More lawsuits against presale buyers

From the Vancouver Sun: Developer sues buyers for backing out of presales agreements.

Another Metro Vancouver developer has launched a flurry of lawsuits against buyers attempting to walk away from pre-sale contracts in one of its developments.

In January, Amacon filed suit against seven buyers in its Morgan Heights project.

This time it is Onni, the developer that is also attempting to unload hundreds of unsold condominium units in developments around Metro Vancouver, that is suing 20 buyers in the Aria 2 building of its Suter Brook community in Port Moody.

The statements of claim, filed on Jan. 21, accuse the buyers of breaching their contracts for not closing on their specified purchase dates, and seek to claim the deposits buyers paid as well as additional potential damages.

In the claim, Onni said it “has suffered and will continue to suffer additional loss, damages and expense,” including reduced property value at resale, commissions to realtors, marketing costs and legal fees.

The trend that’s not everyone’s friend..

Hat-tip to bdk for the link.

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"How does the developer have a legal leg to stand on when he sells the neighbouring units for half the price?"

The contract says the price the buyer pays. It is irrelevant that the developer later enters into contracts to sell other condos at different prices. The court looks at the price in the contract to determine whether the buyer is in breach.

doug r

How does the developer have a legal leg to stand on when he sells the neighbouring units for half the price? Sounds like their legal remedy is fair market value-that may be one reason that Omni sale is "below market value".

Patiently Waiting

Thanks for sharing your experience, escada. 🙂

Vancouver, in particular, has a notable seedy side when it comes to real estate, and many other things. Always be on your guard.


This was my first experience to buy in Canada and I didn't expect this from such a recognized developer. The price was set by the developer and their rep prepared the sale offer contract. I just signed it and they took a 5% deposit. After few days the developer returned the contract increasing the price and asked me to make a counter offer. I decided to take my deposit back rather than dealing with such a unethical company. Next time I will for sure use some professional. Thanks



You need a lawyer, not an agent. You're about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on this deal; spend a few hundred bucks for a lawyer to check the paperwork.

Contracts are simple. You need an offer, an acceptance and consideration of some kind (e.g. your deposit should suffice). Once you have those three elements it's a done deal.

The developer cannot change the deal or change the price on you after you have a valid contract. Like I said, get yourself a lawyer. And going to an internet forum for legal advice does not count.


escada: Regardless of the price, the question I have is "Did you walk out of the room with an accepted agreement? It sounds as if you were in the process of negotiating an offer and recieved a counter offer. You should'nt have had to attach a deposit cheque until you had an agreement which read 'deposit upon acceptance or within a specified timeframe'. Sounds a bit wacky. Maybe you should take an experianced person into the negotiations with you. Perhaps go back in and make them a much lower offer and make sure that you include all the chattels. Don't hesitate to ask for additional things like built in vacs and alarm sys, a lot of people forget the small things in the rush. An agent won't charge you for the service of negotiating a deal for the buy, the… Read more »


I went to Onni’s surrey location, Escada to see if I could buy a condo. First few days they showed different condos saying all of them were 25% off. They quoted the price $289,900 less 25% for a condo I liked. When I went to sign the sale offer contract, they increased the price to 334,000 for the same condo. After a brief discussion they agreed to give me 35% off to bring the discounted price to what was quoted a day ago. The Onni sales rep prepared the sale contract and I signed it. After 2 days I was told the “vendor”, Onni has increased the price again. Now I was told to make a counter offer, $30,000 more than that was quoted, agreed and put on the original sale contract by their own rep. I pulled out of… Read more »


Re Renting and/or Buying

As the saying goes, even the blind squirrel will eventually find a nut.

Do you get the feeling that even "the dullest knives in the drawer" aka the least sophisticated parties are catching onto the worst kept secret that it is BOTH a Buyers and Renters market ?

Of course, what adds to that is a tanking economy and all the uncertainty that goes with it.



See the Bowra group is still trying to flog H + H with ads in the paper

Also, MAC Marketing has got a full page ad at the back of the current Georgia Straight for 375 units of ONNI product….


"Due to the overwhelming response we have commenced sales of the 375 properties. Sales are brisk and excellent opportunities are still available. Call immediately while

selection is best."

What is going on here?

I thought they sold out……what kind of BS is this?

The background colour of the ad is YELLOW, how appropriate !



As you know, many VCI posters hang onto your every word.

