Strata Council Mismanagement Leads to being Ordered to Hire Strata Manager

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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” »

MacKinnon v. Donauer

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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” »

Proper Use of Operating Fund, CRF and Special Levies

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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” »

Amending a Strata Plan Error

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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” »

Winding Up Strata Corporations

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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” »

B.C. Court of Appeal Confirms that Notaries are Not Permitted to Draw Wills with Life Estates

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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” »

Transfer of Firearms from an Estate

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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).

Continue reading “Transfer of Firearms from an Estate” »

Costs of Remedying Bylaw Breaches can be Charged Back to Owners

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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” »

Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Proprietary Estoppel in Cowper-Smith v. Morgan

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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” »

Easement Costs between Strata Corporations

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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” »

Storage of Firearms Left in an Estate

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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” »

Can a Strata Allocate Repair of Common Property Roofs to Owners?

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There are two types of possible strata plans: bare land strata and regular strata plans. A regular strata plan can consist of condos, townhomes, duplexes, etc. Some regular stratas look like bare land because all houses are not attached to each other. However, whether it is actually a bare land strata depends on the strata plan that is filed with the Land Title Office. The distinction is very important because it can greatly affect repair and maintenance obligations for the strata corporation and individual owners. Continue reading “Can a Strata Allocate Repair of Common Property Roofs to Owners?” »

Banton v. Banton (Part 4)

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This is my fourth post, on the decision in Banton v. Banton, 1998 CanLII 1496, a case involving Muna Yassin who married George Banton when she was 31 and he, 88. The dispute was between Ms. Yassin in George Banton’s five children. I described in my first post Mr. Justice Cullity’s finding that two wills Mr. Banton made leaving his estate to Ms. Yassin were invalid on the grounds that he did not have the requisite mental capacity to make the wills, and that she exercised undue influence over him. In my second post, I outlined Mr. Justice Cullity’s finding that Mr. Banton’s marriage to Ms. Yassin was nevertheless valid, which had the effect of revoking the will Mr. Banton made before the marriage in which he left the residue of his estate to his five children. Continue reading “Banton v. Banton (Part 4)” »

Banton v. Banton (Part 3)

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In my two previous posts, I’ve written about Mr. Justice Cullity’s decision in Bantonv. Banton,1998 CanLII 1496, a case involving Muna Yassin who married George Banton when she was 31 and he, 88. The dispute was between Ms. Yassin in George Banton’s five children. I described in my first post Mr. Justice Cullity’s finding that two wills Mr. Banton made leaving his estate to Ms. Yassin were invalid on the grounds that he did not have the requisite mental capacity to make the wills, and that she exercised undue influence over him. In my second post, I outlined Mr. Justice Cullity’s finding that Mr. Banton’s marriage to Ms. Yassin was nevertheless valid, which had the effect of revoking the will Mr. Banton made before the marriage in which he left the residue of his estate to his five children. Because Mr. Banton died without a valid will, Ms. Yassin was entitled to a large portion of his estate. Continue reading “Banton v. Banton (Part 3)” »

Smoking in Stratas

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Smoking is a polarizing issue, typically smoker vs non-smoker. This debate can become heated in the strata complex when people live close together and it is a question of who has the greater right: the person who wants to live in a smoke-free home or the smoker who has been smoking for many years and is most likely addicted.

This has come up twice now in reported CRT decisions: The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 2900 v. Mathew Hardy, 2016 BCCRT 1; and Mundel et al v. Hastings-Evans et al, 2017 BCCRT 108. Continue reading “Smoking in Stratas” »

Banton v. Banton (Part 2)

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In my post last week, I wrote about Mr. Justice Cullity’s decision in Banton v. Banton, 1998 CanLII 1496 finding that two wills made by George Banton, one dated December 21, 1994 and the other dated May 4, 1995 were invalid. In both wills, Mr. Banton had left his estate to Muna Yassin, whom he met after he moved into a retirement home, disinheriting his five children, who were his beneficiaries under his previous will. He and Ms. Yassin were married on a few days before he made the December 21, 1994 will, when he was 88 years of age, and she, 31. Mr. Justice Cullity found that Mr. Banton was suffering from delusions about his children when he made the wills, and he did not have the requisite capacity to make them, and that Ms. Yassin exercised undue influence to obtain the benefit of the wills. Accordingly, she did not benefit under the wills.

But I indicated that there were some twists. Today I will write about one. Continue reading “Banton v. Banton (Part 2)” »

Are There Regulations Governing Short Term Rental of my House or Apartment?

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The answer is: there might be. Currently, the zoning of your house will govern whether you can legally offer short term rentals as far as your City regulations are concerned. If you live in a strata, there are bylaws that may prevent you from renting your strata out on a short term basis. Continue reading “Are There Regulations Governing Short Term Rental of my House or Apartment?” »

Banton v. Banton (Part 1)

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I have recently reread the case of Banton v. Banton, 1998 CanLII 14926, a decision of Mr. Justice Cullity of the Ontario Supreme Court. This case may be referred to as a predatory-marriage case. What interests me most, though, is the interplay of legal issues. Mr. Justice Cullity considers in his decision the capacity to make a will, and the impact of delusions on capacity, undue influence, the capacity to marry, the validity of a residence trust, and the use of a power of attorney to settle a trust. I think this case is well worth a few blog posts. I will start with the challenges to the validity of two wills. Continue reading “Banton v. Banton (Part 1)” »

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