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News and Updates

Brett Love Provides Case Comment for the British Columbia Take Five Newsletter

April 3, 2024

Brett Love provided a case comment for the recent court of appeal decision Vancouver (City) v Pender Lodge Holdings Ltd., 2024 BCCA 37.

Brett's comment, and other counsel comments regarding BC Court of Appeal decisions released in February 2024 can be accessed here.

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Image by Samson

Drouillard Lawyers Transactional Work in Business in Vancouver's "Biggest Real Estate Deals of 2023"

March 27, 2024

Despite headwinds in the commercial real estate market affecting transaction volume, we're pleased to announce that five of our firm's transactions from 2023 made it into Business of Vancouver's "Biggest Real Estate Deals" of 2023 published this week, ranking 12 ($68 mil), 19 ($53.7 mil), 21 ($51.12 mil), 61 ($24.4 mil), and 68 ($22.5 mil)!

Since starting Drouillard Lawyers in 2021, our firm's transactions have featured on this list, and our firm continues to complete hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial real estate transactions each year, in addition to our focused real estate regulatory and litigation practice.

BC Court of Appeal Releases Decision Regarding Rent Controls in the City of Vancouver

February 5, 2024

The BC Court of Appeal released its decision in Vancouver (City) v Pender Lodge Holdings Ltd., 2024 BCCA 37. Brett Love and Tanner Gervin appeared on behalf of the Rental Housing Council of BC dba Landlord BC (“LandlordBC”). LandlordBC intervened in the appeal on the issue of subsidiarity.

 

Subsidiarity is the legal principle that law making and implementation are often best achieved at a level of government that is not only effective, but also closest to the citizens affected and thus most responsive to their needs, to local distinctiveness, and to population diversity. The Court of Appeal accepted the argument of LandlordBC and the respondents that subsidiarity had no application in this case, because it does not give a municipality authority to create bylaws that it doesn’t otherwise have pursuant to its enabling legislation.

 

The Court ultimately concluded that the City of Vancouver acted outside its jurisdiction when it enacted bylaws regulating rental increases between tenancies for single room occupancy accommodations.

 

Our blog post describing the appeal in more detail can be accessed here. The full decision from the BC Court of Appeal can be accessed here.

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Article by Michael Drouillard Included in the CBRE Annual Apartment Report 2023

January 11, 2024

The CBRE National Apartment Group – BC released its Annual Apartment Report recently. This report includes a lot of great information, plus an article written by Michael about additional rent increase applications titled "Legally Speaking - Additional Rent Increases - A new way for Landlords to Recover their Costs".

 

Since the ARI regime was created, our firm has conducted dozens of contested ARI hearings, and passed through millions of dollars of cap ex affecting over a thousand tenancies for our REIT and private equity clients.

Click here to review CBRE reports, including the Annual Apartment Report 2023 and Michael's article.

 Michael Drouillard Appears on CBC National News to Discuss Presale Contracts

January 8, 2024

On January 7, 2024, Michael appeared on CBC National News to discuss presale real estate contracts in a segment titled "Lawyers urge caution as more Canadians lose deposits on presale homes".

To view the entire news segment, click here.

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Brett Love and Tanner Gervin Appear before the Court of Appeal on Behalf of LandlordBC 

November 9, 2023

On November 7, 2023 Brett Love and Tanner Gervin appeared as counsel to LandlordBC before the Court of Appeal.  LandlordBC intervened in an appeal concerning the legality of municipal vacancy control in the City of Vancouver – a type of rent control that restricts and regulates increases in rent between tenancies.  This high profile case was the subject of a CBC news article found here.

 

LandlordBC’s factum, prepared by Drouillard Lawyers, is available for download here, and we now await a decision from the Court of Appeal.

