What Are Your Rights When Your Parents Purchased Your Condo?

You’d be surprised at how often issues of ownership crop up around condos that were purchased for a child by their parents.

A main related issue involves the question of whether parents can legally take back a condo after purchasing it for their son or daughter under their son or daughter’s name.

Below, we will answer this question and outline what you should do if you are facing a similar situation.

Principles of Equity

First, it’s important to start by saying that if the parents in this scenario have nothing registered against the condo, the law is not on their side in this matter. However, there is something called the “principles of equity,” which it is possible an Ontario Judge may invoke.

Essentially, there are two different types of law we’re dealing with: Common law and equity law. Equity law was created after common law in order to right some fairness issues and injustices that common law did not account for.

Parents Attempt to Prove the Condo Was a Gift

Under equity law, the parents could technically make claims in equity that they could not make in common law. For instance, the parents might state that while their child is the technical legal owner, they are the “owner in equity” because they originally purchased the condo and never had the intention of actually gifting ownership of the condo to their child.

This would certainly be their claim — that they essentially gave the condo as a gift or that their child was holding the condo “in trust” on their behalf.

Still, in these situations, the parents must prove several things. Namely, they must prove that this was indeed the scenario when they originally purchased the condo, and this will require actual evidence.

Parents Claim Unjust Enrichment

Another claim that parents may make in this scenario is called unjust enrichment. This is basically a claim that says the parents have suffered a large loss that was unjustified. First, they purchased a condo for their child and gave it to them. Second, this purchase caused a financial loss of X amount of dollars for them because they paid X amount of dollars for the condo.

The end result of the transaction for them is that there’s no lawful or “juristic” reason that they should suffer a loss while the child gains a condo.

The good news here is that it’s unlikely this claim will fly if the child has been taking good care of the condo. That’s because it proves the child may have had no intention of actually being the owner at the outset. Additionally, if the child put money into the upkeep of the condo and they got it back, they would then be unjustly enriched.

Facing This Situation? A Condo Lawyer in Toronto Can Help

To take a case like this one to court with your parents, you’ll need the best condo lawyers Toronto has to offer. HLD condo lawyers can help you flesh out your case and win it. We have more than 30 years in condominium law experience.

To book a free consultation with a condo lawyer at HLD Lawyers, give us a call today.