Header graphic for print

Tag Archives: purchaser

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

Posted in Litigation


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

Commercial Condo Purchaser Tips

Posted in Commercial, Residential

With the continued exponential growth in mixed use developments which often take the form of separate components subject to condo declarations and in many cases multiple condo declarations as between the residential and commercial components, buyers and mortgage lenders will consider additional factors during their due diligence and as part of future management of the various components.… Continue Reading

B.C. Budget: Commercial Real Estate Implications

Posted in Commercial, Policy

On February 16, 2016, B.C. Finance Minister Mike De Jong delivered the B.C. budget for the 2016/2017 fiscal year starting April 1.

Many commentators have surmised that Premier Christy Clark responded to intense public pressure to address the perception that Metro Vancouver has a housing affordability crisis, with a budget that offers a tax break on the acquisition of new homes and the commitment to start collecting data on foreign buyers. However, little has been written on the implications of the budget on commercial real estate transactions in B.C.… Continue Reading

Three Innocent Lenders and a Fraudster: A Priorities Dispute

Posted in Land Use

The recent decision of CIBC Mortgages Inc. (c.o.b. Firstline Mortgages) v. Computershare Trust Co. of Canada, [2015] ONSC 543 provides a fact scenario that sounds like it was dreamt up by a law school professor, but for the three innocent lenders involved, the situation was a nightmare. A homeowner granted a first mortgage to Computershare which was later fraudulently discharged from title. After the Computershare mortgage was discharged from title, the homeowner granted further mortgages to Firstline and Secure Capital. Firstline and Secure Capital had no knowledge of the fraudulently discharged Computershare mortgage, so based on their review of … Continue Reading

Can a Developer Limit its Liability for Construction Defects?

Posted in Construction, Litigation

Lawyers representing strata lot purchasers in British Columbia have, to date, made considerable hay by emphasizing that the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (British Columbia) is “consumer protection” legislation to be interpreted in favour of purchasers. The bias in favour of the consumer has arguably lost some of its lustre in the past year or so (see, for example, the decision in Woo v. Onni, discussed here), but there is still concern that, when in doubt, the courts will invoke the consumer protection nature of the legislation to justify a decision in favour of the proverbial “little guy”, … Continue Reading

Disclosure re: Deposit Protection Contract Requires Careful Drafting

Posted in Policy

In Chaisson v. Avra Developments Corp. 2014 BCSC 925, the B.C. Supreme Court considered the argument that a developer’s failure to disclose a specific calendar date for the effective date of a deposit protection contract was a breach of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (“REDMA”) entitling a purchaser to rescind their contract.

The developer had disclosed in the original disclosure statement the possibility that it would enter into a deposit protection contract. In a subsequent amendment, it disclosed that it had entered into a master insurance policy deposit protection contract but provided only for a rolling effective … 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

Timber! Potential Pitfalls When Purchasing Private Managed Forest Land in British Columbia

Posted in Land Use, Policy

Prospective purchasers of private managed forest land in British Columbia (land classified as “Class 7 Private Managed Forest Land”) should be aware that:

  • future property assessments for the land may be higher than the purchaser is expecting on account of timber previously harvested on the land; and
  • the purchaser may incur exit fees if the purchaser removes the property from the Private Managed Forest Land class.

BC Assessment values private managed forest land based on the land’s bare land value, but also on the added value of the timber situated on the land. Importantly for a prospective purchaser, the timber … Continue Reading