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The offeree's consent to enter into a contract and to be bound by the terms of the offer.

Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute (AACI)
The highest level of designation bestowed by the Appraisal Institute of Canada. It allows the holder to conduct appraisals and consultations on various types of property

Accrued Interest
The interest charged for the period of time that has elapsed since the last interest date.

A measure of land equaling 43,560 square feet; 4,840 square yards; 160 square rods.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage
See variable rate mortgage.

A voluntary statement sworn to or affirmed before a notary public or other official authorized by law to administer an oath.

A relationship created when one person, the "principal," delegates to another, the "agent," the right to act on the principal's behalf in business transactions and to exercise some degree of discretion while so acting. Agency gives rise to a fiduciary relationship and imposes on the agent, as the fiduciary of the principal, certain duties, obligations and high standards of good faith and loyalty.

Agreement of Purchase and Sale
A written agreement between vendor and purchaser in which the purchaser agrees to buy certain real property and the vendor agrees to sell upon terms and conditions as set out in that agreement.

Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA)
An independent non-profit organization serving the mortgage industry in Alberta.

Amending Agreement
An agreement between the lender and borrower by the lender in which the terms of the registered mortgage are changed. The amending agreement may or may not be not be registered on title.

This refers to the process of paying off a mortgage in regular payments composed of both interest and principal.

Amortization Period
The time over which the mortgage is to be completely repaid, assuming equal payments. This means that when looking, for example, at a mortgage with a 25-year amortization period, it would take 25 years to reduce the balance to zero, if all regular payments were made on time and the terms (payment, interest rate) remained the same.

Amortization Schedule
A table showing the amounts of principal and interest which make up each of the periodic level payments and the outstanding principal balance of the loan after each level payment is made.

Anniversary Date
The same date in each calendar year during the term of the mortgage. The first anniversary date occurs one year from the date interest is adjusted and the periodic repayments beg

An independent, unbiased report that uses various analysis techniques and market research to determine the realistic value of a property

Arm's Length Transaction
A transaction between unrelated parties. A transaction freely arrived at in the open market unaffected by abnormal pressures as might be the case in a transaction between related parties.

An overdue payment (in reference to a mortgage for the purposes of this text).

Assessment (assessed value)
A value placed upon property (land and buildings) for taxation purposes.

The transfer of the right, title and interest in the property of one person, the assignor, to another, the assignee. In real estate, there are assignments of mortgages, contracts, agreements of sale, leases, and options, among others.

Assumable Mortgage
An existing mortgage that can be taken over (assumed) by the buyer of a property when that property is sold.

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Balance Sheet
Also known as the Statement of Financial Position or Statement of Assets and Liabilities. The Balance Sheet is a listing of the assets, liabilities (debts), and owners equity of a business enterprise at a specific point in time. The assets must equal the liabilities plus the owners equity.

Base Rent
The minimum rent payable by the tenant under a commercial tenancy agreement, often referred to as net/net/net rent or alternatively a triple net lease.

Basis Point
One one-hundredth of one percent. Used to describe the amount of change in yield in money debt instruments, including mortgages

Beacon Score
The name given to the credit score published by Equifax. See also Empirica Score

A person who receives the benefits from the gifts or acts of another, such as one who is designated to receive the proceeds from a will, insurance policy or trust.

Blanket Mortgage
A single mortgage registered against two or more individual parcels of real property.

Blended Payments
Regular equal mortgage payments combining, or blending, interest and principal components in one constant payment.

Blended Rate
The rate that results from the blending of an existing mortgage and a new mortgage with differing interest rates into one consolidated mortgage. The calculation to determine the final rate takes into account both the interest rates and the amount of principal for each of the component loans.

Bridge Financing
A loan provided to borrowers to provide financing for purchase, pending closing of the sale of their existing property.

The aspect of business concerned with bringing parties together for the transaction of business and the execution of contracts. Brokerage involves sales, exchanges and rentals.

One who acts as an intermediary between parties in a transaction. A broker, for a fee or other consideration, arranges a transaction (a sale) by a seller to the buyer.

