How to Do a Title Search in Ontario (and What to Look For)

If you want to buy a property in Ontario, the first step you should take is to perform a title search. Learn about how to do a title search in Ontario.

A title search is the first thing that a potential buyer should do when considering purchasing a piece of property. Title searches can reveal mortgages and liens registered on the title of the property.

Types of Title Searches in Ontario

There are two types of title searches you can perform in Ontario: Electronic and manual searches.

Electronic searches include any property registered in the electronic database, and they are the easiest and most efficient way to perform a title search. Large cities such as Toronto are normally available for electronic searches.

Manual searches will include any property that you can’t find on the electronic database. You may need to perform manual searches for properties in smaller towns. These searches will entail an agent visiting a local Land Registry office to obtain the title search, which costs both time and money. Manual searches will be required for any unlisted properties.

How to Do a Title Search in Ontario

You can perform a title search either electronically or manually if you have one of the following:

  • A PIN number – This is the fastest, cheapest, and most accurate way to obtain a title search, and can take as little as three hours.
  • The exact municipal address – In some cases, you may not be able to find a property via electronic search if it’s linked to the municipal address, but title searches will be much faster and cost-effective if you have this address.
  • City and property owner name – If you can provide both the city and the name of the property owner, your search should be quick.
  • The legal description – This can be helpful, but isn’t always successful and could result in delays and added costs to you.

These are the basics to help you learn how to do a title search in Ontario. If you’re looking for an experienced real estate lawyer who will help you with all aspects of buying a home, contact us for more information.