On April 14, 2016, the priority of statutory trust protections afforded to subcontractors and suppliers under Alberta’s lien legislation was strengthened: the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal in Iona Contractors Ltd. v. Guarantee Company of North America, 2015 ABCA 240, thereby bolstering the priority of the trust even in the face of a bankrupt general contractor. –> Read More
Late last week, the City of Vancouver announced details of its plans to tax vacant residential properties, which plans are part of its efforts to address the low rental vacancy rate and high cost of renting in the City. –> Read More
In the recent decision of Davidson Well Drilling Limited (Re), 2016 ABQB 416 (“Davidson”) the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta held that the 90-day lien period to register a lien against an “oil or gas well” or “oil or gas well site” applies to drilling on oil sands mines. The Court also concluded that the costs of trucking equipment away from a project site after it is completed may, in certain circumstances, be properly included in a builders’ lien. –> Read More
I had the privilege (some would say misfortune) of growing up in a family business. I spent a lot of time after school and during summers in the shop and in spray booths, on crane trucks and on ladders, using all sorts of equipment and tools and generally taking in all the sights and sounds and smells (some noxious I’m sure) of a small sign manufacturing company.
In large infrastructure projects where multiple parcels of land are required to build the project, project developers will often enter into options to lease with land owners rather than entering into leases in order to enjoy flexibility and to permit time to engage in suitability studies. The developers are frequently advised to register the option to lease on title so as to give notice of its right to the land. However, the period between the registration of the option and the ultimate execution of the lease (if a developer decides to exercise the option) could last years, and it is not unusual for intervening encumbrances, including mortgages, to be registered on title during that time. Assuming the option to lease was validly registered on title, developers are left with the question as to whether or not a lease resulting from the exercise of such option to lease would have priority over subsequent encumbrances by virtue of the priority of the option itself. –> Read More
Operating Costs – they are discussed endlessly during the lease negotiations and then often become the most contentious ongoing issue between landlord and tenant.
The almost universal practice is that at the beginning of each year landlord estimates operating costs and tenant pays in instalments based on that estimate. Shortly after the end of the year the landlord delivers a statement of operating costs for the past year which may be certified or audited depending on the provisions of the lease. –> Read More
Since the Supreme Court decision in Bhasin v Hrynew, which firmly established a duty of good faith in contractual relations, the exact contours of that duty have been a fairly open question. In a recent Ontario Superior Court case, 2336574 Ontario Inc. v 1559586 Ontario Inc., the court examined what that duty looks like in a one-off real estate transaction between sophisticated commercial parties. –> Read More
On June 29, 2016, Christy Clark announced that the real estate industry’s days of self-regulation are coming to an end. –> Read More
On Monday, July 25, 2016, the government of British Columbia announced that foreigners who buy residential property in the Vancouver area will have to pay an extra 15% on top of the current property transfer tax. This additional tax will apply to all buyers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, including corporations that are not registered in Canada or are controlled by foreigners. The tax is expected to come into effect on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. –> Read More
It is now settled law that application fees and similar charges are considered when calculating interest for purposes of offences under Canada’s criminal code but a recent Québec case provides some interesting guidance as to the civil consequences of such a finding. –> Read More