Building Permit
A written permission granted by the municipal authority that is required prior to beginning the construction of a new building or other improvement (including fences, fence walls, retaining walls and swimming pools).

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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
A Crown Corporation which was initially created to administer the National Housing Act and is Canada's only public sector mortgage insurer. CMHC is charged with administering government housing initiatives and works with community organizations, the private sector, non-profit agencies and all levels of government to help create innovative solutions to today's housing challenges.

Capital Gain
The taxable profit derived from the sale of a capital asset.

CAP Rate
The percentage selected for use in the income approach to valuation of improved property. The cap rate is designed to reflect the recapture of the original investment over the economic life of the improvement, to give to the investor an acceptable rate of return (yield) on the original investment, and to provide for the return on borrowed capital.

Cash Flow
The net operating income of a property less its debt service.

Certificate of Occupancy (Permit)
A certificate provided by the municipality that a property has been constructed under the authority of the issued building permit, has met the requirements of the building code, and is now suitable to be occupied.

Closed Mortgage
A mortgage that does not provide for any prepayment of principal during the term

Closing Costs
Expenses of the sale which must be paid in addition to the purchase price (in case of the buyer's expense) or be deduced from the proceeds of the sale (in the case of the seller's expenses).

Closing Date
The date on which a sale becomes final, funds are transferred from the purchaser to the vendor, and the new owner takes possession of a property.

One of two or more people applying together for a loan.

Commission (Fee)
Remuneration paid to a brokerage on the sale or lease of property, usually as a percentage of the sale amount involved, but is sometimes a fixed amount.

A letter / document issued by a lender reciting the basic terms of a loan which, when accepted by the borrower, forms a binding contract. The commitment may have conditions attached to it which must be met before the contract can be finalized.

A clause or statement in the contract, which must be met to fulfil an obligation in the agreement.

Ownership of property whereby the owners hold negotiable title to their own unit. At the same time they share with fellow owners the title and cost of operation of the balance of the property (common elements) making up the condominium.

Condominium Corporation
A governing body, without share capital, arising from the registration of a declaration and description for a condominium, (whose members are the owners) to manage the property and assets of the corporation.

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more capable people for consideration or value, to do or not do some lawful and genuinely intended act.

The transfer of an interest in property from one person to another.

Conventional Mortgage
A loan based on the credit of the borrower and on the collateral for the mortgage. A conventional mortgage does not exceed 75% of the market value of the property. This means that the borrower must have 25% or more available for the down payment

A separate legal entity which exists apart from a person but has the rights and liabilities of an individual.

Counter Offer
An offer by a seller to sell the property, open for an acceptance for a specified period of time, and offered to particular purchasers.

Credit Report
A detailed description of the applicant's credit records. This includes information provided by lenders concerning credit card payments and loans repayment history.

Credit Score
A single number that represents the information found in a borrower's credit history. Equifax's credit score is known as the Beacon Score, while TransUnion’s score is called the Empirica Score.

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Debt Service Ratios
Ratios that are used to compare borrowers debts to their incomes to determine if they can afford loans

Failure to fulfill contractual obligations.

Demand Letter
A letter sent by the lender to the borrower demanding immediate payment of all arrears, together with costs

References the maximum allowable
usage for a given parcel of land (e.g., number of people, amount of residential units, or square footage).

Disclosure Statement
A written statement disclosing information about a specific loan and potential conflicts of interest required under various consumer protection acts

One who engages in the subdivision or improvement of land.

To give a widow a life interest in one-third of her husband's real estate. To convey clear title, a wife would have to release her interest or bar her dower rights if the husband was an owner and wished to sell or mortgage the property

A two-family dwelling or house have two self-contained residential units. There is only one deed for the ownership of both units

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A right enjoyed by one tenement over another tenement, usually granted for a specific purpose rather than for the general use and occupation of the land, and once granted attaches to the land and binds subsequent owners

Economic Life
The estimated period over which it is anticipated that a property or asset may profitably be used.

