Focus On

MARITAL OR FAMILY PROPERTY - Equalization or division - Partition and sale of real property

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 @ 5:43 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by the wife from an order that approved the sale of the former family residence to the husband’s parents. The parties were married for 17 years prior to their separation in 2020. Post-separation, the appellant and the parties’ three children continued to live in the family residence. The respondent was granted sole conduct of the sale of the residence. The order granting the sale contemplated a co-listing involving realtors representing both parties. The respondent listed the residence at the default listing price of $1,425,000 on restrictive terms, over the objections of the appellant. The listing required a 10 per cent non-refundable deposit to accompany all offers. The respondent accepted his parents’ offer to purchase the residence for the list price six days after the property was listed. There was no showings of the residence. In approving the sale, the chambers judge found the respondent had not engaged in any substantive non-compliance with the order.

HELD: Appeal allowed. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the court was to ensure the property was exposed to the market. The chambers judge erred by failing to give any or sufficient weight to the non-arm’s length nature of the proposed sale and the way the residence was exposed to the market. It was incumbent on the chambers judge to scrutinize the proposed sale to the respondent’s parents closely with a view to determining whether it was prudent, not simply ask whether the respondent had engaged in any substantive non-compliance with the order for sale. The conduct of the sale of the residence was granted jointly to the parties.

Dosanjh v. Lalli, [2021] B.C.J. No. 1094, British Columbia Court of Appeal, R.J. Bauman C.J.B.C., G. Dickson and J.J.L. Hunter JJ.A., May 21, 2021. Digest No. TLD-June282021006