Unregistered Charges, Wood Stoves and Other Matters #41

Sep 01, 1983

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By Gerry Neely
B.A. LL.B.

From time to time individual licensees or boards write to BCREA to advise them of problems arising in their area which may be of interest to other licensees throughout the Province. In that category, Vancouver Island Real Estate Board has raised the problems relating to wood stoves in homes which are listed for sale. If the wood stove is free-standing and it is not disclosed in the interim agreement that the purchaser's offer includes it, apparently some vendors are taking the stoves with them and thereby depriving the purchaser of what what may be the principal source of heat. The second aspect of a wood stove is the wide variation from community to community of the approvals required for its installation. This may affect the insurability of the premises and, according to Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, many owners are unaware that they have to disclose the fact that they have a wood stove to ensure that their insurance is valid. As an example of the variation in the approval process, in Campbell River the Fire Marshall's approval is required for each installation, while in Duncan approval is given by the local RCMP detachment.

The reason why this point was raised is to draw to the attention of licensees that they may have a responsibility to ensure that approval had been obtained and to confirm that the vendor has insurance coverage so that the purchaser will be able to insure.

In an earlier column we referred to the problem arising from the occasional lack of registration in local Land Title Offices of land taken by the Department of Highways to add to existing roads. The companion problem to this was the possibility of someone owning property across which there was an ungazetted trail or road upon which public funds had been expended in the past. The expenditure of those funds could lead to the dedication of a road, to the dismay of the property owner. Subsequent to that column it became apparent as well that some municipalities were not registering rights of way in favour of the municipality, again posing a potential problem for a purchaser who intended to build or to expand an existing structure. The Victoria Real Estate Board has drawn to the attention of BCREA the problem of licenses and rights of way granted under the Water Act. These need not be registered against the title of land and in fact rarely are. Since the presence of an unregistered underground pipeline or the absence of an apparent source of water to a property may have serious consequences for a purchaser and therefore for a licensee who sold property to the purchaser, a licensee should determine from the vendor and more particularly from the Water Rights Branch of the Provincial Government, whether such licenses or rights of way exist.

Column No. 6 contained a formula for adjusting rates based upon the increase in the Consumer Price Index. The column gave the January, 1980 C.P.I. for Vancouver as 198. A licensee in Kelowna has forwarded to BCREA the new Statistics Canada calculation for the City of Vancouver C.P.I. for 1978 to 1983, which is now based upon 1981 as being the base year which equals 100. Using this basis, the C.P.I. for Vancouver is 1980 was 82.9.

Readjusting the base year seems to provide an easy way of reducing (the perception of) inflation, without the fuss and muss of restraint. Statistics Canada has been asked to provide its formula for adjusting the current C.P.I. calculations to the former C.P.I. calculations, which had as their base year either 1970 or 1971.

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