Outstanding claim or lien recorded against property, or any legal right to the use of the property by a person who is not the owner.

Equity (for Mortgages)
The difference between lending value (the purchase price or market value) and indebtedness.

Estoppel Certificate
Legal certificate usually issued by a condominium corporation. It indicates details of the project and is given to the lender / purchaser or tenant. Delivery of the certificate prevents anyone from claiming a different set of facts at a later date

The forced removal, by legal means, of a tenant from the leased premises.

Exclusive Agent
An agent with the exclusive rights to sell, lease or exchange the property owned by another for a fixed period.

Taking of private property by the state for public use, with fair compensation to the owner, through the exercise of the right of eminent domain

Extension Agreement
An agreement extending a loan past the original maturity date

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Fair Market Value
Fair market value, also known as market value, is the highest price reasonably expected for an interest in land when sold by a willing seller to a willing buyer after adequate time and exposure to the market.

Fee Simple
The highest estate or absolute right in real property.

Fiduciary Responsibilities
An agent owes to his/her principal various fiduciary duties such as competence, obedience, good faith, and full disclosure, and full accounting

  • Competence - A degree of care and skill that might be expected from an average person in that trade or profession.
  • Obedience - A duty to follow the principal's lawful instructions whether the agent agrees with them or not.
  • Good Faith & Full Disclosure - Honesty of intention, abstention from taking advantage of another and freedom from knowledge of circumstances that ought to cause a reasonable person to investigate.
  • Full Accounting - The requirement for full and complete accounting, such as details of all funds held in trust, and all monies handled on behalf of the principal.

Finder's Fee
A fee or commission paid by a lender to a mortgage professional for referring a mortgage loan.

First Mortgage
A mortgage registered before all others on title

Fixed Rate Mortgage
In a fixed rate mortgage the interest is determined and is set for the term of the mortgage. Fixed rate mortgages are most desirable when current interest rates are low.

A legal remedy available to a lender when there is default under any of the covenants in the mortgage. It deprives the borrowers of their equitable right to redeem.

Freehold Estate
An estate, or interest, in land or real property of uncertain duration, which is either of inheritance or for the life of the tenant. There are three (3) freehold estates, or interests: fee simple, fee tail and life estate.

Fully Open Mortgage
An open mortgage that allows principal payments to be made in any amount, at any time, in addition to regular mortgage payment, without penalty.


The legal attachment of a debtor's wages, cash flow or assets by creditors. The party served with notice must comply with the Garnishee Order and forward funds to the creditor(s) named.

General Contractor
Normally selected through bidding procedures, is responsible for completion of the project in a skillful manner that is acceptable to both architect and owner

Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS)
The percentage of the borrower's income that is needed to make all payments for costs associated with housing. There is a maximum amount associated with this ratio to ensure that borrowers can afford to carry the debt.

Gross Income (Single Family)
The total annual personal income before deductions used in the calculation of an applicant's debt service ratios.

Gross Profit (Income Statement)
Total revenue of a business minus the cost of goods it sold.

One who promises to pay a debt or perform an obligation contracted by another in the event the original borrower fails to pay or to perform as contracted.

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High Ratio Mortgage
A mortgage is considered high ratio when the loan-to-value is 75% or more. This occurs when the borrower's down payment is 25% or less of the property value.

Highest and Best Use
This is the most probable, legally allowable, financially feasible use for the property in question. The appraiser includes an opinion on this as part of the appraisal report.

The withholding of or non-advancement of a portion of a mortgage loan to maintain adequate security,1. pending achievement of a performance requirement, or2. as protection against liens.

Home Equity Financing
A type of mortgage refinancing in which the mortgage amount is increased to take advantage of the increased equity in a home.

Home Inspection
The process by which a qualified person examines and evaluates various components of a residential building including but not limited to structural aspects, components, exterior coverings, roofing system, plumbing, electrical, heating, central air conditioning, insulation, ventilation, and interior structure. It is designed to provide a client with a thorough understanding of the condition of a property as of the date of inspection

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Income Property
Real property that is used, or is capable of being used, for the production of annual income through leasing of the property.

