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The short answer is yes: in certain circumstances council can require access to your strata lot and you can be penalized if you don’t grant that access. Continue reading “Do You Have to Let Strata Council into Your Strata Lot?” »
A topic that comes up often is whether the strata corporation has adequately repaired its common property. This came up in the case of Rueger v The Owners, Strata Plan VR 319, 2017 BCCRT 80.
The strata corporation had heating cables in its roadway, that were installed when the strata corporation was built 40 years ago. In the 40 years since, the heating cables started to fail and needed to be replaced completely if they were to work again. Continue reading “Obligations re: Repair of Common Property and Strata Corporations” »
In two recent decisions regarding the same parties, a strata corporation has taken steps to enforce its age restriction bylaws against an owner who was below the age limit and continued to reside in the strata lot.
In the case of The Owners, Strata Plan NWS 3075 v. Stevens, 2017 BCSC 1306 (not available), the strata corporation asked the court to confirm that the owner was breaching its age bylaw, and then sued the owner again in The Owners, Strata Plan NW 3075 v. Stevens, 2018 BCPC 2 to collect the fines. Continue reading “Recovering Fines for Breaching an Age Restriction Bylaw” »
Estate planning for people with assets and connections to both the United States and British Columbia is fraught with potential legal and tax pitfalls. It is important to get tax and legal advice with respect to the implications on both sides of the border. This is illustrated by the recent decision concerning the former NHL coach Pat Quinn in Quinn Estate, 2018 BCSC 365. Continue reading “Quinn Estate” »
I have the honour of speaking at the Continuing Legal Education Course on Estate Litigation Basics, at the Pan Pacific in Vancouver on April 13, 2018. I am speaking about evidence in estate litigation. My paper is co-authored (or will be when it’s done) by Taeya Fitzpatrick of my firm.
The course is chaired by Lauren Blake of Legacy Tax and Trust Lawyers, Vancouver. The other faculty are:
Continue reading “Estate Litigation Basics Course, April 13, 2018” »
The Strata Property Regulation was amended, effective as of March 7, 2018, to permit strata corporation’s to charge user fees for common property use.
The chargeback must be reasonable, depending on: Continue reading “Strata Regulations Updated Permitting User Fees for Common Property Use” »
In the case of Rawle v The Owners, Strata Plan NWS 3423, 2017 BCCRT 15, the Civil Resolution Tribunal found that an owner who wants the strata to repair common property, actually has to give the strata a chance to do so before suing the strata.
Within the strata lot was a fireplace with a disconnected flue. How the flue became disconnected was unknown. However, the cost to reconnect it was in issue between the owner and the strata corporation. Continue reading “Have to Give Strata a Chance to Repair Common Property” »
A dysfunctional strata corporation can lead to a court appointed administrator, which can be very expensive for the strata corporation, for the court proceeding and the cost of the administrator.
However, only the BC Supreme Court can appoint an administrator for a strata corporation, the Civil Resolution Tribunal doesn’t have that power. Continue reading “Strata Council Mismanagement Leads to being Ordered to Hire Strata Manager” »
Kimberly Rule of our firm will be one of the group leaders at the two-day estate-administration workshop, “Death is Not the End.” The course will be held on March 8th and 9th at the Pan Pacific Hotel, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, B.C. For further course information and registration, see the Continuing Legal Education website here.
It may not come as a surprise to everyone, but new strata corporation buildings have warranty coverage. However, it may be a surprise that the warranty coverage has very tight timelines to notice defects and issue a written claim to the warranty provider. Continue reading “Fire Sprinkler Defects and Warranty Coverage” »
In a different type of dispute, an owner sued the strata corporation so the owner could put personal security cameras in the common property hallway: Parnell v The Owners, Strata Plan VR 2451, 2018 BCCRT 7. Continue reading “Owner Can’t Place Security Cameras on Common Property” »
There is no shortage of court cases in British Columbia of informal family arrangements going awry. A parent may assist a child and the child’s spouse in purchasing a home with the expectation of sharing the home. The idea may make good sense. Unfortunately, neither side may consider what will happen if the arrangement doesn’t work out. In the case I am about to write about, MacKinnonv. Donauer, 2017 BCCA 437, for example, Madam Justice Newbury, noted at paragraph 3, Continue reading “MacKinnon v. Donauer” »
For a strata council completing its repair and maintenance obligations, there are three sources that the council can use the funds from: the operating fund, the contingency reserve fund (“CRF”), or directly from the owners by way of special levy. Sometimes the questions arises as to what source should be used for a specific repair item. Continue reading “Proper Use of Operating Fund, CRF and Special Levies” »
In a previous post, I discussed a case that was sent back to trial regarding the amendment of an error in a strata plan. At issue was whether the LCP designations of parking were done in error.
