Leaky Condo Issues
In response, many strata corporations have sued their builders for negligent design and construction of their buildings. However, Canadian negligence law can make it difficult for the strata corporations and owners to recover their damages because the strata corporation and owners didn't hire those builders and designers - the owner developer did.
In the case of The Owners, Strata Plan KAS 3575 v Renascence Enterprises (Shannon Lake) Corp., 2017 BCSC 1336, the strata corporation had sued the companies involved in the design and construction of the buildings, seeking compensation for the defects in the common property, including leaks in the building envelope. One party, Ferta, had been the structural engineer for the strata corporation. They were part of the litigation because some of the concrete in the parking garage had broken or wasn't properly installed.
Ferta applied to have the claim dismissed against it as the strata corporation hadn't alleged that the concrete deficiencies were dangerous. Further, the strata council acknowledged when examined, that the damages claimed from Ferta weren't dangerous.
The Court noted that the strata corporation was seeking damages for 'pure economic loss', or, the cost of repairing the defective work. However, not all economic loss caused by negligence can be recovered in Canadian law. The Court noted that there must be a degree of damages that pose a substantial danger to the health and safety of the occupants or other property before economic loss is recoverable.
It is clear, that the strata must show that the damaged concrete was not only defective, but dangerous. The strata failed to do that and had even acknowledged that the damaged concrete wasn't dangerous.
As a result, the Court dismissed the strata's claim against Ferta and the strata wouldn't be able to recover any money from Ferta for the concrete deficiencies.
Taeya Fitzpatrick has specialized in strata law for most of her practice, has won cases for her clients in the BC Supreme Court, the BC Court of Appeal, and assisted with a client succeeding in defending a Civil Resolution Tribunal claim. Taeya offers full services to a strata corporation or a strata owner from redrafting the strata’s bylaws, collection of outstanding strata fees or other charges, issues with bylaw enforcement, to amending the strata plan. For more information on the services provided, you can reach Taeya by email, phone: 250-762-6111, or at her Web Page.