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The Lay of the Land


Calculating Damages for False Estoppel

Posted in Commercial, Policy
D. James Papadimitriou

The Quebec Court of Appeal in Meyerco Enterpresis Ltd. v. Kinmont Canada Inc. (2016 QCCA 89) has recently partially overturned a lower court ruling that awarded damages for a false estoppel signed by a tenant based on application of a cap rate paid by the buyer and addressee of the estoppel instead applying general principals of ‎damages including mitigation. –> Read More

B.C. Government Shines a Light on Shadow-Flippers with New Regulations

Posted in Policy
Scott SmytheConrad RegoJulia Bennett

Shadow-flipping has been the subject of intense media attention over the past few months, and there has been increasing pressure on the B.C. government to address the issue.  The government responded on May 9, 2016 by unveiling new regulations aimed at combatting the practice.  The regulations, issued pursuant to the Real Estate Services Act, come into effect today.

What is shadow-flipping?

Shadow-flipping a property involves the assignment of a purchase contract by a purchaser to a third party for a fee, often on multiple occasions and for increasingly higher fees.  There is, of course, nothing wrong with entering into a purchase contract and deciding to assign it for a fee.  Assignments are a common feature of the real estate market, particularly when prices are rising. –> Read More

Disruption-Challenge or Opportunity

Posted in Commercial, Technology
D. James Papadimitriou

A recent speech at the Quebec City Real Estate Forum by a leading retailer-Peter Simons, highlighted the exponential disruption occurring in numerous sectors such as self-driving cars, car sharing services, clean energy, fintech and the state of preparedness or lack thereof in the real estate sector. –> Read More

“Occupancy Permit” and “Certificate of Occupancy”: what they are and what the difference is

Posted in Commercial, Construction, Policy, Residential, Zoning
Michael Foderick

As a municipal and planning lawyer in Ontario I am often asked by real estate counsel what an “Occupancy Permit” or “Certificate of Occupancy” is, whether they are the same thing, and how they work. This is a general short answer to those questions for quick reference. –> Read More

The Long and Short of It: City of Vancouver Tackling Short-Term Rentals

Posted in Residential, Zoning
Joy RenGordon Lamb

The City of Vancouver has started to take steps to address the use of short-term rental services such as Airbnb, Homeaway and VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner). Vancouver City Council recently approved a motion to ask City staff to come up with ways to regulate the use of these increasingly popular services. –> Read More

Property Transfer Tax Fairness?

Posted in Commercial, Policy
Conrad RegoPatrick Beechinor

In our previous post of February 29 (co-authored by Conrad Rego and Patrick Beechinor) we discussed the implications of the increase in B.C. property transfer tax from 2% to 3% on that portion of a property’s value which exceeds $2 million. We also noted that effective in the Spring, the names and addresses of all beneficiaries of bare trustees are to be disclosed by the transferee upon transfer to any bare trustee.  Though no reason was given by the Province for the requirement for beneficiary disclosure, industry participants have surmised that the disclosure may be a precursor for collecting property transfer tax on beneficial transfers, which are not currently taxable transactions under the Property Transfer Tax Act (British Columbia). –> Read More

Good-Bye nominee share sales in Quebec

Posted in Commercial, Policy, Residential
D. James Papadimitriou

In its March 17 budget the Quebec government brought in a series of measures reforming legislation governing transfer duties.  Of particular interest is the introduction of the requirement to disclose off title transfers and the imposition of transfer duties on same.  The legislation was drafted so to previously refer to registration as the trigger for taxation. –> Read More


Posted in Commercial, Policy, Residential
Charlene Schafer

Raising capital in the real estate context, whether through large-scale investment or by smaller, more focused means, can be an intricate, time-consuming and expensive process. Developers and others raising capital need to be mindful of various considerations when operating in this arena, depending on whether their investors are pension funds, private investment vehicles or individual investors. –> Read More

Exploding the Vacancy Myth: No One Home? Not So Fast …

Posted in Residential
Craig Shirreff

The price of residential real estate in the City of Vancouver continues to increase at a staggering rate. This is especially true for single family homes; figures released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver for February 2016 show a 27% year-over-year increase for single detached home prices in Metro Vancouver.  Theories to explain the craziness of this market abound, with pundits typically pointing to historically low interest rates, a relatively small land base and the effect of foreign capital as all hurting affordability.  –> Read More

To market, to market (rent), to renew a commercial lease – Part 2

Posted in Commercial
Kara SmythBrittany WeikumRyan MacIsaac

In a previous blog post, we discussed the methods for settling a dispute over “market rent” when renewing a commercial lease. In this blog post, we will address substantive issues that can arise in determining the value of “market rent”. –> Read More