Pushor Mitchell Partner Mark Danielson (left) congratulates Geoff Stretch, Vice-President and COO of Stretch Construction and project manager Trevor Melnyk at this year's Commercial Building Awards ceremony.
It is an unfortunately common story in construction litigation: parties agree on a scope of work and price, the scope of work changes and the parties don’t go back to the bargaining table to reach an agreement on the new scope of work.
Whenever parties fail to fully document the contractual agreement between them, the risk of litigation is heightened given the lack of prescribed remedies and consequences in addition to a wide spectrum of issues.
As discussed in my previous article, COVID-19, Builders Liens and Limitation Periods, since March 26, 2020, limitation periods in BC were suspended. This suspension was listed as of April 15, 2020 for builders lien issues.
The COVID-19 virus has created uncertainty in the financing for many construction projects. The virus’s impact has caused some lenders to reassess project viability and, in some instances, withdraw financing before or after construction has commenced.
As the court observed in its recent decision, All Out Contracting Ltd. v Gourlay, 2020 BCSC 481 (CanLII) (“All Out”), construction work begins before the owner(s) and contractor properly define their contractual relationship, if they ever do so
It is one of the most common scenarios in construction litigation: work has completed, the contractor has rendered its final bill and an owner refuses to pay on the basis that there were delays or that there are defects or deficiencies.
In my previous article, Discharging a Builders’ Lien on Posting of Security: How Much is Enough?, I discussed the two pronged approach by the courts when considering what is sufficient security to be posted in order for a party to be able to discharge a builders’ lien.
There are innumerable reasons that parties may find themselves co-owning real property with friends, family or business partners and just as many reasons why that co-ownership relationship may turn sour.
In my previous article, Builders Liens: Strict Compliance or Lose Your Lien, I explored how a family company lost its lien rights by making the mistake of pursuing its lien in the name of its principal rather than the company.
As discussed in my previous article, Invitations to Tender: Why it is Important Both Bidders and Solicitors to Follow Proper Process, the solicitation of bids for public projects must follow a fair and transparent process.
In virtually all standard contracts of purchase and sale, the parties agree that the vendor will provide a property disclosure statement (“PDS”) and that the representations made in the PDS will survive the completion of the contract.
Too often, people mistakenly assume that because the home or renovations are done in accordance with architectural plans and within the requirements of the applicable municipality or district, that the home or renovations are sound.
The local housing market appears to be on the rise. While this is a good sign of our recovering economy, it is also an appropriate time for purchasers to remind themselves of some of the risks and their legal rights when purchasing a home. The maxim, “buyer beware” (or caveat emptor), applies to purchasing a […]
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 […]
On November 13, 2012, Canada Revenue Agency announced new disclosure obligations for developers and builders which require particular information and statements to be included in purchase and sale agreements and statements of adjustments for the purchase and sale of new housing. This announcement is CRA GST/HST NOTICE 276 entitled “Elimination of the HST in British Columbia in 2013 – Transitional Rules for Real Property Including [...]
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; [...]
The British Columbia Builders Lien Act provides a lien for monies owed to an individual or a company who, supply labour and/or materials to a construction project on most lands in British Columbia. A builders lien places limited responsibility on owners to protect not only their contractors but also subcontractors, workers, material suppliers and others, who do not contract directly with the owner.A multiple holdback system
An individual, partnership or company who has supplied labour or labour and materials to an improvement, on most lands in British Columbia, is entitled to file a claim of lien against the property title. Renters of equipment, engineers and in some cases, architects are also entitled to file a CBL. A lien claimant can file a lien without using a lawyer. The claimant must complete a Form 5 – Claim of Builders Lien [...]
Construction involves a high degree of risk. Our construction lawyers have the knowledge and industry experience to guide clients through all phases of the construction project. Our clients include general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, home owners and business owners. We offer assistance for any construction related issue encountered before, during or after construction including: Builders’ […]
In a fairly recent decision of our Supreme Court in W Redevelopment Group Inc. v Allan Window Technologies Inc., the court has provided some guidance as to the interpretation of section 90 of the Strata Property Act. Section 90 allows a builders lien that has been filed against a strata lot to be discharged upon the posting of security proportionate to the unit entitlement of that strata lot compared to the total unit entitlement of [...]
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.
The Riparian Areas Regulation (the “RAR”) was established under the Fish Protection Act S.B.C. 1997 c.21 (the “FPA”), and came into force on March 31, 2005. RAR replaced the Streamside Protection Regulation (the “SPR/2001”), which was enacted under the FPA and came into effect in 2001. RAR was implemented with the purpose of protecting riparian […]
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 [...]
In a recent decision the B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld a Supreme Court decision doing away with the requirement to post security for costs when an application is made to discharge a builder’s lien from title to lands. Section 24 of the Builders Lien Act provides a mechanism for an owner of land to […]
The courts have often approached this question with the view that a contractor will be required to pay for any costs the contractor knew or ought to have known about when tendering its bid on a construction project. In the event that a contractor is required to perform extra work and incur additional expenses (the “Extras”) that were not expressly included in the fixed price contract, the Extra that should have been [...]