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Law.Hut, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 7846
Experience:  with over 15 years experience.
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We purchased a large, pie-shaped lot from a new home builder.

Customer Question

We purchased a large, pie-shaped lot from a new home builder. When deciding on a lot and house model with the sales representatives, they helped us choose this specific lot as we liked how the house sat on the lot (large yard with the house off to one side). Once the foundation was poured, we quickly noticed that the builder did not place the house off to one side and due to the new location on the site, we no longer had a large yard. When we went to the builder they said the plot plan is subject to change without notice. We had enlarged certain windows with the builder under the belief that these windows would face the conservation they face the side of a neighbour's house. Do we have any merit in pursuing this issue? Had they discussed this issue with us ahead of time, we would have done things differently -- but they did not.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Law.Hut replied 2 years ago.

What does your written agreement say? Does it specify that you can determine the house location? Or does it state that the plot plan is subject to change without notice as the builder suggests?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Neither. It doesn't say anything about the house location or being subject to change without notice. They are just "saying" now that it's subject to change without notice. They gave us a plot plan with our house in a certain location so we went through the house with them and enlarged windows, etc. We were lead to believe through the planning process that our house would be on a certain location on the lot.

Expert:  Law.Hut replied 2 years ago.
Then you can likely sue, if you cannot work out some reasonable compensation with a threat of a lawsuit.

The lawsuit would be based on breach of contract, either on the basis that they failed to deliver to you what had been promised and agreed upon, or on the basis of their misrepresentation to you. The law is that if one party to a contract enters that contract in part due to a representation by the other side and that representation turns out to be false, then that contract can be cancelled. And if the party that was misrepresented chooses not to cancel, then they can be entitled to reasonable compensation or damages for that misrepresentation.

In your case, it seems clear, even without it being in writing, that you were told or lead to believe that the plot location would not change, as that was the reason for enlarging windows, and you had the discussion about wanting a larger yard. It does not seem reasonable to me to think that the builder could succeed in unilaterally altering a fundamental aspect of the home to be purchased, unless that right had been expressly reserved and agreed upon as part of the written building contract.

So it may be an option to you to treat the contract as cancelled. I don't know if that is something you would wish to do, or if you want instead some financial compensation and still take possession of the house. that compensation would be based in the lower market value that the home may have in the circumstances,as well as some arbitrary amount for your decreased enjoyment of the property, in not getting the exact home that you thought you were purchasing.

But in either event, I would urge you to speak in person with a lawyer before making any such decision. You do not want to base that decision without having legal advice that I am not able to offer through this site.

If you want to sue, or send a demand letter for compensation and threatening a lawsuit otherwise, a lawyer is not mandatory. But you may certainly get more attention from the builder if a demand letter comes from a lawyer.

Law.Hut, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 7846
Experience: with over 15 years experience.
Law.Hut and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. While it was rather costly, we did successfully sue our new home builder and received an abatement on our purchase price. Though the legal fees ate up most of the abatement, our builder has learned a lesson about brushing off their customer's concerns and misrepresenting a product.

Expert:  Law.Hut replied 2 years ago.
I am glad that it worked out reasonably well, although it is unfortunate that the defendant was not ordered to pay more towards your legal bill so that the net effect of suing would be more positive for you. Thank you for letting me know the outcome.

Thank you for the positive rating.

If you have questions in the future on other legal matters, you can refer to my user name of law.hut at the outset of your post. I will do my best to answer as soon as possible.

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