Michael Drouillard Participates in Legal Panel at LandlordBC’s Annual General Meeting

October 18, 2023

Today, Michael was part of a panel of lawyers asked to provide the audience with practical tips and suggestions about navigating the obligations of a landlord under the Residential Tenancy Act and the Human Rights Code.  The panel also discussed how a decision of the Residential Tenancy Branch may be judicially reviewed.  Over 100 attendees were present at LandlordBC’s annual general meeting, which included a formal meeting, but also a series of educational workshops for landlord members.

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Michael Drouillard Presents to the Manufactured Home Park Alliance of British Columbia

October 3, 2023

On September 30, 2023, Michael presented on two topics to the Manufactured Home Park Alliance of British Columbia. 

 

The first topic provided legal information to attendees about how to deal with abandoned manufactured homes.  The second topic was advocacy in nature, and summarized how legislative changes to both the Residential Tenancy Act and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act since 2017 have impacted manufactured home park owners in a way that is more adverse than what is experienced by conventional landlords under the Residential Tenancy Act.

Drouillard Lawyers Welcomes Tanner Gervin

June 9, 2023

Tanner joins Drouillard Lawyers as Associate Legal Counsel after completing his articles at another downtown Vancouver law firm.

Welcome Tanner!

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Drouillard Lawyers Transactional Work in Business in Vancouver's "Biggest Real Estate Deals of 2022"

April 11, 2023

Drouillard Lawyers maintains a substantial commercial transaction and real estate leasing practice. We're pleased to announce that one of our transactions regarding the acquisition of a purpose built rental building for over $29 million made it onto Business in Vancouver's list of "Biggest Real Estate Deals of 2022".

Our firm frequently acts as counsel for major real estate transactions involving in excess of $25 million. We have particular expertise with manufactured home and multifamily residential transactions, with our lawyers having completed hundreds of millions of dollars in such transactions over the past few years.

Michael will be a Guest Speaker at the Manufactured Home Owners Alliance of British Columbia Spring Conference

March 6, 2023

On May 6, 2023 and in Kamloops, Michael will be a guest speaker at the Manufactured Home Owners Alliance of British Columbia’s Spring Conference.

 

Michael has been asked to speak about tenancy assignments, which can be a difficult issue for manufactured housing providers. Michael also intends to review current and relevant legal issues facing manufactured housing providers in British Columbia.

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Michael Interviewed by Law360 Canada

February 22, 2023

On February 21, 2023 Michael was interviewed by Law360 Canada (the Lawyer’s Daily) to discuss recent changes to British Columbia’s property tax sale regime. 

 

Michael called the regime “still fundamentally unfair and unjust” despite recent amendments, because it permits a municipality to sell real estate for the value of unpaid taxes alone, which is typically far less than the market value of the land in question. 

 

A link to the full article is found here 

Drouillard Lawyers Welcomes Hanna Nguyen

February 2, 2023

Hanna joins Drouillard Lawyers as an Executive Assistant.

Welcome Hanna!

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Modern Houses

Michael Drouillard Interviewed by the Lawyer's Daily Regarding the "Cooling Off" Period for Residential Real Estate

January 19, 2023

Michael was recently interviewed by the Lawyer's Daily to provide comments on the new cooling off period applicable to residential real estate transactions.

Among other topics, Michael provides comments on whether the cooling off period will result in any meaningful consumer protection for home buyers in British Columbia.

The full article is available here.

Drouillard Lawyers Files Application to Intervene in the Appeal of 0733603 B.C. Ltd. v City of Vancouver on behalf of LandlordBC

December 12, 2022

On December 9, 2022, Drouillard Lawyers applied, on behalf of LandlordBC, to intervene in the appeal 0733603 B.C. Ltd. v City of Vancouver. This is one of the first cases concerning municipal rent control in BC and possibly across Canada.

 

In 0733603 B.C. Ltd. v City of Vancouver, the lower court struck a bylaw enacted by the City of Vancouver which would have imposed vacancy control against certain residential rental buildings in the city. The lower court came to this decision on the basis that the rent control bylaw was outside the city's legislative mandate. The buildings that were subject to the decision in 0733603 B.C. Ltd. v City of Vancouver are single room occupancy buildings, but the bylaws have significant implications if expanded to include other forms of multifamily housing based on judicial precedent.

