Strata Documents and Minutes

Is strata right for me? This is a personal question and each strata is different. When you are buying into a strata you are buying into a community and you should carefully read through the Form B package, the rules, minutes, and bylaws to ensure that who your are matches the “personality” of the community. When in doubt don’t be afraid to call the strata council president.

The Strata Form B is a large stack of documents, should I get a lawyer to review? Most of these documents are strata rule and minute and are not written by lawyers, they are written by your strata council and should be easy to understand. Unfortunately legal review of these minute is not as effective as a your own personal review as it is most important that you (and not your lawyer) feel comfortable with the way the community if being run. This being said, I always encourage my clients to, after reading the minutes, give me a call when any specific items of concern they may wish to discuss.

What are some red flag in the strata Form B package and minutes? Things to watch out for include: discussion of future repairs, reoccurring problems and disputes, and dysfunctional or disinterested councils.

What is a property depreciation report and how can I tell if a strata contingency fund is “fully funded”? Each strata is required to commission a property depreciation report every three years. This report sets out models which detail how the building will require maintenance and upkeep over the next few decades and can assist in foreseeing the likelihood of special assessments. Each depreciation report sets out three funding models and by comparing the current state of the contingency reserve and the monthly CRF contribution to these models you can determine how closely the strata is following the reports recommendations.

Written by Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz.

Home Inspection Subject Conditions

 Why are Home Inspections so Important in BC?  Because the state of the law in BC is generally “buyer beware” absent fraud or negligent misrepresentation or a latent defect.

Does the Property Disclosure Statement Protect Me? Not much, it is only a statement of the Sellers Current Knowledge and is a “snapshot in time”.

All I need is a home inspection right? Not always, home inspectors are generalists and if they identify a problem a good rule of thumb is to get the specialist out there for further investigation.

 

Peter Borszcz is a Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer practicing law at Pihl Law Corporation in Kelowna, BC.

 

 

End of Dual Agency in BC

The Premier just announced at 12:45 that they government will be taking action based on the report delivered on the industry yesterday.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/christy-clark-real-estate-report-1.3658442

A few major highlights:

  1. DUAL AGENCY will be abolished
  2. REC will be dissolved and regulation assumed by the SUPERINTENDANT OF REAL ESTATE.
  3. FINES will be increased to $250k for Realtors and $500k for brokerages.

If you are on a TEAM, the announcement on Dual Agency will likely cause the most issues… but remember, that old “sub-brokerage” model… some thought should be given again to that structure (now… in combination with designated agency) for larger teams where the new dual agency prohibitions will be an issue.

Given the tone of the news conference, more announcements are forthcoming.

Love to chat more, but it’s the end of June and I got files to close,

As Dorie the realtor would say… Just keep listing… listing… listing

Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer, Peter Borszcz

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New Assignments Regulations In BC

Effective today, the province has introduced new regulations governing Realtors. They didn’t change the law of the contract (where assignments are expressly allowed under the Law and Equity Act), but require that more drafting and disclosure be made by Realtors.

All Realtor drafted contracts (residential and commercial) should contain the following:

  1. this contract must not be assigned without the written consent of the seller; and;
  2. the seller is entitled to any profit resulting from an assignment of the contract by the buyer or any subsequent assignee..

(Note: These are the official statements and I note this “drafting” is quite poor, some contractual definition of PROFIT and ASSIGNEE is required).

In the event these terms are NOT in the contract the Selling Licensee is required to disclose this to the Seller in writing with  the following form:

http://www.recbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/Notice-Regarding-Assignment-Terms.pdf

There remains a discussion to be had on how this effects Limited Dual Agency –the presence or absence of the “Assignment Provisions” may in some factual circumstances relate to a discussion of a party’s “motivation”… if that is the case, the Realtor should consider whether LDA is a viable option (note: in my opinion, I think we are also going to see LDA rule changes arising out of the committee work that is currently ongoing).

The REC council FAQ is a great source of more detailed info:
http://www.recbc.ca/licensee/contract-assignment-faq.html

Have a great week!

Peter Borszcz, Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer

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A little peace of mind…

This week I had the pleasure of working with a great group of first time home buyers. They were looking an older home in a very desirable area of Kelowna.  This home was one of only a small handful of properties in their price range in the area, so it was a true “diamond in the rough”.

When the home inspection revealed that there was a modest amount of mould in the attic due to a detached bathroom vent, the buyers were heartbroken.

attic-mold-caused-by-leaking-roof (PDB)

(note: above picture illustrative only)

Lawyers are not home inspectors or contractors and therefore we cannot provide professional advice on the “quality of a premises”. Together with their professional Realtor, we recommended an secondary air quality inspection.

It is important to remember that all home inspectors are generalists, where the home inspection reveals a potential issues, Buyers should be encouraged to get secondary professional advice on that issue to manage and quantify the problem. 

The results of the air quality test showed that the mould issue was not extending beyond the small area of the attic space and that the home’s air quality was good. The first time home buyers were, of course, elated, and along with their thanks shared a bit of their celebration with the firm…. as they sabre’d a bottled of bubbly… congrats guys 🙂

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Written by Kelowna Real Estate Lawyer Peter Borszcz