Condo Law Digest – April 2015

Jiang v. Jade-Kennedy Development Corporation, 2015 ONCA 177
Decision Date: March 17, 2015

This is an appeal on a decision made by Justice Pollak about one year ago. The plaintiff had purchased a pre-construction commercial condominium unit from the respondent. The original plan, as well as two subsequent revised plans, showed the storefront depicted by a straight line. Jiang assumed that the storefront would be all glass. Yet three years later, when he inspected the unit, he found a large concrete pillar bisecting the store front. He refused to close the deal and commenced litigation. His claims include rescission (that is, “tearing up” the contract) and damages.

The main issue at the trial was whether the existence of a pillar constituted a “material” change (that is, one so important that the purchaser would not have entered into the agreement). Justice Pollak found that the Jaing’s assumption that the store front would be all glass was not supported by the documents. (In fact, no materials were indicated.) The appeal judges upheld this decision; they agreed that the plans were intended to give an overview, not to provide structural details.

Was the disclosure statement required to disclose the pillar? This issue was not taken up at the trial, and so the appeal judges declined to address it.

Comment: Purchasing a pre-construction condominium is risky. Consult with an experienced condominium lawyer to make sure you know your rights and obligations.

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