Real Estate Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet
As the price of real estate in Ontario has steadily risen, so has the dollar value of real estate claims, making it the costliest area of law for LAWPRO.
Breakdown in lawyer/client communication is the most common cause of real estate claims. Busy, high-volume practices often lead to situations where the lawyer is not taking the time to communicate with clients properly. Lawyers often rely on clerks, so the lawyer becomes removed from the process. If a claim arises, there is frequently inadequate documentation in the lawyer’s file to back up the lawyer’s version of what occurred. Spending more time meeting with clients and documenting discussions can be of great help in both preventing and defending a claim.
There has been a sharp increase in ‘inadequate investigation’ claims in recent years. As with communication claims, these result from busy lawyers not spending enough time on a file. Important information from the client is overlooked, or crucial details missed on surveys, condo status certificates or the agreement of purchase and sale. Despite the time pressures of a real estate practice, take the time to do it right and avoid short-cuts.
Download the full Fact Sheet (PDF) for detailed information.