Income Statement
Summarizes the findings of calculations between a company's revenues and expenses. The income statement can be reported annually, quarterly or monthly. The income statement is generally broken down as follows:

  • Revenue or Sales - Earnings from day-to-day operations of the business
  • Cost of Goods Sold -The costs of production and manufacturing
  • Gross Profit - Total revenue of a business minus the cost of goods it sold
  • Operating Expenses -The total costs of the day-to-day operations
  • Net Income from Operations - The amount that is remaining when you subtract all costs and taxes from total sales

Infell Housing
Any project that create new housing within an existing established neighborhood

A general increase in the price level of goods and services.

Insurable Value
The term is used conventionally to designate the amount of insurance that may be carried on destructible portions of a property to indemnify the owner in the event of loss.

An amount, expressed as a percentage, which a borrower agrees to pay on borrowed money, at a certain frequency as per an agreement with the lender.

Interest Adjustment
The process of calculating compound interest payable on the amount borrowed between the day the loan is disbursed and the day the amortization period starts.

Interest Adjustment Date
The date from which interest is calculated at the rate and compounded at the frequency set out in the mortgage contract. It is normally the first day of the month following the closing of the mortgage transaction.

Interest Only Loan
A loan in which the borrower only pays regularly scheduled payments on the interest to the lender and the principal remains the same during the life of the loan. The principal is repaid in full at the end of the loan's term.

Interest Rate
Interest rate is the percentage charged on outstanding loan balances

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Joint Tenancy
An ownership of property by two or more people, each of whom has an undivided interest subject to the right of survivorship.

Joint Venture
An arrangement under which two or more people or businesses go into a single venture as partners.

The official and authentic decision of a court of justices upon the respective rights and claims of the parties to an action or suit being litigated and submitted to its determination

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Includes not only the ground or soil, but also everything that is attached to the earth, whether by course of nature, such as trees and herbage, or by the hand of man, such as houses and other buildings. It includes not only the surface of the earth but everything under it and over it. Condominium Acts divide land horizontally thereby limiting the vertical ownership.

A contract between landlord (lessor) and tenant (lessee) for the occupation or use of the landlord's interest in a property by the tenant for a specified period of time and for a specified consideration (rent).

Legal Description
The written geographical description of a property (metes and bounds) as described in the land register

Letter of Instruction
A letter of instruction will call for the lawyer to act for the lender and administer the distribution of the mortgage loan.

The use of borrowed funds to make investment(s) in real property in the hope of realizing a profit in addition to monies necessary to pay for the borrowed funds.

A business or a borrower's debts and legal obligations.

A claim on real or personal property for the payment of some undischarged debt or duty

Line of Credit
A line of credit is a highly flexible form of interim financing that is based on the past performance and strength of personal or corporate covenants.

Listing Agreement
A written agreement under which the owner appoints a real estate broker for a designated period of time to sell, lease or exchange the property based on the owner's stated terms, and under which the owner agrees to pay the broker a commission.

The readiness or ease with which an asset can be converted to cash.

Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)
The amount of the mortgage loan compared to the value of the property. This ratio is calculated by the lender prior to providing the loan. The results of this calculation help to determine whether or not the applicant will qualify for a loan and whether the application, if approved, will be for a conventional loan or a high ratio loan.

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Market Value
The highest price in terms of money, which the property will bring to a willing seller if exposed for sale on the open market; allowing a reasonable time to find a willing purchaser, buying with the knowledge of all the uses to which it is adapted and for which it can be legally used, and neither party acting under necessity, compulsion or peculiar and special circumstances

A legal method by which a borrower can pledge property to a lender as security for a debt. In Quebec, this is referred to as a hypothec.

Mortgage Broker
An individual authorized to deal in mortgage and lend money using real estate as a security.

Mortgage Fraud
Any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relied upon by a lender or insurer to underwrite, approve, fund or insure a mortgage loan.

