Archive for the 'Uncover A Lien' Category

A lien check is a crucial tool for anyone working with real estate.

If there is a lien on your client’s property, it could mean delays and less profit — in which case you would want to be aware of this before trying to buy or sell a home.

And if the lien is too big, or the client has too little home equity to cover it, it could put the whole sale in jeopardy.

Knowledge is key when it comes to liens – the more you know and the sooner you know it, the more options you have available for you and your client.

If you are selling the home, you might be able to negotiate with the party who issued the lien. Some collectors will remove liens if you agree to pay a portion of the amount owed or set up a payment plan to pay it off gradually. You might also have a debt consultant partner who could help your client.

If your client is buying, they need to know what they are getting into if there is a lien on the property.

The first step is being aware. GeoWarehouse has two tools that make it easy to make a lien check quickly.

Step 1: Get a Parcel Register* to check for liens.

A Parcel Register* is a record containing a property description and list of instruments registered against the property within the Land Registration System of Ontario as of the date of the property search.

This report allows you to identify registered encumbrances and acquire an instrument number.


Step 2: Acquire an Instrument Image* to learn more about the lien.

If a lien is found in the Parcel Register*, you’re given an instrument number, which you can use to look up the Instrument Image*.

This is an image of a registered document within the Land Registration System of Ontario. Instruments may include liens, mortgages, transfers, and condominium declarations, among others.

You can use this report to find out more details about the lien registrant, including the lawyer who registered the lien. This can give you the knowledge necessary to start negotiating with the lien registrant.


A lien check is good due diligence. And, thanks to tools like GeoWarehouse, it’s easy and fast to acquire.

GeoWarehouse subscribers can access Parcel Registers* and Instrument Images* through the GeoWarehouse e-Store.

Not a subscriber? Become one today. Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit

* An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.



Uncover A LienWell it seems that the condo market continues to boom in Canada. Just a couple of months back The Globe and Mail reported that developers broke ground on a surprisingly high number of condo developments across the country this past February.

The Globe and Mail also reported that “Construction of multiple units in cities rose this past month by more than 13 per cent to almost 116,500, CMHC said, while starts fell by 2.4 per cent in the single-detached category.” You can read the full article here:

While the condo market can be a lucrative one, it can also carry risk to real estate sales professionals and their clients because the condo owners have obligations to the condominium corporation in addition to their mortgage holder. Even if there is no mortgage, the condo owner still has an ongoing responsibility to pay condo fees.

The challenge is, when a condo owner doesn’t pay their condo fees for an extended period of time, it can result in arrears that can change the seller’s equity position and also result in a potential lien that will involve legal and administration fees that will need to be removed – even if the condo fee arrears are paid in full.

There are a variety of different ways that you can uncover a lien on a property as a result of unpaid condo fees so that your client can address/plan for the issue, well before a closing. If the seller’s property is encumbered with a number of mortgages, leaving the equity position tight with respect to the equity to pay your commission, it also pays to know the seller’s status as it relates to condo fees.

Here are some different ways that you can uncover a lien on a property:

You can request a Parcel Register in the GeoWarehouse Store. Some real estate sales professionals wait for the real estate lawyer to request this search on closing, but it pays to perform this search any time you retain a new client. Why? Not only will a Parcel Register uncover a condo lien, it will also verify who the legal owners of a property are, when the property was purchased, the amount of the transfer, and any registered mortgages and liens.

If your Parcel Register uncovers a lien you may use the reference number to obtain the Instrument Image for the lien. This will give you more details about the lien, including the registration amount, the condo corporation details and the information for the solicitor who registered the lien.

Lien or no lien, another great way to find out a condo owner’s status with a condo corporation is to request a status certificate. If there are condo arrears but they are not to the point of registering a lien on the condo, this is still an issue that can impact a closing because the real estate lawyer will also request a condo status certificate and if there are arrears they will have to be paid prior to closing.

You can request a condo status certificate from the condo corporation directly. There is usually a nominal fee to do this. You can either write to the condo corporation directly and send the fee with the request, or you can check to see if the condo status certificate is available on GeoWarehouse. If it is, you can pay the fee online and obtain the condo status certificate online as well.

A little bit of extra due diligence goes a long way. Knowing your deal inside and out will lead to more closed deals because you will be able to identify and address issues faster, thereby mitigating time wasted. Uncovering issues like liens is one way to do this.

For more information about how you can uncover a lien on a property please visit or call 1-866-237-5937.


Browse by Category