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So you’re having an open house. Remember to tell your realtor sex is not OK

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Real estate lawyers get asked all kinds of oddball questions.

Last week, one of my colleagues asked me how to respond to his client’s query about returning after an Open House at her home to find one of the neatly-made upstairs beds in complete disarray.

If you find a dishevelled bed in your home staged for Open House viewing, find out why from your sales rep and be in touch with your real estate lawyer.
If you find a dishevelled bed in your home staged for Open House viewing, find out why from your sales rep and be in touch with your real estate lawyer.  (Dreamstime)

Obviously, the bed and the bedroom were used either by the real estate agent or some visitors for a purpose which had nothing to do with marketing the house.

How does a lawyer advise the client in this situation? I may have missed this day in law school, but my initial reaction was to suggest confronting the agent to find out what happened. If the agent knew about the incident — or was a participant in it — it might be time to get a new agent and consider a complaint to the brokerage or RECO, the industry regulator.

If the agent did not know, it might be a good time to investigate how the event could have taken place and take steps to prevent a recurrence.

To my surprise, I discovered that the internet is full of apparently real stories of people having sex at Open Houses.

In March, 2006, when the real estate bubble was at its peak, GQ magazine ran a story entitled “Does Real Estate Make You Horny?” It reported on a trend called “house humping,” in which thrill-seeking couples secretively have sex in a closet or bathroom — or other quiet corner of the house — without anyone noticing.

But in his 2016 book The Cheerful Subversive’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking, author Dan Mirvish claims that the GQ story, and the “trend” of house humping, were the fruit of a viral stealth campaign unleashed to promote a Weinstein Co. real estate musical called Open House.

Having sex at Open Houses has even gone mainstream.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is an HBO comedy TV series created by Larry David, who also stars in it as a fictionalized version of himself. In a Season 9 episode last year, the character played by actor Jeff Garlin confides about his antics at an Open House.

Garlin: “Remember the realtor from the art gallery?”

David: “Ya.”

Garlin: “Well, she had an open house. And let’s just say it stayed open a little longer for me. Oh ya. Oh ya.”

David: You had sex with her at an Open House?

Garlin: At an Open House.

David: That’s unbelievable.

Garlin: Unbelievable. And you know they have cookies at the open house. I brought the cookies up with me. We had sex, I had some cookies, took a nap …

David: On what?

Garlin: Well, they have the staging furniture.

David: Wow.

Marjorie Garber is an English professor at Harvard University. In her 2000 book Sex and Real Estate: Why We Love Houses she says that the real estate Open House is a socially sanctioned licence to daydream about what goes on behind other people’s closed doors.

“The idea of illicit sex in illicit places,” she writes, “has its own allure in the world of sex and real estate.”

Take the kitchen, she muses, and consider the meaning of the words in the folk song “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”: “Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah, strummin’ on the old banjo.”

I’ll never think of the song — or Open Houses — the same way again.

All of this serves as a reminder to home sellers who have agreed to Open Houses that they should establish clear terms with their realtors about monitoring visitors and their activities.

Bob Aaron is a Toronto real estate lawyer. He can be reached at bob@aaron.ca or on Twitter: @bobaaron2



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Anglais

A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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