This article will explore the conditions that a Purchaser may want to consider when buying a vacant residential lot in British Columbia.

  1. Due Diligence Period: One of the first conditions that should be included in the purchase contract is a broad due diligence period. This allows the Purchaser to conduct thorough investigations into the property before finalizing the purchase. The Purchaser may look into the implications of the Speculation and Vacancy Tax if they plan on leaving the lot vacant for a period of time prior to building. Another consideration is to assess whether the transaction will be subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Further, the Purchaser may want to determine whether the property is subject to a Heritage Designation, or archaeological site. It may be prudent to conduct environmental and engineering assessments of the property prior to purchasing it. A Purchaser may want to consult with the City or Municipality to determine the size or siting of a future residence intended for the property. The Purchaser may want to consult with Geotechnical engineers on potential construction issues and soil testing. Lastly, a Purchaser may want to inquire about available utility services, such as sewer, water, hydro and gas.
  2. Zoning and Land Use: Verifying the zoning regulations and land use designation is necessary to ensure you can build your dream home. The Purchaser must ensure that the lot is zoned appropriately for residential use and that it aligns with their building plans. Additionally, checking for any building restrictions or design guidelines imposed by local authorities or homeowner’s association helps protect the Purchaser’s interests.
  3. Buyer Financing: Including a financing clause in the contract allows the Purchaser to withdraw if they are unable to obtain satisfactory mortgage financing within a specified timeframe. This condition is essential as it ensures that the Purchaser is not obligated to proceed with the purchase of the home if their financing falls through.
  4. Review of Title: This condition allows the Purchaser to perform a review of the land title to address the potential encumbrances on the land. These could include covenants, liens, easements, and statutory building schemes. A thorough review of the title is essential to ensure that the property meets the Purchaser’s needs.

It is critical to make sure that you understand any restrictions on the zoning of your property, as well as the property itself to ensure that you don’t lose thousands, or end up in a lawsuit for demolishing a heritage-designated and protected home. A little bit of effort can make all the difference. Call Heath Law if you’re purchasing a residential property lot on Vancouver Island.

Completing a real estate transaction as a Seller in Nanaimo involves various steps and considerations. The Buyer’s lawyer prepares almost all of the documents in a real estate transaction. The Seller’s lawyer will review the agreement of purchase and sale as well as the remainder of the transaction documents to ensure the Seller’s interests are protected. This article will provide a concise guide outlining the standard procedures after there is a contract of purchase in place and the conditions have been satisfied.

  1. Deposit: Once the conditions have been satisfied, the Buyer will provide the remaining deposit required under the purchase contract, if any. The deposit is typically held in trust by the Realtors until completion.  
  2. Document Execution: The Buyer’s lawyer will prepare and forward to the Seller’s lawyer a set of documents that must be signed by the Seller. Once signed, the documents are returned to the Buyer’s lawyer. The Seller’s lawyer must provide the Buyer’s lawyer with an undertaking to clear from the title any financial charges or encumbrances, such as a mortgage or lien.
  3. Completion: The funds provided by the Buyer are first used to pay out the Seller’s existing mortgage, outstanding taxes, and other encumbrances on title that must be cleared. Once the Seller’s lawyer completes their undertakings, the remaining funds are transferred to the Seller. The Realtor’s commission is usually paid by the Buyers and deducted from the monies due to the Seller.
  4. Possession: The date of possession is often the day after completion. The Realtors exchange keys, transferring possession to the Buyer.

Discharging Mortgage: Once the existing mortgage has been paid out, the Mortgage Lender will either file a Discharge of Mortgage with the Land Titles Office or forward the Seller’s lawyer a signed Discharge of Mortgage to be filed with the Land Titles Office.

Did you know: Sellers are as at-risk of being taken advantage of as home buyers? Don’t be left with costs that should be incurred by the purchaser or lose a good deal because you didn’t have a lawyer experienced in local real estate backing you. Contact Heath Law today.



