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Do Building Permits Affect Title to Real Estate?
January 01, 2016
A Consideration of MacDonald v. Chicago Title
Written by Simon P. Crawford
This article discusses whether building permits affect title to real estate. No, although unfortunately, we have to overcome a December 2015 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in order to support that "no". A decision that, in order to square with the legal framework of real estate law, will need to be either overturned or distinguished, filed away and forgotten as being applicable to a very particular set of facts. But for the time being, the decision is recent and has caused something of a stir in the real estate legal community and the title insurance community, not so much because of the result, but because of how the Court came to the result. To understand the topic however, one has to take a few steps back in order to consider generally, what building permits are, and why they would ever come up in a conversation related to a person's title to their real property.