The Jefferson (Coquitlam): Court declares effect of the judgment is to render the action a nullity



The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 888  v. The City of Coquitlam et al


2003 BCSC 1311

Date: 20030825

Docket: S015129

Registry: Vancouver


The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 888



The City of Coquitlam, Winchester Investments Ltd., Polygon Town Centre Development
Limited, Polygon Construction Ltd., Graham F. Crockart, Graham F. Crockart Architect Inc.,

Dec Design Mechanical Consultants Ltd., W.T. Vaughan, Thomas Leung Structural Engineering Inc., Thomas Leung, Inter-provincial Inspectors (1982) Ltd., East & West Alum Craft Ltd., W.L.S. Forming & Framing Ltd., Centra Siding Ltd., Metro Roofing & sheet Metal Ltd.,
Peter Ross Limited, L & S Stucco Ltd., Almetco Building Products Ltd., 481516 B.C. Ltd.,
Dueck Cobblestones Ltd., Systems I Mechanical Limited, Team Glass Co. Ltd., Alliance Sheet Metal Works Ltd., and H. Van Leeuwan Landscaping Ltd.

Defendants and Third Parties


Matthew Mok

Third Party




Before: The Honourable Mr. Justice Cohen

Addendum to Reasons for Judgment

Counsel for the plaintiff

A. De Jong

M.S. Oulton


Counsel for the Defendants Winchester Investments Ltd., Polygon Town Centre Development Limited and Polygon Construction Ltd.

R. Basham, Q.C.

Date and Place of Hearing:

January 27 – 29, 2003


Vancouver, B.C.


[1]            In my Reasons for Judgment dated June 17, 2003 I postponed the granting of an order to strike the plaintiff’s action pending receipt of further submissions on the plaintiff’s leave application, pursuant to Rule 15(5), to substitute an owner (or owners) as a plaintiff in the action.

[2]            By letter dated July 24, 2003, Mr. W.S. Berardino, Q.C., wrote to the court, as follows:

Counsel have now reached the following agreement which is subject to consideration by your Lordship.  The agreement is as follows:

(a)   The plaintiff will not make submissions at this time as to the substitution of individual owners as parties to this proceeding;

(b)   The plaintiff will be at liberty to make submissions with respect to the effect of Rule 19(6) on the submissions made by the Polygon group of defendants on appeal;

(c)   This procedure will not prejudice what rights any of the parties may have with respect to all other issues; and

(d)   Any pronouncement that you should make with respect to the effect of your judgment is without prejudice to all of the parties to make submissions with respect to costs.

Counsel suggest that your Lordship draft an addendum to the judgment which confirms that the judgment now has full force and effect in light of the above and that the effect of the judgment is to render the action a nullity as against all of the defendants.

[3]            By further correspondence dated August 6, 2003, Mr. Berardino wrote:

All counsel of record have confirmed that they are in complete agreement with the suggested procedure outlined in our letter of July 24, 2003, including Ms. Basham and Mr. De Jong.

[4]            Accordingly, by this Addendum to my Reasons for Judgment, I confirm that, in light of the agreement reached between all counsel of record, the judgment now has full force and effect and that the effect of the judgment is to render the action a nullity as against all of the defendants.

“B.I. Cohen, J.”
The Honourable Mr. Justice B.I. Cohen

Case Studies, Pendrell Place: "Survey finds 60% of buyers unaware..."

(This article quotes Christopher Monk, former owner of #402 Pendrell Place, 1819 Pendrell Street, a leaky condo complex in Vancouver, B.C.)

Survey finds 60% of buyers unaware of defects at time of sale
By Frank O'Brien Inman News

A damning survey of British Columbia buyers of leaky condominiums has found that the majority was not told of problems at the time of purchase, despite an elaborate warning system.

There are 50,000 known leaky condos on the West Coast, most in Vancouver and the rest of B.C.'s Lower Mainland, Victoria and Vancouver Island, with 15,000 more suspected. The leaky condos are in buildings that experienced building envelope failures, allowing water to seep into apartments. The scandal erupted eight years ago and resulted in the Barrett Commission in 1998, which set up a series of strict disclosure guidelines to protect future buyers.

Now it appears the disclosures are being routinely circumvented by vendors, Realtors, building inspectors and condominium strata councils.

"The leaky condo crisis has been exacerbated by the sale of problem homes without full disclosure to subsequent buyers," according to the survey, which was funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

"This has occurred despite the fact that it has been customary for real estate agents to include standard clauses - recommended by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia in a Contract of Purchase and Sale - mandating the use of investigative tools and declarations to bring maximum transparency to transactions," the study states.

Real estate researcher and licenced real estate agent Nancy Bain conducted the study in 2002 to determine why buyers of leaky resale condos were not aware of problems when they made their purchase.

Bain talked to owners of 40 resale condos in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island whose homes exhibited serious problems within a year of purchase. More than half had previously owned their own home and were familiar with the process, and four bought resale units because they wanted to avoid the problems associated with new condos. The transactions took place during a seven-year period starting in 1996.

Twenty-four of the buyers said they had no clue there was any problem with the condo when they bought it.

The survey found that neither property inspections, vendor property disclosure statements, the minutes of strata corporations nor engineering reports - all meant to red flag potential problems - proved effective in warning buyers.

Half of the buyers relied on real estate agents to guide them through the purchase process. Property managers and strata councils were the other main source of advice.

For Chris Monk, a 34-year-old Vancouver condo buyer, neither his real estate agent nor a year of discussions with the president of his building's strata council prepared him for what followed his purchase in October 2000.

Monk, a first-time buyer, thought he had done his homework. He obtained a Form B certificate - these were introduced in July 2000 in response to the Barrett Commission report - which claimed his building had a common reserve fund of more than $64,000 and no litigation ongoing.

Monk also obtained a property disclosure statement and a property inspection and felt his discussions with the strata council president had given him sufficient background on the building's history.

But when Monk became vice-president of the strata council shortly after taking occupancy, he found the reserve fund was a fraction of what was claimed. Plus, there was legal action afoot. Within 24 hours of his signing the purchase contract for his unit, the condo had $5,000 worth of flooding. "I essentially bought into a lawsuit," he said.

Bain said all five disclosure tools available to buyers, not just the Form Bs, have problems. She considers the property inspections the weakest of the five. Of the inspections done, she noted, only one presented a warning of problems in clear language.

"It should not be this hard to buy a home in Canada in 2003," she said.

Of the 40 leaky condos surveyed, the cost of major repairs ranged from about $25,000 to $60,000. Two assessments were much higher, with one at about $150,000 and the other just over $200,000.