate, however, would not apply to a property where the purchaser simply “buys and flips” a property. A purchaser who qualifies for an NRRPR must not sell the home to anyone other than a purchaser who will be using the unit for their primary place of residence within a year of its purchase, or else this rebate will be forfeited. One is able to apply for the NRRPR for up to two years, after which point it may be forfeited. (This typically would not be an issue for the NHR, as it is usually applied at closing.)

Conclusion

Thus the NRRP Rebate and the New Housing Rebate operate fundamentally the same, with the sole difference being the application of the rebate. The New Housing rebate is often applied at closing through an assignment process back to the purchaser or vendor, whereas the NRRP Rebate must be applied for after closing, and thus it creates an additional monetary burden on the purchaser (who will be forced to eat the financial costs until the rebate is granted.)

On July 1, 2010, the HST tax was implemented by the government, which included an additional 8% (the former PST) being included in the amount to be taxed on new homes in Ontario. To help alleviate the additional financial pressure, the government introduced a rebate program to kick back a … Continue reading

The Litigation Process Explained

To recover damages from the entity that is responsible for the injuries you have sustained you will have to commence a lawsuit. If you choose to retain FMT llp it will be our job to assist you through every step of the lawsuit to ensure you are justly compensated.

The Litigation Process Explained

Time Limits

For most serious personal injuries a claimant has two years from the time when the injury occurred to commence an action against those responsible for the injuries. There are some situations where notice must be provided to a party within very short time periods. These time periods can be as short as 10 days. It is important to get legal advice as quickly as possible after an injury to ensure that none of the statutory limitation or notice periods are missed.

Investigation

Prior to commencing a lawsuit, an investigation must be undertaken to determine the correct parties, to obtain information from witnesses, to obtain medical information to assist in quantifying damages and to retain experts to help in proving who is responsible for the damages you or your loved one has sustained.

Pleadings

The Statement of Claim is the document that commences a lawsuit. It is your first chance to explain your case to the other side.

Claims for Damages

The Statement of Claim will set the various claims for different types of damages. These could include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Past loss of income
  • Loss of future income or earning capacity
  • Cost of Future care
  • Loss of household and home maintenance capacity
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Loss of care, guidance and companionship to your family members

Documentary Discovery

Each side of a lawsuit is required to provide the other side with copies of all the documents that are relevant to the issues between the parties. It is imperative that all documents are available from the other side to ensure that the oral discoveries are as productive as possible.

Oral Discovery

This is one of the most important stages of the litigation process. This is the opportunity for the lawyers to ask questions of the opposing parties to find out what information they have about the about the issues. It is important that you are well prepared before answering questions about your case.

Expert Witnesses

Throughout the litigation process you or your loved one will be sent to assessments by experienced medical professionals. These assessments help us to determine the value of the claim and convince the other side what the claim is worth. We also retain engineers, accountants and other experts to support your case as required.

Mediation

This is the best chance to resolve your case prior to trial. An experienced mediator will act as a third party intermediary between the parties to assist the parties in resolving the matter. We will not agree to mediate until your case is ready for trial. This is your one chance to speak directly to the representative of the insurance company that insures the party responsible for the accident.

Pre-Trial

At the pre-trial, a judge from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice will listen to presentations from both sides and read briefs from both sides and will provide an opinion as to what he or she would do if he or she was the trial judge. This can often facilitate further settlement discussions or narrow the issues before the trial begins.

Trial

This is your opportunity to tell your side of your case to a judge and/ or jury and ask them to justly compensate you or your loved one for the injuries and damages that they have suffered. Preparation for trial is an extensive process for your lawyers and for yourself. We will work with you to present your case in the best possible light.

Appeal

After the conclusion of a trial the losing party can appeal the decision to a higher court. This is usually to decide a question of law that is disputed.

To recover damages from the entity that is responsible for the injuries you have sustained you will have to commence a lawsuit. If you choose to retain FMT llp it will be our job to assist you through every step of the lawsuit to ensure you are justly compensated. … Continue reading

Accident Benefits Available to You

In Ontario all drivers of motor vehicles are required by law to carry automobile insurance. Every automobile insurance policy contains various benefits available to you, when you are involved in an accident, regardless of who was responsible. Anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario (and in some cases outside of Ontario) has access to Statutory Accident Benefits. The amount of Accident Benefits available and length of time they are available is dependent on the amount of insurance purchased and the nature of your injuries.

FMT llp will assist you throughout the Accident Benefits process. We will work with your medical professionals to ensure that you are receiving all of the benefits and treatments that are available to you. We will also aid with any disputes that arise between you and your Accident Benefits insurer. At some point it may make sense to resolve your claim for Accident Benefits for a lump sum payment and we will assist you with this.

Benefits that may be available to you if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedules include:

  • Income Replacement Benefits, Non-Earner Benefits or Caregiver Benefits
    You are only entitled to receive one of the above benefits at any one time. Which benefit is available to you is dependent on your circumstances both before and after the accident.
    Income Replacement Benefits are designed to replace a portion of the income you were making prior to the accident if you are unable to return to work.
  • Non-Earner Benefits are available to those who do not qualify for an income replacement benefit and suffer from a complete inability to carry on a normal life as a result of the accident.
  • Caregiver Benefits are available to someone who is the primary caregiver for a person in need of care without receiving remuneration and as a result of the accident suffers a substantial inability to engage in the care giving activities.

Accident Benefits Available to You

Medical Rehabilitation Benefit

These benefits assist an injured party in paying for medical and rehabilitation treatment that is reasonable and necessary as a result of the accident. The Medical Benefits available include medical, surgical, dental, optometric, hospital, nursing, ambulance, audiometric, speech-therapy and physiotherapy. Services available include chiropractic, psychological, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Expenses for medication, dentures and dental devices, hearing aids, wheelchairs prostheses, orthotics and other assistive devices are covered. Transportation to and from treatment sessions in certain circumstances is also covered.

Attendant Care Benefit

This benefit provides payment for a person to look after the injured party if they require assistance with taking care of themselves. This amount can be paid to a family member who is looking after the injured party, a paid aide or attendant retained to look after the injured party or a long-term care facility where the injured party is staying. The amount of attendant care available and the length of time for which it is available is dependant on the severity of the injuries.

Lost Educational Expenses

If at the time of the accident the injured party was enrolled in school, a benefit is available to compensate for lost educational expenses including tuition, books, equipment or room and board.

Expenses of Visitors

This benefit pays reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by family member visiting the injured party during his or her treatment or recovery.

Housekeeping and Home Maintenance

The insurer is required to pay for housekeeping and home maintenance services if the injured party as a result of the accident is no longer able to perform the services that he or she normally performed before the accident. The amount available and the length of time for which this benefit is available is dependent on the severity of the injuries.

Damages to Clothing, Glasses, Hearing Aids, etc.

The insurer is required to pay for expenses in repairing or replacing any damaged clothing worn by the person at the time of the accident or any damaged prescription eyewear, dentures hearing aids, prostheses and other medical or dental devices that were lost or damaged as a result of the accident.

Death and Funeral Benefits

If a person dies as a result of the motor vehicle accident his spouse and his children are entitled to a death benefit and are to be paid the funeral expenses. The amount of these benefits depends on the type of insurance purchased by the deceased.

In Ontario all drivers of motor vehicles are required by law to carry automobile insurance. Every automobile insurance policy contains various benefits available to you, when you are involved in an accident, regardless of who was responsible. Anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario (and in … Continue reading