Category: Commercial Real Estate

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Transparency is Coming: B.C. Passes Real Estate Beneficial Ownership Disclosure and Public Registry Law

May 28, 2019

On May 16, 2019, the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), one of the B.C. government’s signature pieces of legislation to address hidden ownership of real estate in B.C., became law. LOTA requires disclosure of individuals who hold, directly or indirectly, beneficial interests in land in B.C., including through corporate and partnership structures. It also creates a publicly searchable registry of…

B.C. Strengthens Protections for Heritage Sites, Introduces Mandatory Reporting Requirements

March 14, 2019

The British Columbia government recently introduced amendments to the Heritage Conservation Act (Act) to strengthen protections for heritage and archeological sites and objects in the province. Proposed amendments include a duty to report the discovery of a site or object that may have heritage value, which may impact both existing and planned property development and infrastructure projects. Failing to report…

There Must Be Some Mistake: Purchase Price Must Be in Numbers and Words…or Not

February 15, 2019

The recent decision of Intergulf Investment Corporation v. 0954704 B.C. Ltd. from the British Columbia Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) serves as a reminder to buyers and sellers of real estate, and their agents, to exercise care when drafting purchase and sale agreements. It should also help put to rest an outdated and unnecessary practice of writing the purchase…

What the New Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act Means for B.C. Real Estate

January 4, 2019

British Columbia’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax Act (Bill 45) (SVTA) recently received royal assent. As announced in the 2018 provincial budget, the SVTA introduces a tax on residential properties left vacant for six months or more within a calendar year (Speculation Tax). APPLICATION OF TAX The Speculation Tax applies on the basis of an owner’s interest in a residential property…

Ontario Seeks Input on Regulation of Provincial Mortgage Businesses

December 11, 2018

The Ontario Ministry of Finance is seeking input from the public and other stakeholders with respect to a legislative review of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (MBLAA). The review focuses on streamlining the MBLAA and reducing any unnecessary regulatory burden and costs. The review may also afford those in the mortgage industry the opportunity to seek to…

Real Estate Developers in B.C. Face New Reporting Requirements for Assignments of Pre-Sale Purchase Agreements

November 19, 2018

Effective January 1, 2019, developers marketing real estate development properties located in British Columbia will be subject to new information collection, reporting, and document retention requirements with respect to assignments of purchase agreements. Developers currently undertaking (or planning to undertake) a new development must ensure their purchase agreements comply with the new requirements. These changes follow the province’s passage of…

B.C. to Crack Down on Hidden Ownership of Real Estate with New Reporting Obligations

July 4, 2018

On June 20, 2018, the B.C. Ministry of Finance released a white paper on draft legislation that will require reporting on beneficial ownership of land in B.C. The draft legislation, titled the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), follows the government’s announcement in the 2018 budget that it intends to collect and make available information about beneficial ownership of land in…

Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Purchase Agreements: Getting Past the Sticking Points

April 26, 2018

Negotiations of commercial real estate purchase agreements can, on occasion, become stalled while the buyer and the seller attempt to find common ground on issues of concern to each of them. The negotiation process requires each party to assess whether to “dig in” or concede on key points. Members of the Blakes Commercial Real Estate group examine several provisions in…

Secure the Deal: Be Clear About Title in Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreements

March 22, 2018

In its recent decision, JBP Developments Ltd. v. Li, the Supreme Court of British Columbia (Court) reminded sellers of real estate and their advisers about the basic obligation to transfer clear title to the property for sale. Sellers of real estate should ensure that purchase and sale agreements are carefully drafted and include terms clearly setting out what title restrictions…

2018 B.C. Budget: Real Property Implications

February 22, 2018

The NDP government in B.C. handed down its first full budget on February 20, 2018 and there were a number of initiatives that will affect the cost of acquisition and disposition of real property in B.C. Most of these initiatives are described in the Government’s 30-Point Plan for a Fairer Housing Market, which will not only affect residential property, but…

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