Public resources for investing in Ontario

12 Replies

I've been investing in Montreal for the past 5 years and have recently moved to Toronto. In Quebec, there are several tools available for investors to review liens/transactions on a property/transactions (Index des Immeubles) as well as owner and tax information (Role d'Evaluation) . Are there equivalent tools available in Ontario? If not, how do you conduct your due diligence for Ontario deals? Thank you in advance, 

Title search. You can do it yourself at local municipal building or courthouse. Costs $15 per I think. But RE agents like myself have access to it as part of Ontario Real Estate Board.

Originally posted by @Hai Loc :

Sorry i think you can do it online instead of title search at local building. Try Teranet

 Pretty pricey. It costs 1$ in Quebec to access the registry. I guess nothing similar in Ontario for non-brokers.

@Vitaly K. What due diligence are you looking to do? I do a title search and mortgage verification on properties I'm purchasing, but only once the deal is ready to be finalized, so the cost is nominal. I do all the negotiating under the assumption that the seller isn't lying. Sometimes they do, but it's rare that it's serious enough to derail the purchase. Probably a different story if you're focusing on large multi unit deals though.

@Vitaly K. Gotcha. Yeah, unfortunately even our property tax records don't have much info. For example, you can't use tax records to look up the owner of a property, at least as far as I've been able to find. That's a technique for seeking out property owners that they use in the US all the time.

@Doug Pretorius can't you go and view the Assessment Rolls and see the owner of the property? We can do that in the Greater Toronto Area, so I'd be surprised if you can't where you are. Also, any Realtor should be able to look up a property for you in systems we have access to, and find the name of the current property owner.

@Claude Boiron Are the assessment rolls for the GTA available to the public online?

I probably can (although never tried) to drive down to the archives and look the records up physically. Or as you said I could ask an agent. That would probably be worth it if I wanted 1 or 2 names, but to make it worthwhile I'd need hundreds.

@Doug Pretorius City Hall has a department called Assessment Rolls, and you can sit in front of a computer terminal there for hours, taking down property owners' names to your heart's content. I've read about your strong opinions regarding Realtors (I share of those opinions, but I also know that most of my clients will tell you that a great Broker is worth more than anything else in a Real Estate transaction or longterm investment strategy), so I won't suggest that you build a relationship with a Broker who will happily have someone on their team build spreadsheets with the hundreds of names you want.

@Claude Boiron I wonder how quickly those assessment rolls are updated with the owner's current address? The only situation where I actually need the owners address or phone number now is when a MLS listing is vacant. If they just moved out I assume it takes some time before the records are updated. Of course...if I send it to the house with the owners name Canada Post should forward it to their new address. Hmmm...might have to try that one of these days. Thanks!