Timothy Huntsman’s engineering background provides him with insight into the complexities of construction disputes, especially in situations where allegations of negligence are made. Whether you need a builder’s lien filed or removed from title, Huntsman Law* is here to assist you. Timothy represents many developers, builders, contractors and engineers in Nanaimo, and has successfully resolved disputes both in court and through negotiation.
Frequently, a property dispute will center on claims made by a third party who believes he or she has an interest in the property that is “in trust – or not reflected on title.” Whether the claim arises from a family dispute, a breached contract or from unpaid construction costs, Timothy and his team have the wherewithal to find your solution.
Construction Law & Property Disputes – Q&A
If I am a builder or contractor and I am not being paid for the work and materials I have provided what can I do?
Your first step is always to file a builder’s lien, because the Builder’s Lien Act imposes time limits on when a lien can be filed. Huntsman Law* strives to do this the very same day you reach out to us.
If I am an owner and I am unhappy with how construction is proceeding what can I do?
Your first step is to engage the builder to correct any problems that may persist. Do this in writing (keeping a copy) with specific details of the problems. If the issue isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, you should consult with a lawyer before firing the builder. If there is a verbal or written agreement, you may be liable for damages for breaching the agreement. You are likely able to avail yourself of a remedy from the builders new home warranty insurance, but only for negligent work, rather than to claim damages for work not completed.
How do I remove a builder’s lien that is on title?
Typically, the first step is to examine the lien and consider the facts of the case. The lien may simply have been filed out of time. Next, you may file a 21 day notice to commence an action in the approved form. This will force the lienholder to get moving on proving their claim of lien. When the lienholder has commenced their action you can then apply to the Court to have the lien removed, either by the posting of security, or seeking its dismissal if it is without merit.
I have filed a lien and the owner has falsely claimed that my work is defective. What can I do?
This is a typical defense used by an owner to avoid paying a bill that may be due and owing. It can be very effective, especially if the claim of lien is not substantial enough to warrant retaining a lawyer and going to court. If pressed, it will become necessary for an expert engineer or tradesperson to examine the work performed and provide an opinion on any deficiencies that may exist and the cost of any repairs. It may be that there are none. Once you have your evidence in place you can proceed to enforcing the builder’s lien.
I have entered into a contract to buy or sell land and I want to get out of it. What can I do?
Firstly, determine whether all subjects have cleared and all conditions met. If handled correctly, this may provide a way out. If subjects have cleared, you have a binding contract. The specific circumstances of each case would need to be examined to determine your options. The law provides criteria whereby you can enforce a contract, get out of a contract, or perhaps obtain damages for breach of a term of a contract.
I own a piece of land that my child is living in and his spouse is saying that they are entitled to a share. What can I do?
The first thing to do is to assess what contributions either your child or their spouse have made to the property in question. Then you need to decide if this is a question of alleged entitlement that will only get worse over time. You need to determine whether or not your child supports the claim by the spouse. The answers to these questions may enable you to decide whether to end your child’s tenancy immediately or not. There is no easy answer because, although the best route is to usually not let the passage of time further complicate matters, taking steps to resolve the issue may result in litigation.
Nanaimo construction lawyer Timothy J. Huntsman** would be pleased to meet with you to discuss your property dispute or construction issue.
*Denotes An Association of Law Corporations
**Denotes Timothy J. Huntsman Law Corporation