Mortgage Refinancing
The replacement of current mortgage financing with new financing, usually to take advantage of different interest rate or financial conditions or the existing equity in the property.

Mortgage Term
The length of time the interest rate is guaranteed for a mortgage. Mortgage terms normally range from 6 months to 5 years or more, after which time the borrower can either repay the balance of the principal owing or re-negotiate the mortgage at current rates

The lender or creditor

The borrower or debtor.

Multiple Listings Service (MLS)
The trademarks known as MLS, Multiple Listing Service and the MLS design marks are certification marks registered and owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). These marks are protected throughout Canada for the exclusive use of members of CREA in connection with services defined as listing to effect the purchase and sale of real estate. The certification marks may only be used in association with listing services performed as part of a plural system arrangement and are performed by members in good standing of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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Occupancy Permit
A permit issued by a municipality allowing the premises to be occupied for the uses intended.

Offer to Lease
When accepted, an agreement between interested parties to enter into a lease that sets forth the basic lease terms.

Offer to Purchase
A written contract outlining the terms under which the buyer agrees to purchase the property. There may be conditions attached to the offer, for example, the offer may be conditional on the buyer arranging mortgage financing or selling a current home.

Open Mortgage
An open mortgage allows a borrower to repay any amount of the principal at any time without notice or penalty. Mortgages may be partially open, having clauses that allow partial pre-payment at specified times, or in specified ways. For example,

  • Double Up Option
    The opportunity to double the scheduled principal and interest payments.
  • Lump Sum payment Option
    The choice to prepay a portion of the principal.
  • No Cost Switching of Payment Option
    This option allows the borrower to change the payment schedule (monthly/semi-monthly/bi-weekly/weekly).
  • Skip Payment Option
    This alternative grants the borrower the ability to skip a monthly payment without the mortgage going into default.

Option to Buy/Purchase
A right given by the owner of property to another (for valuable consideration) to buy certain property within a limited time at an agreed price.

Owner Occupied
The owner of the land also resides in that property. The opposite of an investment property.

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The four costs included in the calculation of the gross debt service ratio, namely principal, interest, taxes, and heat

The date of completion/closing is normally possession date, unless otherwise provided in the agreement.

Prepayment Clause
A clause inserted in a mortgage that gives the borrower the privilege of paying all or part of the mortgage debt in advance of the maturity date.

Prepayment Penalty
The sum of money (usually equal to an amount of interest) a lender may require from a borrower to repay all or part of any outstanding principal in advance.

Prime Rate
The interest rate at which financial institutions lend to their best customers.

The amount upon which interest is paid

Principal of Highest and Best Use
That use which, at the time of the appraisal, is most likely to produce the greatest net return in money or amenities to the land over a given period. The present use will continue, however, unless and until in its highest and best use exceeds the total value of the property in its existing use.

Private Mortgages
Mortgages provided by private corporations and individuals

Pro Forma Statement
Pro forma is literally translated from Latin as according to form. For most purposes, the term refers to actual financing statements showing the projected costs and income of an existing or new project. A pro forma statement prepared by a real estate broker usually concentrates solely on cash flow.

Progress Advance
Loan advances made on a property under construction whereby the lender makes advances while retaining an amount of the loan which in his/her opinion will be sufficient to complete the building should the borrower be unable to finish it.

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Real Estate
The physical land and appurtenances including structures affixed on it.

Periodic payments made by the lessee or tenant to the lessor or landlord in exchange for the use of their property.

Rent Roll
A statement listing the tenants in occupancy, the area or unit occupied by each, their lease expiry dates and rent payable as well as other leasing details that may be required.

Replacement Cost (Real Estate)
The cost of replacing a subject property with one having exactly the same utility.

The act of rescinding; the cancellation of a contract and the return of the parties to the state in which they would have been if the contract had not been made.

Reserve Fund
A special fund established for the purpose of some contemplated future event(s).

