Underground Storage Oil Tanks (UST)

Did you know owners of properties in Metro Vancouver may have a potentially costly underground storage oil tank (UST) in their backyard? Clean-up and liability issues can come into play if the oil tank leaks and contaminates your property. If the contaminant originates on your property and then seeps onto adjacent properties, you could be liable for the mess and any clean-up on those properties. Ouch! 

Underground oil tanks were commonly installed on properties beginning in the late 1950s. Oil was the primary source of heating fuel for homes until natural gas replaced it due to lower cost and ease of connecting to utility gas pipelines. The oil tanks were usually just capped and decommissioned in place at this point – some with oil remaining in the tanks!

There are many companies in Metro Vancouver that use scanning equipment to check for buried oil tanks for a nominal fee. If there is any possibility that there may be a UST, doing the scan makes sense for buyers and is almost always advisable for sellers. Caveat emptor (buyer beware) is the best policy when it comes to oil tanks and avoiding the associated risks with buying a property where one may be lurking. The cost to remove a decommissioned tank that has not leaked is much less than a major environmental clean-up of a decommissioned leaky tank. Insist on full and proper tank removal documentation in the purchase contract if you are a buyer.

To complicate matters further, different municipalities around Metro Vancouver have different requirements to follow during removal. For further reading I recommend a great article by The Spagnuolo Group of Real Estate Law Firms.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment here or contact me directly.

Making the case for freehold townhomes

A recent story in the Vancouver Sun spells out the potential benefits and the reasons why BC has been slow in getting this going. It appears that the legal framework is lacking in BC (this type of ownership already exists in many provinces) and this seems due to multiple levels of government not wanting additional legal responsibility.

My question would be this: If it’s working in other provinces of Canada and other parts of the world why can’t it work here? It would seem that those other provinces allowing freehold townhomes should be consulted but that might require provinces talking to one another so don’t hold your breath.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment here or contact me directly.

I just bought a new house, or did I?

Happy day! You’ve gone and had your offer accepted for your brand new dream condo or house. But wait! A few days have passed and you’ve got a bad case of buyer’s remorse. What to do now? Well, if you live in BC, you may simply rescind your offer in the first seven days after your offer was accepted or you received the developer’s Disclosure Statement – whichever was later. Rights of Rescission are part of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA) and apply to most new development properties in BC. There are exemptions to this rule so check with your local knowledgeable REALTOR® for full details on how the laws work for a particular property. An excerpt from the Real Estate Development Marketing Act:

Under section 21 of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act, the purchaser or lessee of a development unit may rescind (cancel) the contract of purchase and sale or contract to lease by serving written notice on the developer or the developer’s brokerage, within 7 days after the later of the date the contract was entered into or the date the purchaser or lessee received a copy of this Disclosure Statement.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment here or contact me directly.