 

The basis of our client's intervention is that the bylaws represent unprecedented further intrusion by municipalities into the area of residential tenancy law, a subject matter which is intended to be governed exclusively by consistent provincial-wide legislation, the Residential Tenancy Act, and not, for example, through the power of municipalities to license businesses. Essentially, LandlordBC's position is that the Residential Tenancy Act is the product of balancing the interests of landlords and tenants, and the legislative intention is not to have municipal rent control undo the delicate balancing of those interests.

Please click here for a copy of LandlordBC's application for leave to intervene in the appeal of 0733603 B.C. Ltd. v City of Vancouver.

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Michael Drouillard Appointed Director and Vice Chair of LandlordBC

December 5, 2022

Michael was reappointed a director of LandlordBC at its October 2022 AGM. In a subsequent board meeting, Michael was appointed vice chair.

Michael is happy to continue to serve on the board of LandlordBC. Since first becoming a director, some of the initiatives Michael has been involved with include:

  • advising LandlordBC on governance matters through his position on the governance committee;

  • advocating to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia as part of a special committee of the board to reconsider a policy statement it had issued which, if it hadn't been reconsidered, would have greatly restricted the ability of residential landlords to perform credit checks on prospective tenants. This would have harmed smaller landlords in particular;

  • advising LandlordBC about legal proceedings it may want to intervene on, on behalf of landlords across the province; and

  • leading an initiative, as chair of the forms committee, to revise and update the residential tenancy agreement used by thousands of members for tens of thousands of rental units (look for exciting news on this in 2023!).

Michael looks forward to continuing his advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry in this role, and invites members to contact him with any questions or comments.

Michael Drouillard Appointed Member of CBABC Residential Conveyancing Working Group

November 8, 2022

Effective October 2022, Michael was appointed a member of the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia Branch's Residential Conveyancing Working Group.

 

The Residential Conveyancing Working Group monitors developments in the practice of residential real estate, develops CBABC policy and submissions, and provides recommendations to the Policy & Advocacy Committee.

This working group also collects feedback on, and may make recommendations about the CBA Standard Undertakings, the CBABC/BCREA Standard Contract of Purchase and Sale, and conveyancing practice standards and legislation.

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Drouillard Lawyers Closed September 19 and 30, 2022

September 14, 2022

Drouillard Lawyers will be closed to allow lawyers and staff time to observe the national day of mourning in recognition of the Queen's funeral on September 19, 2022 and to observe Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30, 2022.

For more information on Truth and Reconciliation Day, including educational resources specific to the legal profession, please visit the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch website here

Michael Drouillard Presents to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

August 17, 2022

On August 16, 2022 Michael presented to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and briefed nearly 600 attendees on the ground breaking new "cooling off period" for residential real estate contracts in British Columbia.

 

Michael summarized the draft legislation, and provided guidance and concerns about how it will apply to real estate transactions across British Columbia.

 

A link to the entire broadcast is found here: https://youtu.be/aOea6z5cIcI

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Happy Birthday Drouillard Lawyers!

June 30, 2022

Drouillard Lawyers turns one year old on July 1, 2022.

Since opening our doors one year ago, we have welcomed a legal assistant, Karen Fayemi, and a paralegal, Keri Letourneau.

Thank you to everyone who has made our first year a success!

Michael Quoted in the Lawyer's Daily re Proposed Three Day Cooling Off Period for Residential Real Estate Transactions

June 6, 2022

On June 6, 2022, Michael was quoted by the Lawyer's Daily for its article covering the BC Financial Services Authority's proposal that all real estate residential transactions in British Columbia be subject to a three day cooling off period. This cooling off period gives the buyer a right to back out of the transaction on payment of a fee to the seller.

As set out in the article, Michael questions whether a three day cooling off period will address the now common, underlying problem of buyers purchasing real estate without doing basic due diligence, such as a home inspection.

