Are you considering purchasing or selling a single-family home, townhouse, condo, or other real property?
Are you considering offering or accepting no subjects to close the deal?
If so, prior to making or accepting the offer, you and your realtor ought to know that the Doctrine of Caveat Emptor or in lay terms, the concept of “buyer beware”, remains alive and intact today (the “Doctrine”).
In fact, the BC Court of Appeal reviewed the Doctrine thoroughly in Nixon v. Maciver, 2016 BCCA 8. Nixon suggests:
1. You bear the risk of defects in the quality of a property you are looking to purchase. As such, a home inspection is always recommended.
2. Liability for that risk may shift to the seller/vendor where the Courts can find that the sell/vendor breached the contract, actively concealed a latent defect of the property, negligently misrepresented the property had no latent defects, among other things.
For all parties:
3. The latent defect must render a property dangerous or uninhabitable.
Because the BCCA considered the Doctrine so recently (or 2016), it is reasonable to presume the Doctrine will be alive and in force and effect moving forward.
Undoubtedly, BC’s real estate market has been the focus of national, even international, attention. Residents – older and younger and from various cultures and ethnic backgrounds –are certainly finding it difficult to enter the market to purchase a home or a condo. When properties become available, particularly condos, BC residents are lining up for hours even days, not even viewing the properties, and making immediate offers to purchase.
Yes – at this time, the demand to live in the Lower Mainland is that high.
Notwithstanding demand, it is prudent for buyers and sellers (and their respective realtors) to do there due diligence when purchasing or selling a property.
As such, if you have legal questions pertaining to the purchase and/or sale of a property, please feel free to contact 1 of our general civil litigation lawyers to help advise you on the sale.
Remember: at times, the law can be blind to demand but it is always dictated by the Doctrine.
Vic Maan is an Associate at DBM Law in the Tri-Cities area.