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Thursday, October 06, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Taxing the condo flip

In parts of Canada, notably Toronto (Vancouver is quiet due to the new tax), the real estate market is booming. Buying prebuilt condos and then flipping them once they are completed has been a profitable activity in many Canadian real estate markets. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 06, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Shifting affordable housing burden to developers

Ontario’s Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016 (Bill 204) has passed “first reading” stage, but it is the subject of great interest and concern to land use planning stakeholders, including municipalities, the development industry and legal advisers to these stakeholders. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 06, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Tenancy rules eased for victims of domestic violence

On Aug. 8, the government of Alberta introduced the Residential Tenancies (Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence) Amendment Act and the termination of tenancy (domestic violence) regulation (collectively the legislation). ... [read more]

Thursday, October 06, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Get green light for condo renos

The Condominium Act contains a provision (s. 98) which sets out that an owner who wishes to add to, alter or improve the common elements may do so only under the authority of an agreement between the condominium corporation and the owner pursuant to which such work is authorized by the condominium corporation. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 06, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Damages - For torts - Fraud and misrepresentation - Pure economic loss

Appeal by the defendants from the assessment of damages in respect of the sale of strata units in the Vancouver Westin Grand Hotel. The plaintiffs were investors who purchased strata units in the Hotel in 1996 marketed and sold by the defendants. The sales closed in 1999 following construction of the Hotel. In a 2008 trial on the issue of liability, the disclosure statement was found to contain a material false statement in a note to the financial statements regarding projected occupancy rates relative to other competing hotels. The liability finding was affirmed on appeal. The defendant developers were liable to compensate the plaintiffs pursuant to s. 75 of the Real Estate Act. Following protracted damages assessment proceedings, the trial judge awarded the plaintiffs $8 million plus $3.1 million in pre-judgment interest. The damages reflected the fall in value of the strata units as of the date of closing. The developers appealed. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 06, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Municipal Law - Municipal boards and tribunals - Jurisdiction - Planning and development - Municipal or community plan

Appeal by the Corporation of the Town of Richmond Hill (Town) from the Ontario Municipal Board’s (OMB) decision that directed the Town’s use of the alternative requirement under s. 42(3) of the Planning Act be subject to an overall cap of 25 per cent of land proposed for development. Policy 3.1.8 of the Town’s official plan provided that for residential development, the amount of park land or cash-in-lieu would be the greater of five per cent of the land proposed for development or up to one hectare per 300 residential units. The OMB accepted the Town’s position it should not approve policies that imposed rates of less than one hectare per 300 units as prescribed by s. 42(3), and the format and wording of the Town’s policies, but imposed the 25 per cent cap, which was the part of the decision being appealed. The Town argued the OMB erred in law in determining it had the authority to modify the Town’s policy 3.1.8 by imposing a lower maximum alternative requirement than one hectare per 300 units as imposed by s. 42(3). The respondents argued the OMB had the jurisdiction to approve or modify the rate pursuant to s. 17(50). ... [read more]

Thursday, September 29, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Municipal Law - Powers of municipality - Local improvements - Types - Water supply, treatment, distribution

Appeal by Prairie Valley School Division No. 208 (Prairie Valley) from a decision of the Assessment Appeals Committee of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (Appeals Committee). Prairie Valley owned land in the town of Pilot Butte (Town), with a school on it. Prairie Valley initially supplied water to the school, as the Town did not have the infrastructure necessary to provide the service. In 2010, the Town initiated a project to upgrade its water distribution system. The Local Government Committee of the Municipal Board approved the work, and the Town then enacted a bylaw pursuant to The Local Improvements Act (Act), with a view to levying the cost of the project as a special assessment on land benefited by the project. The special assessment for Prairie Valley was set at $196,218. Prairie Valley unsuccessfully appealed the special assessment to the Board of Revision, and then to the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee concluded that the land was not immune from the special assessment, and that application of the special assessment was not inequitable. Prairie Valley submitted that the Appeals Committee erred in holding that the land was subject to the special assessment imposed. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 29, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Landlord & Tenant Law - Commercial tenancies - Rent - Amount of rent

Appeal and cross-appeal by parties to a long-term lease from a decision overturning an arbitration award. The appellant owner and respondent tenants were parties to two 100-year leases. The rent-reset clause of the leases was a source of longstanding dispute over the meaning of the term, “fair market value of the demised lands”. The 1990 reset resulted in proceedings that ultimately held demised lands should be valued as if vacant, but subject to a lease. Fair market value was determined without including a hypothetical freehold residential condominium project in the valuation. The 2010 reset also resulted in arbitration. The majority of the panel valued the lands based on development of a mixed-use commercial-retail and freehold condominium project, resulting in a reset of one respondent’s rent at four times the prior amount. On appeal to the Superior Court of Justice, the judge determined the majority erred in law in valuing the lands on the basis of its use for freehold condominium development. The award was set aside and remitted to the same arbitral panel. All of the parties appealed. The appellant sought restoration of the majority award. The respondents sought adoption of the dissenting arbitrator’s decision or referral of the dispute to a new panel. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 29, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Real Property Law - Condominiums - Condominium corporation - Rights and obligations - Building management

Appeal by the Condominium Corporation from an order allowing the respondent’s application for oppression relief. The respondent owned a number of commercial parking spots in a mixed-use condominium that it rented out on a monthly basis. The respondent then wanted to rent them out on an hourly basis. The appellant’s board of directors (Board) was concerned about the security implications of the changes requested because they would make it easier for trespassers to enter the building. Accordingly, the Board refused to approve changes to the common elements required to make that shift unless the respondent hired a full-time security guard who would monitor its operation. The respondent was unwilling to hire a full-time dedicated security guard. The application judge found that the appellant had unfairly disregarded the respondent’s interests, contrary to s. 135 of the Condominium Act. The judge ordered that the respondent be allowed to make the changes and dispensed with the need for a vote of the unit owners. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 29, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Mortgages - Mortgagee’s remedies

Appeal by the Toronto-Dominion Bank (bank) from a decision dismissing its application to terminate a tenancy agreement. The bank registered a mortgage on a condominium owned by Hosein. Hosein had made no mortgage payments since November 2012. The bank commenced mortgage enforcement proceedings. After her default, Hosein leased the property to the Boodhoo for five years on terms very favourable to Boodhoo. The terms of the lease did not cover the monthly expenses associated with the condominium. The bank’s application to terminate the tenancy agreement pursuant to s. 52 of the Mortgages Act (MA) was dismissed on the basis that s. 52 of the MA conflicted with the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and was therefore of no effect. The bank submitted that provisions in the two Acts were not in conflict. Boodhoo submitted that s. 52 was in direct conflict with the provision of the RTA that allowed for the tenancy agreement to be terminated according to that Act. ... [read more]