You provide the few bits of good news, albiet you have a God given gift to:

— find condo deals,

— sell any SUV you get your hands on,

— plus your portfolio of Future contracts in Pepperoni or is it Pepper-ONNI?

BTW: met with AVTAR BAINS…he would like some long as YOU GIVE IT THE "JOHN" Guarantee .


REAL VACANCY RATE = 34% ….93 out of 270 high end condos vacant available immediately! Add up the monthly rents they want…heh heh heh and that much money is now not available to Vancouver s' local economy every month. (so say $2000 X 93=$186,000 every month of lost cash flow from ONE rental agency) By the way $2000 is probably below average! I have noticed that in general as each one now RENTED expires, it is not rented again!

Search downtown and do the math!


There is nothing greater than the greed of a fool that already has too much.

Pleading poverty after signing a perfectly legal and binding agreement based 100% on pure speculative greed?

De Cotiss are pure dog vomit and should NOT be dealt with but a deal is a deal.


I didn't post that comment about the counterclaim. Why would you need to sue the developer of a condo when they're the ones responsible for making you rich? I don't understand. Anyway good news on the peperoni front this morning. I met with a rich asian this morning from Shanghai and he's agreed to buy some peperoni and an SUV. He's already got a condo in Yaletown though so no condo sale. Still, it's good to be me.


Unemployments rates, this month and last month in brackets

-British Columbia 6.2 (5.3)

-Abbotsford, B.C. 5.8 (5.5)

-Vancouver 5.1 (4.8)

-Victoria 4.0 (3.7)

From statcan:

"Employment in British Columbia fell in January by 35,000 … construction employment fell for the fourth consecutive month in January, bringing total losses in that industry to 32,000 since its peak in September 2008."

It's just the beginning for construction jobs.


Steevee: I like how the pessimistic economist, Helmut Pastrick said BC would lose 40K in 2009, 35K already, once again showing these jokers are flying by the seat of their pants. Economists in present times are more of less useless.


John – That was one of the stupidest things you've ever posted, and there have been plenty.


Steevee: Someone needs to tell those newly unemployed that "it's different here in Canada, we've decoupled from the rest of the world, we have nothing to worry about".

Seriously though, those numbers are bad but not surprising.

Cue the spin doctors!


130, 000 jobs lost in Canada last month, 35, 000 in BC. The vast majority of which are full-time. Really can't be good for future home sales.

To put it in perspective, those numbers are equal to the U.S. shedding 1.3 million occupations in one month (on a per capita basis, obviously.)


I suppose if I buy a computer at Future Shop they have a duty not to sell the same computer later for a lower price? Give me a break.

And the market price is determined by – surprise – the market, not the developer.


Maybe the condo purchaser's can make a counterclaim against the developer for devaluing their property with their auctioning off of their remaining stock at a discounted price. Breach of fiduciary duty to preserve the value of the assets contracted for.


I feel sorry for the old couple but at the same time they shouldn't have purchased a property considering their age and circumstances. 79, with a fixed income, is not the time to be buying a new place.

The housing fall might have been a surprise but any other number of things, like illness or the death of one of the partners, could have definitely happened just as easily leaving them incredibly vulnerable if they did not have the full economic support of their family.

I know people don't like to think about worst case scenarios but just hoping things will continue fine with no wrinkles in the future is not very smart.


Vulture says 50%by Spring:

$1550 to live in a 2 bed condo in……..Coquitlam. Ha ha ha Ha ha haHa ha ha Coquitlam…$1550…2…bed…box…Ha ha ha Ha ha ha Ha ha ha



Question posed : In the bigger scheme of things,..who should suffer ….the Developers or the purchasers?

What leaves a cleaner slate so the rebuilding and healing can commence?

If they were ready to take their profits, then they should be ready to accept their losses.

It would be terrifying what would become of these people's egos if they don't take a stinging spanking for their endeavours. Until a few months ago they all thought they were financial geniuses.



“So at that time, we expected we would be able to realize adequate funds from our current property.”

Right. From the moment they bought the pre-sale they became speculators because they had a long position in two properties at the same time. They were making a bet on the market price of their old property at the time of the closing date on the new property. Well they lost.

One more thing – why does a couple in their late 70's need to buy a new condo anyway?


I just bought a membership in that company that rhymes with inject buy. It's the best place to get stuff for my condos. I'm thinking I might rent a couple because the pepperoni business is down a little right now and I haven't sold an SUV in a couple of weeks.