Real Estate Litigation

Lawsuit Involving Property? We Can Help

Ryan represents clients in all manner of litigation involving real estate, including:

- Lawsuits arising from the failure to close agreements of purchase and sale, involving both residential and commercial properties;

- Lawsuits seeking to enforce agreements of purchase and sale or rights of first refusal;

- Lawsuits concerning other interests in land, including partnerships, equitable interests and mortgages;

- Lawsuits involving agreements to renovate or develop land;

- Lawsuits seeking injunctions to prevent or require certain uses of land;

- Lawsuits against real estate agents, brokers and inspectors;

- Lawsuits about latent and patent defects in property;

- Litigation seeking to obtain or discharge Certificates of Pending Litigation; and,

- Lawsuits regarding boundary disputes, easements and rights-of-way.

Ryan regularly acts for both buyers and sellers in litigation arising from the failure to close the sale of property. If you are or may be in this situation, you may be interested to read our article about “What happens if I do not close my real estate transaction?” (coming soon)

Please note that our practice is restricted to litigation. We do not act as solicitor in real estate transactions.


Selected Cases

These are some of the reported cases involving real estate that Ryan has appeared in. You can also see a complete list of Ryan’s reported decisions.

Renovation Litigation

Ballestin and Ballestin v. 1304478 Ontario Inc., 2018 ONSC 2969

This was a trial involving the renovation and sale of a house in Toronto. The plaintiffs entered into a contract with the defendant to renovate an investment property owned by the defendant. It was agreed that, upon completion of the renovation, the property would be sold and the plaintiffs would receive any profits in excess of a certain amount.

Following the sale of the property, the defendant refused to pay, claiming a number of additional deductions from the sale proceeds. The plaintiffs sued.

Ryan acted for the plaintiffs, who were wholly successful at trial, beating their own offer to settle, and recovering substantial indemnity costs.


Right of First Refusal

Heintzman v. Poole, [2008] O.J. No. 2948 (S.C.J.)

This was a trial involving a right of first refusal.

Heintzman and Hetherington owned adjacent islands in Georgian Bay. They granted each other rights of first refusal over their islands. The rights of first refusal each provided that they could convey their island to their children, provided the children agreed to be bound by the right of first refusal. The rights of first refusal were mistakenly registered against the wrong islands (i.e., Heintzman’s right was registered against the Heintzman island).

Hetherington conveyed his island to a family trust for the benefit of his three children. He subsequently died. Hetherington’s children, unaware of the existence of the right of first refusal, entered into an agreement of purchase and sale to sell the property to a third party, Hogarth. A title search led to the discovery of Heintzman’s right of first refusal.

Heintzman elected to exercise his right and buy the Hetherington island. Hogarth opposed, and the matter went to trial. Ryan acted for the plaintiff Heintzman, who was wholly successful at trial.