Five Important Clauses When Buying a Rural or Cottage Property

We help many clients purchase ( buying a rural or cottage property ) rural or cottage properties, including drafting and preparing their agreement of purchase and sale.  When buying a rural or cottage property, there are many considerations to factor in.  And, if the property is a cottage, then it is important to consider year-around access and related issues.

Here are the top five most important clauses to consider when buying a rural or cottage property.

Well Warranty Clause

A well warranty clause will cover flow rate and potability. These metrics are important because every property needs to have drinkable water with good water pressure.  A well conditional clause will ensure that the well provides sufficient quantity and quality of water, and that the pump and related equipment are working.  Similarly, a clause stipulating that the seller install an adequate water filtration system, if none exists, will ensure that the water is potable for the new buyer.

Septic Clause

A septic clause will make the offer conditional upon the buyer ensuring that the sewage system meets all requirements and the septic bed is in good working order.  Further, it is a smart idea to include an additional warranty from the seller concerning the working order of the septic system – this will preserve a buyer’s rights after the deal closes if the septic system is not working as the seller had previously indicated.

Specifically, as a buyer, you might consider making an offer conditional upon the following (but note that you would retain a septic professional at your own expense):

Access Clause

Access clauses will deal with verifying that the access road is in fact a public road maintained through the year at public expense.  Other access clauses deal with issues such as easements and rights-of-way; warranting that the access road is maintained on an year-round basis, and acknowledging that an access road is a private road.

Dock/boathouse Clause

A dock/boathouse clause will ensure that the necessary approvals and permits have been obtained through the relevant authorities, including from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Federal Government under the Navigable Waters Protection Act, and from the municipality.  Just because the cottage has a dock or boathouse does not mean that it was legally constructed or the seller actually owns that section of the waterfront – you always have to check!

Agricultural Acknowledgement Clause

This clause provides an acknowledgement from the buyer that there are agricultural activities in the nearby areas that may affect the buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property.  For example, if the property is next to an area zoned for agriculture, then there may be inconveniences such as dust, noise, flies, odour, traffic, and machinery that may affect the use and enjoyment of the property.

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