The Builders Lien Act, S.B.C. 1997, c. 45 (the "Act") prescribes multiple time limits for filing a claim of lien. Generally, these time limits run from 45 days from the occurrence of a triggering event. It is often difficult to determine when, or if, such a triggering event has occurred.
I am asked by clients who think they may be unable to file a claim of lien due to the expiry of the applicable time limit: (a) whether they should file a [...]
The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently held that a party that submitted misleading plans to a municipality to obtain a building permit had no remedy in court even though it may have suffered damages.
In Shafazand v. Whitestone Management Ltd., 2014 BCSC 21, a contractor was engaged by a construction manager to build a residence for a property owner who wished to have an illegal suite constructed in the residence. The owner instructed [...]
The Builders Lien Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 45 (the “Act”) provides a means for workers to secure payment of a claim against lands which have been improved by their materials or labour. However, in Shimco Metal Erectors Ltd. v. Design Steel Constructors Ltd., 2003 BCCA 193 (“Shimco”) the British Columbia Court of Appeal confirmed that […]
A drawback of British Columbia’s Builders Lien Act, S.B.C. 1997, c. 45 (the “Builders Lien Act”) is that the cost of enforcing a lien relative to the amount in dispute may be prohibitive. A builders lien must be enforced in the Supreme Court of British Columbia even if the value of the lien is within the monetary jurisdiction of Small Claims Court (i.e. $25,000.00 or less).
There may be many disputes over the course of a residential construction project. These disputes are often resolved through negotiation and without resorting to litigation. However, if such disputes escalate and litigation is commenced, the parties to the dispute may quickly multiply as each party seeks to spread the blame for a problem among other participants in the project’s construction. For instance, a dispute between an owner and [...]
In West Fraser Mills Ltd. v. BKB Construction Inc., 2012 BCCA 89, the British Columbia Court of Appeal confirmed restrictions upon the ability use certain provisions of the Builders Lien Act, S.B.C. 1997, c. 45 (the “Act”) to remove lien claims from land quickly and economically. The decision is also notable because it casts doubt on a lower court’s finding that removal of equipment of land did not constitute lienable work [...]
The Builders Lien Act, S.B.C. 2007, c. 45 and the Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998 set out five triggering events from which the time to file a claim of lien starts to run:1. The issuance of a certificate of completion;2. Actual completion of a head contract or improvement;3. Abandonment of a head contract or improvement;4. Termination of a head contract or improvement; [...]
In Action Holdings Ltd. v. Trend Homes Ltd., 2011 BCSC 381, the Supreme Court of British Columbia clarified when a claim of builder’s lien may be filed for work that is not done on the land subject to the claim of lien.
In Chan v. Owners, Strata Plan VR-151, 2010 BCSC 1725, the Supreme Court of British Columbia considered the ability of a strata corporation to regulate the air space above a strata lot – an issue that had not been considered in the context of the Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43 (the “SPA”) or its precursor legislation. Chan also demonstrates that purchasers should be wary of assurances of “grandfather [...]
In Progressive Homes Ltd. v. Lombard General Insurance Company of Canada 2010 SCC 33, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) held that a general contractor’s defective workmanship could constitute an “accident” for which coverage was available under its commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policies. The decision reverses a previous decision of B.C.’s Court of Appeal and resolves [...]