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The Lay of the Land DEVELOPMENTS IN CANADIAN REAL PROPERTY LAW

Tag Archives: BC Supreme Court

BCCA Considers What Constitutes a “Habitable Area” in Determining Strata Unit Entitlements

Posted in Policy

Introduction

 

The allocation of a strata corporation’s expenses among owners can create friction, especially when the method of calculation is seen by some owners to be unfair, inconsistent, or inequitable. This is precisely the scenario that arose in Barrett v. The Owners, Strata Plan LMS3265,[1] a case in which the B.C. Court of Appeal considered what constitutes a “habitable area” in determining unit entitlements, as well as the law on inaccurate schedules of unit entitlement.… Continue Reading

BCSC Considers the Organizing Principle of Good Faith in the Context of Lawyer’s Approval Clauses

Posted in Litigation

Introduction

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v. Hrynew[1] formally recognized the “organizing principle of good faith” in Canadian contract law. Since then, many Canadian courts have had occasion to interpret and apply this principle in the context of real estate transactions. A recent decision of the B.C. Supreme Court, Zhang v. Amaral-Gurgel,[2] adds to this line of authority, offering insight into the application of the principle of good faith in the context of lawyer’s approval clauses.… Continue Reading

BCSC Declines to Confirm Strata Wind-Up Resolution for the First Time

Posted in Policy

Introduction

In July 2016, the Strata Property Act (British Columbia) (the “Act”) was amended in order to make it easier for strata corporations[1] to voluntarily wind themselves up using a liquidator.[2] Previously, a resolution initiating the wind-up process and appointing a liquidator required unanimous approval from the owners. Unanimous approval was, not surprisingly, rarely achieved. To address this issue, the Act was amended to provide that a resolution receiving 80% approval would suffice, provided a court subsequently confirms the resolution. In The Owners, Strata Plan VR 1966, 2017 BCSC 1661, the B.C. Supreme Court … Continue Reading

Site C Update – Federal Court judicial review proceedings to commence this week, following BC Hydro’s receipt of provincial authorizations to begin construction

Posted in Federal National Energy Board

This article provides a consolidated overview of recent developments in the six judicial review proceedings challenging the governmental approvals of Site C. Please check our blog for future updates on key developments in the proceedings.… Continue Reading

Lien Out: Arbitrary Protection for Pre-Construction Consultants

Posted in Construction

Those who claim a builders lien must comply strictly with the requirements of the Builders Lien Act, and owners (or at least their counsel) are frequently on the lookout for liens that can be extinguished for a failure to satisfy such requirements. The recent BC Supreme Court decision in Stanley Paulus Architect Inc. v. Windmill Holdings Ltd., 2014 BCSC 1816 serves as a reminder of one fundamental requirement: in order to claim a lien there must be an “improvement” within the meaning of the Act.  More particularly, there is no “improvement” where construction has not yet commenced … Continue Reading

Purchasers’ liens remain an uncommon remedy

Posted in Policy, Residential

Earlier this year, we discussed the decision of the BC Supreme Court in Pan Canadian Mortgage Group v. 679972 B.C. Ltd. in our publication Real Estate MATTERS.  That decision was significant because it was a rare instance in which a BC court declared that a purchaser’s lien had been established, thereby effectively turning the relevant purchasers into secured creditors.  A purchaser’s lien is an equitable remedy that may arise when a purchaser makes a payment (such as a deposit) toward the purchase price under a contract of purchase and sale.  If the purchase and sale of the property fails … Continue Reading

BCCA Overturns Decision Allowing Post-Closing Rescission Of Pre-Sale Condo Contracts

Posted in Litigation

On March 4, 2014, the B.C. Court of Appeal released its judgment in Woo v. Onni 2014 BCCA 76, reversing the decision of the court below which was the first to allow purchasers to rescind their contracts under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (“REDMA”) postclosing.

The case involved 10 purchasers in a residential condominium project who had entered into contracts on a pre-sale basis.  The contracts were completed and the purchasers took possession of their units but, 16 months later, after discovering that the developer had failed to deliver to them the amendment to the … Continue Reading

Strata Property Act Amendment Offers Remedy for Deadlocks on Special Levies

Posted in Commercial, Litigation

On December 12, 2013, amendments to section 173 of B.C.’s Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c 43, came into force that allow strata corporations with majority support to apply to the BC Supreme Court to require strata owners to pay for certain repairs.

Prior to the amendment, strata corporations required a ¾ vote in favour to impose a special levy to raise money for needed repairs to common property. This could result in deadlock and delay when owner opinion was divided, exacerbating damage and unsafe conditions.

On application by a strata corporation within 90 days of it receiving at least … Continue Reading