Sharon Brown

What’s Up (With the) Dock? #479

Legally Speaking

By Jennifer CleeB.A. LL.B. Waterfront properties with private docks are looking attractive at this time of the year, particularly with the weather we’ve been enjoying this summer. Licensees involved in the sale of such properties need to be aware of, and inform their clients of, the possibility that any dock or other structures built upon

Environmental Liability #478

Legally Speaking

In Dolinsky v. Wingfield, oil from a leaky underground tank contaminated the property next door.1 When the affected property’s owner sued to recover clean-up costs, the court held several current and former owners of the source property liable. In this case, the properties were adjacent, with Ms. Dolinsky’s property downhill. Further downhill, beneath both properties, lay the

Old Is Not Necessarily Obsolete #480

Legally Speaking

On occasion, buyers become interested in properties that are subject to historical easements, some over one hundred years old. The Property Law Act provides that a court may cancel an easement where the easement is “obsolete.”  Some buyers, and occasionally their advisors, assume that anything old must, for that reason alone, be obsolete and proceed

Defects, Disclosure and Caveat Emptor #430

Legally Speaking

By Jennifer CleeB.A., LL.B. It’s trite law that a seller and a listing REALTOR® have a duty to disclose known material latent defects, but not patent defects. Sometimes the distinction as to what constitutes a patent defect or a latent defect isn’t clear. Take a sump pump in the crawl space, for instance. Is it

Drafting a Listing Exclusion #429

Legally Speaking

A listing contract may say that no commission is payable in certain circumstances; for instance, if the buyer is a certain person. Since the particular circumstances are excluded from those that attract commission, this arrangement is often called a listing exclusion. There is no standard wording for a listing exclusion. If the listing brokerage and seller

Representations Regarding Property Boundaries #428

Legally Speaking

By Edward L. Wilson Lawson Lundell LLP A REALTOR® should always take care when making any representation about the boundaries of a parcel of land. The location of buildings, fencing, landscaping, sidewalks and roads are often misleading indicators of a property’s true boundaries.  In a recent decision,1 the court considered a case where the buyers, in

Limited Dual Agency Can Still be a Risky Business #427

Legally Speaking

A recent BC Supreme Court decision awarded damages against a REALTOR® for breach of fiduciary duty while acting as a limited dual agent.1 The relationship between the plaintiff and the REALTOR® first began in 2005 when the plaintiff answered a newspaper ad concerning the sale of a property listed by the REALTOR®. The plaintiff, who was

Human Rights Code Complaint Against Licensee by Another Licensee; Minor Defect in Comparison With Larger Contract Benefit Didn’t Justify Repudiation #401

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. “Don’t shoot the messenger”—this must have been the reaction of a licensee against whom two complaints of discrimination under the Human Rights Code were made by another licensee. The first was discrimination on the basis of family status with respect to a service customarily available to the public under s. 8.

Strata Corporation — Suit by Some Owners Against Strata Council Members Personally; Strata Corporation — Unequal Habitable Areas but Equal Payment of Common Expenses Not Significantly Unfair #400

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. A strata corporation may sue one or more owners as representative of all owners, except those who are being sued, on a matter affecting the common property. It may also sue on behalf of one or more owners about matters affecting their strata lots. In either event, approval by a three-quarters’ majority vote of owners

Townhome and Apartment-Style Strata Units – Significantly Unfair Allocation of Expenses and Section Creation #399

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. Section 164 of the Strata Property Act (SPA) gives the Supreme Court of BC the authority, upon application by a strata owner or tenant, “to prevent or remedy a significantly unfair action or threatened action by, or decision of, the strata corporation, including the council, in relation to the owner or tenant.” The townhome-style owners referred to in column 392