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Real estate developers, beware of the increase in monetary guarantees for projects affecting the heritage of the Ville-Marie borough

July 2018

Are you planning to restore a heritage building in the Ville-Marie borough, or to demolish it as part of a replacement project? If so, the following information is not to be taken lightly. On July 5, the Borough Council of Ville-Marie adopted, on its first reading, a project to better protect the neighborhood's heritage, which will affect developers' projects in the borough's heritage areas. The proposed changes increase the monetary guarantees imposed on developers who wish to obtain a demolition or building restoration permit.

Can a landlord evict a defaulting tenant without judicial proceedings?

June 2018

Are you a commercial property owner with assets in Quebec? Have you ever wondered what your rights and remedies are when faced with a tenant that has defaulted under its lease with you?

Can I terminate the tenant lease? Can I change the locks? Can I evict the tenant? Can I do all of these things without incurring the cost of judicial proceedings, but relying simply on the provision of my lease? It would appear that the answer to all of these questions is "YES".

Buyer beware!

May 2018

It is said that time and experience are the forerunners to caution. This couldn't be truer, especially when it comes to due diligence when acquiring an immovable property. The decision rendered by the Tribunal administratif du Québec (the "Tribunal") in Juste Investir Inc. versus the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (the "Ministry") is a glaring illustration of this principle. 

Three compelling reasons to register your trademarks now

April 2018

We expect the fundamentally reworked trademark law to come into force soon (in early 2019). But newspapers reported this week that there is strong pressure from the US to move the date closer in order to finally implement treaties signed by Canada years ago. All of this means that there is an urgency for business leaders to apply for Canada-wide protection of their marks immediately—under the current law. When the new law is in force, those who file applications for trademark registrations will encounter much greater competition. The changes will ensure a much greater inflow of applications by foreign applicants. Fees will be higher, possibly much higher. The likelihood of applicants being involved in opposition disputes will grow dramatically. Processing times will be substantially slower. Businesses should take action immediately and here is why:

Real estate agents beware: More is better

October 2017

With its 50 million documents and 175 years of history, the Québec Land Register is a useful tool that all real estate agents should imperatively consult, and so, more than once during the course of a transaction. This is what the Court of Québec advocated when it recently condemned a real estate agent Bruno Pelletier to compensate the buyer Martin Geoffroy due to legal hypothecs published against the property purchased from the builder Riodel Inc. In this case, the Court concluded that the real estate agent was guilty of professional misconduct by failing to conduct repeated searches in the land register thus depriving the buyer of a clear and current picture of the financial state of his future property. 

A $644 million lesson

August 2017

A record-breaking amount of $644 million, awarded on June 7th by the Federal Court of Canada to Dow Chemical against Nova Chemicals for patent infringement, is a vivid reminder of the importance of obtaining intellectual property protection and of conducting appropriate “right to manufacture” searches before any marketing activity.

 

Investment Funds in Québec

May 2017

In Canada, each of the provinces have jurisdiction over their securities issues. Section 11 of the Securities Act (Québec) (“QSA”) stipulates that the distribution of securities to residents of Québec requires a  prospectus subject to a receipt issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”), unless a prospectus exemption is available under National Instrument 45-106 – Prospectus Exemptions (“NI-45-106”).

 

Common Sense Applied to Property Insurance Clauses in a Lease

April 2017

Aside from its general business provisions (such as the rent, term, options to renew and so on) and other clauses governing and restricting the tenant’s right to use and occupy the premises, for the most part, the remainder of a commercial real estate lease is nothing more than an orderly allocation of obligations, liability and risk between the landlord and the tenant. 

China Ponzi Scheme

September 2016

Do you remember the old saying, “If it seems too good to be true, then it isn’t”?

If you did, then you are ahead of the approximately 900,000 mainland Chinese who fell victim to a recent Ponzi scheme which plagued China.