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Construction Law

Our Approach

Ontario’s Construction Act establishes a regime of strict rules that governs the relationships between all of the participants in the construction industry, from property owners and lenders to suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors. The Act governs how holdbacks are to be retained or released, work is to be invoiced, payment is to be made, and disputes resolved. By carefully following the rules, parties can benefit from powerful legal tools that protect their interests by securing payment or shielding them from liability. Falling afoul of the rules, however, may risk incurring liability or losing the protections that would otherwise be available.

Recent comprehensive amendments to the Construction Act have made the rules more challenging to navigate, even for experienced participants in the industry. Fortunately, the Construction Law Group at Mann Lawyers assembles a team of seasoned professionals with expertise in every facet of the construction process. Drawing on various specializations including corporate law, real estate, environmental law, commercial litigation, and arbitration, our team is able to assist in navigating even complex construction questions.

General Contractors
Lenders
Property Owners
Subcontractors
Suppliers

Construction Law Team

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Construction Law Resources

Blog |
Construction Law

By: 

Posted March 8, 2022

Ontario’s Construction Act is intended to provide security to contractors and subcontractors in the event that they are not paid for their work on a[...]
Blog |
Construction Law

By: 

Posted February 7, 2022

There are many different players involved in a construction project, and many different sources of risk. The Construction Act provides tools to allow these players[...]
Blog |
Construction Law

By: 

Posted October 29, 2021

In a previous blog post, we reviewed the steps that a contractor or supplier must take in order to first “preserve” and then “perfect” a[...]
Blog |
Construction Law

By: 

Posted August 19, 2021

An earlier blog reviewed the usefulness of contractors’ and suppliers’ trusts, available under section 8.1 of the Construction Act. However, a new decision by Ontario’s[...]
Blog |
Construction Law

By: 

Posted July 22, 2021

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (RSO 1990, c O.1, “OSHA”) imposes a regime of strictly-enforced obligations (and potential liability) on any party involved[...]
Blog |
Construction Law

By: 

Posted May 5, 2021

In 2019, a new “prompt payment” regime in Ontario’s construction industry came into force following significant amendments to the Construction Act. This regime creates a[...]

Frequently Asked Questions

If you need the lien removed right away so that you can sell or refinance the property, it is possible to pay the amount of the lien, plus 25% for costs, into court to have the lien discharged from the property. You will then have to have the underlying dispute resolved before you get that money back (or have it paid out to the party who registered the lien).

If time is not of the essence, then the dispute with the party who registered the lien will still have to be resolved. This can be done through informal settlement negotiations, through arbitration or mediation, or through the courts.

If you provided a proper invoice and the owner or general contractor has provided you with a notice of non-payment, then you may be able to proceed to an “interim adjudication” to have your dispute decided, on an interim basis, relatively quickly.

Otherwise, you have 60 days from when you completed work on a project to register a lien, and a further 90 days after that to bring a claim in court so that you do not lose the lien. The question of when the “clock starts ticking” on the 60-day deadline can be a complicated one, so make sure you obtain clear advice on that question so that you do not lose out on your opportunity to lien the property.

You can release them once the period for registering a lien has expired, as long as no one has registered a lien. The period to register a lien expires 60 days following the completion (or substantial completion) of work on a project. However, an exact answer for when the “clock starts ticking” on the 60-day deadline can be complicated. Failing to hold back the funds for the correct period of time can make you liable for the amount of the holdback, so make sure to obtain professional advice before releasing the monies.

The legal “bar” is fairly low for a supplier to connect their supplies to a specific project. Even if you cannot prove where specific supplies were used, if you are aware of the project that they were likely used for, you may still be able to lien that property. Consult one of our construction law experts to discuss the specific circumstances of your situation.

The rules about where a construction lien falls in the order of priority for paying out a mortgage can be complicated. The general rule is that the lien will be ahead in line of mortgages that were registered after the lien was registered, but behind mortgages that were registered before the lien was registered. However, it is best to obtain a legal advice on your specific situation.

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