Protecting Against Tenant Created Builder’s Liens

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Kelowna’s reputation as a hot bed of entrepreneurialism is well earned and as a result, many people invest either in commercial real estate or in rental residential units. An owner of land, however, faces risk when their tenant engages in work within the premises.  If a contractor or sub-contractor goes unpaid, they may lien the…


Proposed Simplification of the Builders Lien Act

On , In Construction Law

The current version of the Builders Lien Act, SBC 1997, ch. 45 (the “Act”) is legislation put into place by the Province to provide security and certainty for parties engaged in the construction of improvements. Unfortunately, the Act contains a number of provisions that make it difficult to understand and in some cases difficult to…


Limitations on the use of Progressive Release and Statutory Declarations

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Section 7 of the Builders Lien Act allows for what is commonly known as the progressive release of the holdback funds during the course of a project. These provisions of the Act are commonly used on larger projects to allow subcontractors to receive the holdback funds in relation to their specific work by requesting the…


Dealing With a Builder’s Lien

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A builder’s lien is a legal interest that can be registered on title to a property as security for an alleged debt for work or materials in relation to an improvement. Having a lien placed on the title to your property can come as a shock and can cause issues for the owner of the…


Negotiating Renovation Contracts Reduces the Risk of Being Ripped Off

On , In Construction Law

The media has recently reported on RCMP warnings regarding supposed repair contractors offering discounted and shoddy or fraudulent work. Although it is always tempting to try to keep costs as low as possible, it is important to have an up-front discussion about the scope and nature of the agreement and to reduce the agreement to…


Builders Lien Holdbacks

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The Builders Lien Holdback is a point of confusion amongst parties involved in all types of construction projects. The holdback is in place to limit the liability of parties in the payment chain of a project while setting aside some funds for unpaid parties lower on the chain. Many believe that a holdback is not…


Estate Planning for Albertans Who Own Property in BC

On , In Wills & Estates

As soon as the warm spring weather arrives, so do the scores of Albertans, seeking sun, golf, boating, great food and wine. It’s a well-understood phenomenon in the Okanagan that many Albertans choose to invest in a vacation property in BC. However, the implications of estate planning for Albertans who own property in BC are…


Foreshore Rights, Docks and Retaining Walls

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A number of years ago I wrote an article about the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources’ decision to direct additional resources towards reviewing foreshore rights and enforcing the use and construction of docks, retaining walls and other structures along the shoreline. Giving the ongoing flood event in the Okanagan, it seems an opportune…


How to Use a Trust in Estate Planning

On , In Wills & Estates

A Trust is a legal relationship in which property is transferred by the person making the Trust (the “Testator”) to a party who manages the property, for the benefit of the Testator or another.  Trusts are separate legal entities.  Assets inside a Trust are managed by a trustee who has legal responsibility for managing and…


Small Renovations Can Equal Big Headaches if You Ignore Best Practices

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Homeowners and smaller contractors are often tempted to skip recommended practices when undertaking a small renovation.  In many cases, little thought is given to the contract (and in some cases the only document is an invoice) and there is no attempt to comply with the Builders Lien Act. Although it is understandable that the parties…