Buyers of units in a troubled Langley condo project say a ruling that requires them to pay thousands more than the price they originally agreed upon proves the law need to be changed.
A three-judge B.C. Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower court decision that would require buyers with signed pre-sale agreements to pay $100,000 to $200,000 above the original price if they still want to buy units in the much-postponed Murrayville House condo project.
“It was a pretty quick and swift no,” said Nolan Killeen, who speaks for a group of buyers who have made down payments but have been unable move into the building.
Murrayville House ended up in receivership on Oct. 4, 2017, after months of wrangling between the builder and various creditors.
The buyers had applied to overturn an April 4 decision by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick, who ruled that the purchasers would not be able to buy units at the prices they originally agreed upon.
One of the buyers, Fred West, was present for the ruling, which he said came about 20 minutes after the judges finished hearing arguments.
“There were some gasps and some tears and some hugs,” West said.
“Like that, it was done. It was over.”
The lawyers who represented the buyers at the appeal court, Diego Solimano and Amelia Boultbee, said the case shows the existing legislation needs to be improved.
“I think this case really highlights how toothless the consumer legislation is,” Boultbee said.
Mario Mainella, senior vice president at the Bowra Group, said the ruling means the receiver will offer the existing buyers right of first refusal before marketing the units elsewhere.
“We’re back to square one,” Mainella said.
Representatives of the project developer did not immediately respond to Times requests for comment.
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