Owner-Builders Liable For Poor Construction #489

Since the last Legally Speaking on this topic,1 the Supreme Court of British Columbia has awarded significant damages against two owner-builders for poor construction. The provincial government has also raised the threshold for the owner-builder exemption. Since July 1, 1999, unless an exemption applies, every new home in British Columbia must be built by a licensed residential builder,

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

Principal Residence – Calculations and Exemptions #147

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. A taxpayer bought a home and occupied it as his principal residence for 18 months and then rented one-third of it for 46 months. He then sold the home for a gain of $52,000, which the Minister of National Revenue (MNR) taxed as a capital gain. The taxpayer appealed successfully and

New Home Contract – Damages for Incomplete or Deficient Work, and for Stress #132

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. The plans were for a home with unusual design features to be constructed by a competent contractor experienced in the construction of standard design homes only. The home was to be built for a demanding client who expected very “high” quality workmanship from a contractor who intended to provide “good” quality workmanship. Cost was a

Restrictive Covenants – Cancellation or Modification #76

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. It’s been a hot summer and not just in the forests. The stack of listings you had in June have sold, disappearing as rapidly as pancakes at a loggers’ breakfast. No obvious source of new listings was apparent, and it looked as if cold calls might be the only antidote to

Salespersons’ Duty to Obtain Highest Price – Part 2 #75

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. You have listed for sale a house, to be described in the ad as a handyman’s special, which is located on a heavily-trafficked road in the middle of two blocks of mixed residential tenancy and low profit non-conforming commercial uses. Over the past ten years, repeated attempts to rezone the area

Builders Lien Clause #69

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. I recently reviewed a proposed contract for the purchase of a lot and a home to be constructed by the owner/builder. The licensee who prepared the contract prudently included a clause to provide for a lien holdback. The percentage to be held back was fifteen per cent. However, since September 1,

Builders Liens #70

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. Column #69 which discussed a Builders Lien clause resulted in questions which indicate that there is some confusion as to when liens may be filed and lien holdbacks may be paid out. Those licensees who were surprised to discover that a lien could be filed against property even after title of

Defects, Duty to Disclose Those That Are Reasonably Discoverable #66

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. We import more than fruit, vegetables, movies and the Beach Boys from California; now we may be importing their law. A licensee has forwarded a reference to a decision of the California Supreme Court which contains reasons similar to those of a recent British Columbia decision concerning the duty of an

Issues for Developers, Easements and Subdivision Plans #11

Legally Speaking

By Gerry NeelyB.A. LL.B. You own seventeen acres of vacant land in West Vancouver for which you have obtained approval of a plan of subdivision which requires the dedication of a road along the northern boundary of your property. Your problem is an easement crossing the area of the proposed road, in favour of the