The following article appeared in the January, 2016 issue of OREA’s “The Edge” by Merv Burgard, Q.C

It all began when a home owner arranged for an alarm system to be installed in his residence. The cost of installing the system was more than $700 and the package featured a keypad entry and basic alarm system. The owner also signed up for a monitoring service, which included a monthly charge of $45.14. A modem was installed that would trigger the monitoring device.

Some 18 months later, the same owner decided to sell his home. The agreement of purchase and sale (APS) stated: “Chattels included … Alarm system and equipment.” However, the only item listed in the Rented Equipment category
was as follows: “Hot water tank with the buyer to assume the rental contract.”

In the course of the property sale, a lawsuit ensued. The buyer and seller disagreed on whether the buyer was required to assume the monthly charges for the alarm system. The seller claimed that the buyer was to have taken over the cost of the alarm modem and monitoring system.

The judge in this case ruled that the APS was a “botched” agreement. It was not made clear to the court why the seller did not have the modem and alarm monitoring system removed from his prior residence and transferred to his new residence, to minimize costs. The seller stated that he did not know where the modem had been physically located. The judge ruled that the seller was responsible for the monthly charges. The seller’s claim against the buyer was dismissed.

Gu v Carnovale 2013 CanLII 60220
This content has been reproduced with permission from the Ontario Real Estate Association.