The full article can be accessed by clicking here.

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Michael Appointed to the Provincial Council of the Canadian Bar Association

May 16, 2022

On May 16, 2022, Michael was elected (acclaimed) as Real Estate Section Representative to the Provincial Council of the Canadian Bar Association for a two-year term commencing September 1, 2022. 

 

The Provincial Council provides a forum for Canadian Bar Association members to learn, debate, and advance the work of the CBA in British Columbia, and plays an advisory role to the CBABC Board of Directors.

Michael Drouillard Part of Legal Panel Presentation to LandlordBC Members

April 26, 2022

On April 26, 2022, Michael was part of a legal panel, "12 Month Penalty for Ending Tenancy Improperly". This legal panel was part of LandlordBC's Spring Virtual Education Day. Nearyl 100 people were in attendance.

Michael discussed topics relating to how tenancies end under two and four month notices to end tenancies for landlord's use of property. Also discussed were applications to end tenancies for renovation purposes.

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Michael Drouillard Quoted in the Lawyer's Daily Regarding "Cooling Off" Period

April 7, 2022

On April 6, 2022, Michael was quoted in the Lawyer's Daily discussing the provincial government's ongoing efforts to create a "cooling off" period for residential real estate transactions.

In this article, Michael comments as to how the pending change will affect all residential real estate transactions, whether or not a realtor is involved, and how this change could represent remarkable consumer protection in real estate not previously seen before.

Click here to view the full article

Image by Sean Pollock
Image by Sean Pollock

Michael Drouillard Presents to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

March 14, 2022

Last week, Michael presented "Legal Update 2022" to over 400 attendees at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. This legal update covered various topics, including the sale of tenant occupied property and ethical issues when acting for a group of owners involved in a land assembly. Michael also shared his views and predictions as to how the BCFSA's recommended "cooling off period" might be implemented. 

Click here for to access the full presentation

Michael Drouillard Quoted by the Lawyer's Daily

March 11, 2022

Michael was quoted in the Lawyer's Daily about the controversial new "cooling off period" proposal for residential purchase agreements. In this article, Michael sets out views on why a change made only at the licensee level, pursuant to the BCFSA's mandate to regulate licensees (and not real estate contracts generally), may not give the proposal enough teeth to be effective. It may also give licensees a needless competitive disadvantage over real estate market participants who decide not to use licensed realtors. 

Check out the full article by clicking here

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Michael Drouillard's Article Legally Speaking - The Importance of Landlord Associations was included in the 2021 Annual Apartment Report from CBRE's National Apartment Group (British Columbia) 

February 2, 2022

Michael's article discusses the importance of maintaining your membership in a landlord association, and on recent legislative changes to the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act. 

Check out Michael's article and the full report by clicking here

News Coverage of Ongoing Litigation with the Songhees Nation

January 31, 2022

Our firm is counsel to dozens residents of a manufactured home park located within a reserve, who have been given notice that they must leave, and physically take their homes with them. Although their homes are manufactured homes, the lack of availability of vacant land in the area, as well as their degree of affixation means there is nowhere for the homes to be moved to, and they cannot be moved without being destroyed.

The Victoria Times Colonist interviewed some of the plaintiffs in this action to better understand the impact of the eviction on the manufactured home park community members.

Click here to read the full article

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Michael Drouillard is Interviewed by The Lawyer's Daily

January 12, 2022

Michael was interviewed by The Lawyer's Daily and asked to comment on a case currently being worked on by the firm. 
 

Our firm is counsel to dozens residents of a manufactured home park located within a reserve, who have been given notice that they must leave, and physically take their homes with them. Although their homes are manufactured homes, the lack of availability of vacant land in the area, as well as their degree of affixation means there is nowhere for the homes to be moved to, and they cannot be moved without being destroyed.

