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Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 7:04 AM

REAL PROPERTY TAX - Assessment - Methods - Valuation of land - Considerations - Methods of - Market value

Appeal by the City of St. Albert and the St. Albert Composite Assessment Review Board from a decision quashing the Board’s dismissal of complaints by the St. Albert Housing Society and Big Point Developments (Big Point). The complaints related to the City’s use of an income approach to determine the market value of 12 Nevada Place, a residential apartment complex containing 78 affordable housing units, for taxation purposes. Big Point was the developer of the complex. It received a capital grant from the Alberta government covering 65 per cent of the construction costs, and agreed to rent out units under market rent. After receiving the grant, the City transferred the land to Big Point for $1 and Big Point transferred title to 15 units in 12 Nevada Place to the Housing Society. The land transfer agreement referenced the provincial funding agreement in several places. The City’s assessor used the mass appraisal technique to estimate the value of 12 Nevada Place, primarily applying an income approach to value. To confirm the assessment value, the assessor also performed valuations using the cost approach and the direct comparison approach. Big Point and the Society complained, arguing that given the mandated cap on rents, the actual rents rather than market rates should have been used for the income calculation, to result in a much lower assessed value. They presented to the Board two appraisals used to determine the fair market value of individual units in 12 Nevada Place after the Housing Society decided to purchase them. The Board gave the appraisals little weight because they were not current, and rejected the argument that actual rents ought to be used for assessment purposes. The Board found that the limits imposed on rental rates were imposed by contract, by way of which Big Point received a capital grant. The management decision to restrict rents in exchange for the grant was not a proper consideration in estimating the value of the fee simple estate in the property, in the opinion of the Board. Big Point and the Society applied for judicial review of the Board’s decision. The judge found that the Board’s decision lacked justification and did not fall within a range of acceptable outcomes. She found that the Board’s rejection of the appraisals presented, because they were not prepared for assessment purposes, was unreasonable. The judge found it was unreasonable for the Board to conclude that the rent caps in the funding agreement did not impact market value, to characterize the funding agreement as akin to a financing agreement, and to conclude that the selling price of 12 Nevada Place would include the pro-rated balance of the remaining grant. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 3:23 PM

Court of Appeal rules covenant does not apply in neighbourhood levy dispute Scott Hutchison

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a financial obligation registered on the title of a property is not binding on future owners of that property. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:22 AM

Franchise lease disclosure problems under the Wishart Act

The recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Raibex v. ASWR Franchising has made waves throughout the franchise community since its release in September 2016. The decision granted to the franchisee a rescission of its purchase of a franchised restaurant under Ontario’s franchise disclosure legislation, the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 (the Wishart Act), on the basis that the franchise disclosure document (FDD) was materially deficient. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 8:49 AM

PROCEEDINGS - Practice and procedure - Limitation periods

Appeal by the plaintiff, Breitkreuz, from summary dismissal of his action against the defendants, the Minister of Infrastructure and Soneff. The plaintiff claimed that the Crown's wrongful conduct in failing to disclose a purchase offer deprived him of the opportunity to exercise his right of first refusal to purchase certain lands that he leased from the Crown at $10,000 per acre. He was informed of the sale, but not the sale price, in 1994. He asserted he was led to believe by a Crown employee, the defendant Soneff, that his offer of $10,000 per acre was insufficient. He claimed he discovered the loss in 2009 when he learned eventual purchasers had paid $10,000 per acre. He commenced his action in 2011. The Crown applied for summary judgment. The chambers judge dismissed the claim on the basis of a limitations defence. Even assuming the facts asserted by the plaintiff to be true, the plaintiff was aware of the Crown's alleged breach of its obligations when he received notice of the sale in 1994. The fact of the sale was not concealed from the plaintiff. Application of the 10-year limitation period was not suspended by fraudulent concealment. The plaintiff appealed. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 @ 8:36 AM

B.C. Court of Appeal sets bright line on when to award special costs

The B.C. Court of Appeal set out a bright line that special costs should be reserved for misconduct during litigation and not awarded for prelitigation conduct. ... [read more]

Friday, May 12, 2017 @ 10:46 AM

Ontario rent controls an opportunity lost for legal profession | Julius Melnitzer

Rent controls and funeral homes have a commonality. Both represent opportunity in the legal market; rent controls, an opportunity lost, and funeral homes an opportunity seized. They also represent the great divide that exists between the headspace of lawyers on this side of the Atlantic and that of the profession in the United Kingdom. ... [read more]

Friday, May 12, 2017 @ 7:06 AM

Real estate projects in financial difficulty: Article II

This is the second in a series of three articles that address issues when a real property developer becomes insolvent. In the course of developing and building a real property project, the real estate developer will deal with a number of different parties, including the developer’s trades, the local municipality, secured lender(s), Tarion Warranty Corporation (Tarion) and purchasers. When the real estate developer runs into financial difficulties, the stakeholders in a project will have different objectives, and may take certain actions, as discussed below. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 11, 2017 @ 8:32 AM

CONDOMINIUMS - Purchase and sale of - Deposits - Termination of purchase agreement - Written notice of rescission

Appeal by Talon International (Talon) from a decision which allowed the respondents’ applications for the return of deposits they had paid toward purchases of condo units in Talon’s development, Trump Tower. Several years after entering into their respective agreements of purchase and sale, the respondents, Yim and Harvey, each provided Talon with written notices of their intentions to terminate their transactions, based on material changes to the revised disclosure statement Talon had provided. Talon did not challenge the right of either Yim or Harvey to rescind within time, but defended the applications on the basis that the notices did not meet statutory requirements. The application judge ordered Talon to return both deposits, with interest. She accepted that the notices that Yim and Harvey delivered met the statutory requirements of being in writing, being delivered to Talon, and identifying a ground of material change upon which rescission was based. The judge rejected Talon’s argument that Yim’s claim was statute-barred because two years had lapsed since she discovered the basis for a rescission claim. She held that a 10-year limitation period applied, as per the Real Property Limitations Act, which governed claims for the refund of deposits advanced toward the purchase of condo units. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 @ 1:54 PM

Dentons bolsters Hungary presence with promotions

Dentons has strengthened its platform in Hungary and the central and southeast Europe regions with the recruitment and promotion of several legal professionals, including the creation of two new partners. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 @ 1:49 PM

Wildeboer Dellelce adds associate

Ryan Trimble has joined Wildeboer Dellelce LLP as an associate. ... [read more]