All owners of the strata corporation had been under the impression that several spaces were visitor parking spaces. However, when some new owners, the Chows, moved in, they found out that the visitor parking space next to their unit had actually been designated as LCP for their benefit in the strata plan. Other owners then became aware of the same thing and, therefore, all visitor parking spaces were actually LCP parking spaces. Those owners then starting using those spaces as their parking spaces. Continue reading “Amending a Strata Plan Error” »
The first reported strata corporation to force the winding up of the entire strata corporation with only 80% approval of the owners is The Owners, Strata Plan VR 2122 v Wake, 2017 BCSC 2386.
Earlier in 2017, another strata corporation attempted to force the wind up of itself, but was unsuccessful because the resolution was deficient. Continue reading “Winding Up Strata Corporations” »
The case of Shields v Strata Plan VIS 5030, 2017 BCSC 1522, deals with the strata corporation’s repair and maintenance obligations when it comes to discoloured water coming from the common property taps.
To understand this case, an overview of the facts will be necessary. Continue reading “Repair and Maintenance Extends to Discoloured Water” »
The British Columbia Court of Appeal confirmed that notaries public are not permitted to draw wills that create life estates or trusts in a decision released December 21, 2017. In British Columbia, generally only lawyers may practice law, which includes drawing wills for a fee. However, members of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia are also permitted to draw wills for a fee, but there are restrictions on the types of wills they may draw. Specifically, as set out in section 18 of the Notaries Act, notaries may, Continue reading “B.C. Court of Appeal Confirms that Notaries are Not Permitted to Draw Wills with Life Estates” »
The Firearms Act defines “transfer” to mean sell, barter, or give. Accordingly, disposition of even a non-registered firearm will involve a “transfer” and will be subject to the applicable laws and regulations.
The first thing an executor needs to know is that in Canada a firearm may be transferred to:
- a person who is 18 or older;
- an organization with a Firearms Business License; and
- a public service agency (such as the RCMP).
Section 131 of the Strata Property Act permits the strata corporation to recover from an owner the cost of remedying a bylaw contravention. This is a very broadly worded section and, depending on the breach, can result in significant charge backs to an owner who has breached the bylaws.
In the case of The Owners, Strata Plan NW 2170 v Broadbent, 2017 BCCRT 114, an owner had made structural changes to her strata lot without permission of the strata council as required in the bylaws: she had widened a doorway in her unit and altered a structural beam to do so. As a result of the changes, the strata council was concerned that the owner had compromised the structural integrity of the roof of her strata lot. Continue reading “Costs of Remedying Bylaw Breaches can be Charged Back to Owners” »
The Supreme Court of Canada rendered it judgment in Cowper-Smith v. Morgan, 2017 SCC 61, this last Thursday, December 14, 2017. The main legal issue is whether a person who relies on a promise that he will receive property to his detriment may become entitled to the property even if the person who made the promise did not own the property at the time she made the promise. Let me explain. Continue reading “Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Proprietary Estoppel in Cowper-Smith v. Morgan” »
Some strata corporations are so close to each other that the access to one is over the roadway of another, or they share use of common facilities. In some cases, the developer for the two stratas was the same developer and they created a facility sharing agreement – such as a parking area facility agreement. Continue reading “Easement Costs between Strata Corporations” »
For many executors the process of administering an estate includes dealing with unfamiliar assets and concerns, and not uncommon among these are the firearms of the deceased and the question how to store these firearms prior to transferring them. While this topic can become complex I will attempt to set out some of the more general points of firearms-related legal obligations which an executor would be wise to consider prior to dealing with any firearms in the estate. Continue reading “Storage of Firearms Left in an Estate” »
The Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law have published their Report on Vulnerable Investors: Elder Abuse, Financial Exploitation, Undue Influence and Diminished Mental Capacity. The report is co-authored by Marian Passmore and Laura Tamblyn Watts.
As set out in the Executive Summary: Continue reading “Report on Vulnerable Investors” »