One of the many unusual features of this case is that our clients' landlord, a self-governing indigenous nation, taxed our clients for decades at a rate and amount as though they were fee simple owners of the lands in question. Our clients' claim is primarily based in equity, and includes claims of unjust enrichment and proprietary estoppel. 

Michael Drouillard is Interviewed by The Lawyer's Daily

December 21, 2021

Michael was interviewed by The Lawyer's Daily and asked to comment on the tax sale process, in which municipalities exercise authority under the Local Government Act to sell property owing tax arrears. 

In the article, Michael comments on how the "ancient" process, which hasn't changed for decades, unfairly targets vulnerable people, typically seniors who have already paid off any mortgage they may have on their home, and who may not be properly notified about the fact their home is being sold via tax sale.

A tax sale is a punishing process - it allows a municipality to sell a property just to realize the amount of tax arrears owing, thereby wiping out the owner's equity in the property. In an Ombudsman report, the B.C. Ombudsman comments upon how this resulted in a vulnerable person having her home sold well below market value.


Click to see the full article here

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Michael Drouillard is Quoted by The Lawyer's Daily

November 24, 2021

On November 23, 2021, Michael Drouillard was quoted in The Lawyer's Daily about a major change to how residential real estate transactions will be regulated, with the introduction of a "cooling off" period that will apply not just to pre-sale properties, but also to your typical used residential transaction.

Over the past 10 years, the Real Estate Council and Superintendent of Real Estate (collectively now the BC Financial Services Authority) has introduced regulatory changes to the marketplace through its legislative mandate to regulate licensees like real estate brokers. For example, the "shadow flipping" problem was addressed by adding a clause to the standard form contract realtors use (a clause that can be struck), and by imposing additional regulatory disclosure and other obligations on realtors in the context of assignments.

In this article, Michael suggests that regulating at the realtor level will not go far enough. For example, if the proposed change only regulates realtors and their interactions with clients, then the change would give a competitive advantage to anyone who presents an offer without the use of a realtor (or who abandons their realtor for the purpose of the offer) in an attempt to avoid the effect of the regulation.

Click here to review the full article

OUR FIRM

New Decision: Persica Consulting Inc v Wescana Properties Inc, 2021 BCSC 2268

November 22, 2021

We successfully appeared on behalf of the commercial landlord in this BC Supreme Court proceeding.

Click here to review the full case comment on our publications page

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Image by Mike Benna

Michael Drouillard to Present at CBA Real Property Section on November 23, 2021

November 16, 2021

On November 23, 2021, Michael Drouillard will present a lunch time seminar to the CBA Real Property Section reviewing the law of residential tenancies in British Columbia, including recent developments in this area. His will provide advice for solicitors dealing with residential tenancies, and tips and strategies for litigators appearing before the Residential Tenancy Branch of BC. 

 

More information about the presentation can be found by clicking here

OUR FIRM

Appointment to the Professional Conduct Committee of the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia

November 9, 2021

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Michael Drouillard was appointed to the Professional Conduct Committee of the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia for a term ending in 2023. In this capacity, Michael will be involved with the investigation of complaints about members of the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia, and with making recommendations for disciplinary action to the Board of Governors.

The Real Estate Institute of British Columbia is a professional organization whose members come from every segment of the real estate industry, and which is involved in setting high professional standards for its members, and in promoting the real estate industry generally. Many of its members are professional real estate appraisers or employed with BC Assessment.

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New Decision: Morse v Crystal River Court Ltd, 2021 BCSC 1868

September 29, 2021

In our first reported court appearance since founding Drouillard Lawyers, we successfully appeared on behalf of the manufactured home park landlord in this judicial review proceeding.

Click here to review the full case comment on our publications page

Michael Drouillard is Interviewed by CBC News

August 31, 2021

Michael was interviewed by CBC news regarding the sale and development of the Little Mountain lands in Vancouver, BC. 

Click here to check out the full article 

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Drouillard Lawyers

July 1, 2021

Drouillard Lawyers is excited to announce the opening of its new office in downtown Vancouver!

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