Legally Speaking

Suing for Unpaid Deposits #527

Generally speaking, if a buyer breaches a contract for the purchase of real estate and the seller accepts the buyer’s refusal to perform the contract (as known as “repudiation”), an innocent seller is entitled to retain the deposit paid by the buyer under a contract of purchase and sale. But what happens when a buyer

Necessity is the Mother of Invention #526

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected many parts of our society and economy – including the real estate industry. Terms many of us hadn’t heard of just three months ago – social distancing, self-isolation, lockdown, and Zoom conferencing – are now as common as, “What’s for lunch?” Buying real estate, particularly in a caveat emptor

Protect Your Clients and Reduce Claims Risks During COVID-19 #525

These are unprecedented times with the arrival of COVID-19. We have all heard that many times and it’s true for all industries, including real estate. Although the market has slowed down, there will still be deals made and deals completed. There will also still be claims made against licensees. For the most part, these claims

Collapsing Deals: A Refresher on the Common Law Principles #524

The current situation with COVID-19 has led to daily changes in the way we live our lives and conduct our business. The rapid changes and daily announcements have led to a lot of uncertainty and questions. In periods of flux, whether economic, political or social, we often see a greater number of collapsing real estate

Strata Termination Update #521

A year ago in Legally Speaking No. 509, I described two Supreme Court of British Columbia cases that addressed whether a strata corporation must first pass an 80% vote (sometimes called a “winding-up resolution”) before strata council may list the whole complex for sale with a brokerage or enter a contract to sell the entire

When Cooperatives Become Uncooperative #520

When we think of residential occupation, our minds turn to fee simple ownership, strata property ownership or maybe rental occupation. A lesser known but growing form of housing is cooperative housing under the Cooperative Association Act SBC 1999 c.28 (“Act”). Unlike strata ownership, members of a cooperative do not own a specific unit. Members of

Back-Up Offers: There’s a Clause for That #519

Roughly twice a year my heart stops when a claim comes to my attention. Why? Because a licensee reports that the seller has sold the property twice! Naturally, the seller is upset. They only have one property to sell and two buyers demanding it.  In these instances, the seller typically accepts an offer for the

Strata Parking May Get Simpler #518

In its newest report (the “Report”), the British Columbia Law Institute’s formidable committee of strata experts (the “Committee”) recommends more changes to the Strata Property Act (the “Act”). If adopted, these changes will make it easier for a REALTOR® to confirm how strata parking is designated. 1 Background Depending on the circumstances, a strata parking