Restrictive Covenant
A limitation placed upon the use of property contained in the deed or other written instrument in the chain of title. More specifically, a restrictive covenant is a contract between two landowners, by which the person obtaining the promise (the covenantee) acquires the right to restrain the covenantor from putting the land to certain specific uses. Such contracts between landowners run with the land.

The right to pass over another's land according to the nature of the easement.

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Sale Holdback
A percentage of the principal amount of the mortgage held back by the lender until the property in question has been sold to a party satisfactory to the lender and until this party has assumed the responsibility of the mortgage by the appropriate legal document.

Seasonal Deficiencies
Work necessary to finish a property that cannot be completed immediately because of seasonal or climatic conditions

Secondary Financing
Financing real estate with a loan, or loans, subordinate to a first mortgage.

Second Mortgage
A mortgage placed on real property which is already encumbered with one mortgage. Determination of first, second, third mortgage, etc. is determined by priority of registration (time and date).

Septic Tank
A watertight container usually made of concrete, steel or fiberglass. It serves as a holding tank that allows heavy solids to settle to the bottom of the tank. Lighter materials that float are also held in the tank. Within the tank, most solids are broken down to gases or liquids. The breakdown takes place as a result of bacteria action, both aerobic and anaerobic. The liquids are discharged from the tank into the tile bed. The gas escapes through plumbing vents.

Simple Interest
The cost of borrowing money, calculated by applying the interest rate to the original principal amount only. In contrast to compound interest, interest is not charged on interest.

Sole Proprietorship
A business owned by a single person and not registered as a corporation. The sole proprietorship has unlimited liability.

Special Assessment
A tax or levy customarily imposed against only those specific parcels of realty, which will benefit from a proposed public improvement, as opposed to a general tax on the entire community.

A survey sets out the legal description of a mortgaged property, allowing confirmation that any building sits within the described boundaries of the land. Land boundaries, areas and improvements are determined and plotted on the survey. Surveys are also used for identifying easements

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In a mortgage, term is the actual length of time for which the money is loaned. The term is usually shorter than the amortization period. At the end of the term the outstanding debt must either be refinanced at current market rates or paid off in full.

Tenancy At Will
A tenancy in which a person is in a possession of real estate with the permission of the owner, for a term of unspecified or uncertain duration, as when an owner permits a tenant to occupy a property until it is sold.

The legal evidence that shows the rightful owner of land.

Torrens System
The Land Titles System as originated in Australia by a Mr. Torrens in 1858. The Torrens system is a system for the registration of land title, indicating the state of the title, including ownership and encumbrances, without the necessity of an additional search of the public records.

Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS)
One of the ratios used to determine whether or not a borrower is able to carry the debt load for a mortgage. The ratio is calculated as the percentage of annual income required to cover housing costs (GDS) plus any other loans that an individual has, such as those resulting in credit card and car payments. There is a maximum amount associated with this ratio to ensure that borrowers can afford to carry the debt.

A type of dwelling unit, attached to two or more similar units, normally having two floors, with the living area and kitchens on the base floor and the bedrooms located on the second floor.

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This is the process undertaken by lenders and insurers to verify the mortgage application information and supporting documentation submitted, make an assessment of risk on both the applicant(s) and the property, and approve or decline the mortgage loan.

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Variable Rate Mortgage
is type of mortgage, also referred to as adjustable rate mortgage, is the opposite of a fixed rate mortgage. The interest rate on this loan may change during the term of the mortgage reflecting changes in the current market rates.

Vendor Take-Back
Seller retains an interest, by way of a mortgage from the buyer, for the balance of funds owing to the seller upon closing.

Void Contract
A contract or agreement that has no legal force or validity

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Warranties are assurances that are not vital to the contract (unlike conditions), such that a violation of warranty will not result in the termination of the contract.

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The uses to which property may be put in specific areas, as specified by municipal authorities.

Zoning Bylaw
A bylaw passed by a municipality to regulate the use of the land and specifically limiting the use of land in certain areas for any purpose other than as set out in the bylaw, and defines exactly what can take place on a parcel of land.

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Sources and citation
1.Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA),
2.Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP),

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