AIC112 - Canadian Real Property Law and Real Estate Ethics

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-11-20 14:54:29.146
Last review date 2018-11-20 14:54:29.147

Subject Title
Canadian Real Property Law and Real Estate Ethics

Subject Description
This subject is designed to provide students with an introduction to the law of real property. Topics include the Canadian legal system, contract and tort law, the nature of estates and interests in land, registration of land interests, mortgage law, tenancies, condominium law, and ethical issues in the real estate profession.

Credit Status
This is a subject applicable towards the Appraisal Institute of Canada's CRA and AACI designations, as well as the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Diploma in Urban Land Economics. Successful completion of the AIC course components of the program also earns students 50-60 degree credits toward the Bachelor of Business in Real Estate Program (BBRE) offered by UBC and Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical basis and current structure of the Canadian legal system.

2. Describe the concept of land "ownership" and other types of real property interests.

3. Identify the essential components required to form a valid contract.

4. Explain how contracts are interpreted and terminated and how contractual disputes are dealt with by the courts.

5. Demonstrate an understanding of how contract law applies to real estate transactions.

6. Explain the principles and mechanics of both the land recording (Registry) and the Torrens (Land Titles) systems of title registration.

7. Demonstrate knowledge of the responsibilities of land owners and occupiers under tort law.

8. Demonstrate an understanding of agency law and describe the role of a real estate agent/broker/licensee in real property transactions.

9. Identify the different types of mortgages and mortgage laws.

10.Describe the nature of residential and commercial tenancies.

11. Demonstrate knowledge of condominium law including the creation of and types of strata, the creation of the condominium corporation and council, and the various legislation, bylaws and regulations related to condominiums.

12. Identify and understand the organization and regulation of the real estate industry.

13. Demonstrate knowledge of the legislation concerning professional standards in the real estate industry.

14. Apply ethical rules and issues as they relate to real estate professionals.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Introduction to the Canadian Legal System

-Sources of law
-common law
-equitable law
-statute law
-Types of law
-substantive vs. procedural
-Limitation periods
-Finding and reading case law and statutes

Introduction to the Canadian Real Estate Industry

-Organization and regulation

Real Property Interests

-The meaning of land “ownership”
-Other interests and issues in real property law:
-fee simple
-surface rights
-water rights
-life interests
-restrictive covenants
-building schemes
-joint tenancies
-tenancies in common

Contract Law

-The seven essential elements of contract formation
-Contracts made under seal
-Variation of contracts
-Promissory estoppel
-Void, voidable, and unenforceable contracts
-Interpretation, termination and breach of a contract

Real Property Transactions

-Land divisions

Registration of Interests in Real Property

-The recording  (Registry) system
-The Torrens (Land Titles) system
-Registering fee simple interests
-Transfer of title
-Registering charges

Tort Liability

-The responsibilities of land owners and occupiers

Real Property Transactions

-The role of the real estate agent/broker/licensee in real property transactions
-Agency law
-Contracts of Purchase and Sale

Mortgage Law

-The different forms of mortgages
-Types of mortgages
-Mortgage legislation
-Mortgage remedies


-Leases and licenses
-Residential tenancies
-Commercial tenancies

Condominium Law

-Uses and types of strata lots
-The creation of strata
-The strata corporation and council
-Strata legislation, bylaws and regulations

Real Estate Professionals

-Legislation and licenses
-Professional standards

Ethics in the Real Estate Industry

-Ethical issues

Mode of Instruction
Students learn through classroom lectures and hands-on assignments during classroom hours.  There are homework assignments.  Students must have ready access to a computer with Word for Windows in order to complete homework assignments.  Students have access to computers through the Microcomputer Centre or micro labs where applicable.

Prescribed Texts
Sauder School of Business of the University of British Columbia (Real Estate Division), Real Property Law.  UBC Real Estate Division, latest edition.
BUSI 112 Course Workbook on Canadian Real Property Law and Real Estate Ethics.  UBC Real Estate Division, latest edition.

Note:  Photocopied texts are not permitted.

You may order textbooks directly from UBC, please use the following link and click on the tab "Diploma, AIC Books"

Reference Material

Required Supplies
Notebook or three-ring binder, paper, pens, highlighter, above noted text, calculator.

All students must have access to a personal computer when taking any Appraisal Institute course. You will find that a computer is a necessary tool in preparing and submitting your assignments, viewing your assignment answer guides, and for creating effective study notes to help you prepare for your examination. Students should also ensure that they have a high-quality printer (e.g., an inkjet or a laser) which will provide clear printouts of information from the Real Estate Division website.

All students must arrange for some form of Internet access. All of the Appraisal Institute’s courses offer numerous online course resources. Students should ensure they have Internet access prior to beginning their course work.

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Since this is a professional credit course, marking standards reinforce professional practice by demanding legible, neat documents. Material should be grammatically correct as a result of accurate proof-reading, proper spelling and punctuation. Late assignments are penalized at the discretion of the instructor.

Students should be aware that absenteeism will almost guarantee their inability to achieve satisfactory grades. There is no formal provision for make-up tests to replace tests missed due to absenteeism.

Students must pass the final examination to pass the course.

Absenteeism and Tests

  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you are absent for a test or examination due to an emergency (death in the family, motor vehicle accident – not usually a business trip) official documentation must be provided to the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training Program Coordinator’s office, fax number 416-756-4360, prior to the test or examination and no later than the following day.
  • Assignments, tests or examinations missed without official documentation and approval, see previous bullet, result in a grade of zero.
  • A minimum grade of 50% on the final examination and 50% overall in the course is required to obtain a Seneca credit.           
  • Requirements for the UBC Certificate in Real Property Assessment require a minimum grade of 50% on the final examination and a minimum overall grade of 60% in the course.  
  • Requirements for credits with the Institute of Municipal Assessors and the Appraisal Institute of Canada require a minimum grade of 50% on the final examination and a minimum overall grade of 60% in the course.
Grading is based on the following marking scheme: 
Multiple Choice Assignments  10%
Project No. 1 20%
Project No. 2 20%
Final Exam  50%

BUSI 112 - Canadian Real Property Law and Real Estate Ethics

Project Description
Project 1: Legal research exercise part I: 20% of final grade.

The first part of this project involves applying course concepts to several short case study scenarios, interpreting the law and explaining legal principles. Students are then required to do field work. First, they must conduct a title search for a property of their choice (may involve an in-person visit to Land Title/Registry office). Second, they are required to either summarize a trial they attended or briefly report case decisions.

Project 2: Legal research exercises part II: 20% of final grade.

The first part of this project involves applying  concepts to short case study scenarios, interpreting the law and explaining legal principles that are presented in the second half of the course. Students are then required to do field work. First, they are required to obtain and examine breaches of professional ethics in real estate. Second, they are required to complete an in-depth analysis of either a commercial lease or strata agreement.

Please keep this document for future reference.  It will be required if you apply to another educational institution and seek advanced standing.

Academic Program Manager:
Jean-Pierre Patry

Approved by: Jean-pierre Patry