Purchasing Commercial Properties



The question most people ask prospective lawyers is “How much do you charge?” The question you should be asking is “How much money do I need to budget for my purchase?”

Our aim is to provide you with clarity regarding your legal expenses and other costs in the beginning so you can properly budget for your purchase. Moving is stressful enough without finding out on closing that the costs are higher than anticipated.

There are 3 main categories of expenses to budget:



For multi-unit residential properties and commercial properties the legal fees and legal expenses can vary depending on the nature of the transaction, the scope of the lawyer’s work and the purchase price.  We attempt to provide clients with a rough estimate or a range for the anticipated legal costs at the outset but the final costs depend somewhat on the amount of time spent on the file.

Give us a call at (613) 746-8115 and we will be pleased to discuss your particular needs and the anticipated costs including the legal fees, expenses and HST.



Land Transfer Tax is a provincial tax that is applicable on the purchase price of the property, net of any HST.

For commercial properties and for multi-unit residential properties with 3 or more units, the formula is as follows:


$55k to $250k
1% of price – $275 = LTT
$250k to $400k
1.5% of price – $1,525 = LTT
over $400k
1.5% of price – $3,525 = LTT

First Time Buyers are eligible for a rebate (reduction) of up to $4,000.  There is a great deal of misunderstanding as to who qualifies as a “First Time Buyer”. To qualify:

  • Buyer never owned a home before anywhere in the world; AND
  • If Buyer is legally married, buyer’s spouse has never owned real property anywhere in the world during the time of marriage

In some cases (eg. unmarried or common law couples), one buyer qualifies for a rebate and the other does not.  Partial rebates apply in those cases.



  • Municipal Property Taxes: You share the year’s tax assessment with the sellers pro-rata. On closing, the seller will have already paid the municipality either more or less than their share. The difference is the adjustment.
  • Rents: Like with property taxes, the current month’s rents are shared pro-rata, typically resulting in a credit to the buyers. You are also credited for the last month’s rents and accrued interest thereon.
  • Condominium Fees (for commercial condo units):  The seller typically pays the current month’s condo fees and you reimburse the seller pro rata for your share of the month’s condo fees.
  • Oil / Propane:  Where the property is heated with oil or propane, the fuel is not included in the price. The sellers fill the tank and charge you for the cost of a full tank.
  • Lender deductions: From your gross loan, lenders deduct any applicable CMHC premiums, retail sales tax on those premiums, a holdback for municipal property taxes if they are to be paid through your mortgage, commitment fees in some cases, etc. The amount you are borrowing and the amount the lender advances are not always the same. We recommend you have your lender advise you what the net advance to the lawyer will be so you can budget accordingly.


When shopping for a Lawyer don’t be left comparing apples with oranges. If one law firm’s quote is several hundred dollars less than another’s, there’s a good chance apples are being compared with oranges.