Vancouver condo owners win battle against building sale

Martha Perkins - Vancouver Courier

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Christine Raverty and husband Steve Handy were part of a successful bid to block the sale of their Vancouver condo building.
Photograph By ROB KRUYT

It’s home, relief, home for a small group of Vancouver condo owners.

They won a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that dismissed their neighbours’ attempts to sell their building.

More than 80 per cent of strata owners at Bel-Ayre Villa at the corner of West 10th Avenue and Burrard Street had voted in January to accept a developer’s offer of $19 million for the building.

However, some of the hold-outs took the case to court to fight the sale.

As reported in Business in Vancouver, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Warren Milman ruled September 21 that the strata corporation did not follow the process set out in Bill 40.

Milman said the strata corporation had failed to provide owners with an interest schedule prior to the sale vote. Instead, owners received the schedule after the vote, which is contrary to the law.

The interest schedule sets out how proceeds will be divided among owners, as well as all mortgage charges against units in the building.

“We could not have hoped for a better outcome to know our daughter will be able to remain in a home she loves,” Christine Raverty told BIV after the ruling. Sshe and her husband Steve Handy bought the Bel-Ayr Villa suite for their daughter in 2012 and rejected the sale offer.

They expected to receive about $750,000 for a unit that was assessed at $441,700 as of July 1, 2016. “The displacement of our daughter from her home, and the disruption of this event to her life, is the most important reason to oppose this process,” Raverty told BIV in August. As well as having other concerns, her daughter owns a dog and was afraid she would not be able to find temporary accommodation that allowed pets. There were also costs involved in the sale and moving.

Bel-Ayre strata council president Glenda Monts told BIV that she was disappointed with the ruling and that the council is reviewing its options.

Raverty, however, does not believe the strata has the funds to restart the process. She also told BIV that some owners have changed their minds about selling and doubts the strata could exceed the 80 per cent threshold a second time.

The Bel-Ayre sale is the first to be dismissed after regulations were loosened in 2016 to allow for strata sales as long as 80 per cent of owners were in support and a B.C. Supreme Court judge approves the sale.

Business in Vancouver reporter Glen Korstrom has written extensively about this case and the new process for selling condominium buildings. You can read those stories at BIV.com.

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