Arbitration has become a popular alternative to court proceedings for resolving disputes. It offers a range of benefits, including privacy, informality, and efficiency, making it an attractive option for many businesses. However, like any legal process, it also has its downsides. This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration clauses to help you make an informed decision when choosing this method for dispute resolution.




Privacy and Confidentiality:

One of the main reasons for the inclusion of an arbitration clause in contracts is the ability to keep the proceedings private. Unlike court proceedings, where documents are public and hearings are open, arbitration takes place behind closed doors, shielding the parties from public scrutiny. This confidentiality enables the parties to argue their case without fear of reputational damage, which can be critical for maintaining a positive business image.


Informality and Speed:

Arbitration offers a more informal process compared to court proceedings. The rules of procedure and evidence before an arbitrator are more relaxed, providing a less rigid and intimidating atmosphere. Additionally, arbitration is typically much faster, allowing cases to be resolved in a matter of months, whereas court cases can drag on for years due to backlogs in the legal system.


Specialized Decision-Maker:

In arbitration, parties have the advantage of selecting an arbitrator with specialized knowledge and expertise in the area of law relevant to their case. This is in contrast to the court system, where judges are assigned randomly and may lack experience in specific legal fields. The ability to choose a knowledgeable decision-maker can lead to more informed and fair judgments.


Cost Flexibility:

Arbitration offers flexibility in cost allocation. Parties can negotiate who pays for the arbitrator’s fees, the venue, and the legal fees of the winning party. Moreover, by avoiding complex legal procedures like discovery, which occurs in court, parties can limit their overall costs. However, it is worth noting that the availability of qualified arbitrators on Vancouver Island and the potential high costs may be a drawback.




Limited Discovery:

One significant drawback of arbitration is the limited discovery process. Unlike court proceedings, arbitration may not allow for an extensive exchange of information about witnesses and evidence before a trial. This can make it challenging to gather sufficient evidence to prove a party’s position.


Finality of Decisions:

Perhaps the most significant downside of arbitration is the limited avenue for appeal. Once an arbitrator renders a decision, it is usually final and binding on both parties. In contrast, court decisions can often be appealed to higher courts. This finality can leave parties with little recourse if they believe the arbitrator made a mistake.




Arbitration offers several advantages that can be highly beneficial in resolving disputes. It provides privacy, efficiency, and the ability to choose a specialized decision-maker. However, it also comes with its drawbacks, such as limited discovery and the finality of decisions. Before including arbitration clauses in contracts, it is crucial for parties to carefully consider their specific needs and preferences, seeking legal advice to ensure the chosen method aligns with their goals.


Completing a real estate transaction as a Buyer can be a complex process. Once the Buyer and Seller have a contract of purchase and sale in place and the conditions have been satisfied, the Buyer’s lawyer will conduct a land title search and review any charges on the title. The Buyer’s lawyer will also prepare the conveyancing documents, and coordinate signatures, registration and money transfers.

  1. Completing the Purchase of Sale: The Buyer’s lawyer prepares almost all of the documents in a real estate transaction in Nanaimo. These include conveyancing documents, mortgage documents (if any), land title searches, and a statement of adjustments. Any financial charges on title are to be discharged by the Seller.
  2. Prior to Closing: The Buyer’s lawyer meets with the Buyer prior to closing to review the entire transaction and sign the documents. The transfer documents are sent to the Seller’s lawyer to be executed by the Seller. The documents are then returned to the Buyer’s lawyer. Once the Buyer’s lawyer has received the down payment from the Buyer, and the Buyer has satisfied all conditions of the mortgage lender, the lawyer registers the land title transfer document, along with the mortgage document at the Land Title Office.
  3. Closing: Once the documents are registered and the Buyer’s lawyer receives the mortgage proceeds, then the down payment and mortgage proceeds are paid to the Seller’s lawyer. Often, the Buyer takes possession the next day after closing.
  4. Post-Closing: The Buyer’s lawyer will provide a final reporting letter to the Buyer once the state of title certificate is received from the Land Title Office and will also provide the state of title certificate to the Mortgagee.

Don’t let the above steps in the real estate process fool you with their seeming simplicity. These four steps each have their own complexity in the home buying and selling process and missing the wrong step can cost you thousands of dollars, or even the sale of your desired property. Be certain you’ve done everything right. Contact an experienced real estate lawyer at Heath Law, in Nanaimo BC.

Purchasing a home in British Columbia is an exciting and significant milestone. However, the process can be intricate, and it is crucial for Purchasers to include specific standard conditions in their purchase contracts to protect their interests and ensure a smooth transaction. The following are examples of conditions:

  1. Buyer Financing: Including a financing clause in the contract allows the Purchaser to withdraw if they are unable to obtain satisfactory mortgage financing within a specified timeframe. This condition is essential as it ensures that the Purchaser is not obligated to proceed with the purchase of the home if their financing falls through.
  2. Property Inspection: Conducting a thorough inspection of the property is crucial to identify any potential issues or defects. It may be desirable to include a broad inspection clause, which allows for inspections at the Purchaser’s discretion. This will allow for a home inspection and can include a subsurface oil tank inspection if necessary.
  3. Insurance: Including an insurance clause is essential to protecting the Purchaser’s interests. This clause allows the Purchaser to exit the contract if they are unable to obtain satisfactory property, fire, and liability insurance.
  4. Review of Title: This condition allows the Purchaser to perform a review of land title to address the potential encumbrances on the land. These could include covenants, liens, easements, and statutory building schemes. A thorough review of the title is essential to ensure that the property meets the Purchaser’s needs.
  5. Strata Documents: In the case that the property being purchased is part of a strata, the Purchaser can include a clause requesting to see the strata bylaws and rules, as well as the minutes from prior annual general meetings and a depreciation report.
  6. Property Disclosure Statement: A property disclosure statement can provide the Purchaser with valuable insight into the property. The statement may disclose defects such as insect infestation, asbestos insulation or moisture problems. It is often desirable for the Purchaser to request a copy of a property disclosure statement.
  7. Clarifying Fixtures vs. Chattels: The law surrounding what constitutes a fixture and what constitutes a chattel is complex. It is prudent for the Purchaser to specify what is included in the offer price in the purchase contract. This may be a hot tub or a large mirror fixed to the wall.
  8. Lawyer’s Approval: Where a Purchaser has reservations about the form of the contract, the Purchaser could insist on a condition that the contract be subject to their lawyer’s approval within a specific period of time.

 Remember however that the above list is just a few examples of standard conditions often included in a real estate contract. These are not guaranteed to be present, nor are they the only clauses that may be desirable for your specific home purchase. To make sure you’re not missing out on—or trapped by—a clause that could cost you thousands, contact Heath Law and speak to an experienced real estate lawyer today!

Signing a residential real estate contract is a significant part of buying or selling a property, as it governs the legal obligations of the Buyer and Seller. Consulting a lawyer before signing a real estate contract is recommended for the following reasons:

  1. Legally Binding Document: A lawyer will review the contract with you to ensure that you understand that you are entering into a legally binding financial obligation.
  2. Understanding Complex Terminology: A lawyer can simplify complex legal jargon, ensuring you fully comprehend the contract’s terms and the implications they have for you.
  3. Inserting Conditions: If you are a Purchaser, a lawyer can assist you in determining what conditions or “subject to” provisions need to be inserted. Example conditions include financing, inspection, or the sale of your own home.
  4. Understanding your Risks: If you are a Seller, the lawyer can explain under what circumstances a Buyer can terminate their obligations under the contract.
  5. Reviewing Title and Identifying Problems: If you are a Buyer, the lawyer can assist you with understanding what encumbrances or charges will remain on the title after your purchase and whether these affect the marketability of the property.
  6. Understanding the Location: Many Buyers may be new to the area and a lawyer could advise on the neighbourhood and what future development may take place in adjoining properties.
  7. Peace of Mind: Finally, our lawyers provide peace of mind by protecting your interests and ensuring the contract is fair and enforceable.

All too often, people underestimate the complexity of real estate contracts and leave themselves at risk. