Property must be free of all encumbrances

The term "encumbrances" refers to mortgages, court judgements, mechanics' liens, and caveats, all of these may be registered at the land titles office, against title to the property. All encumbrances, except caveats (which relate to physical, not financial, circumstances, e.g. fire hydrants) must be cleared by you before transfer of the property, unless specifically referred to in the sales agreement.

Property must be free of all material encroachments

Material encroachments refers to the position of your building and neighbouring buildings relative to the property line. Property that encroaches, goes over that line.

•   Sometimes there is an agreed encroachment, as in the case of a driveway that is over a neighbour's property line. A written agreement by the two parties involved should be in your possession to show the purchaser.

•   To ensure that the property conforms to local bylaws, a survey is always requested by the financial institution granting the mortgage.

•  Your lawyer can advise you on encumbrances and material encroachments.

Inclusions and Exclusions

Consider the following categories carefully, and state clearly in your agreement which items are included in the sale, and which are excluded.

•   Chattels — This category includes all items not permanently fixed to the property (appliances, furniture, rugs, etc.). Items that are merely plugged-in are not considered permanent.

•   Fixtures — All items permanently fixed to the property (light fittings, wall-to-wall broadloom, windows, doors etc.).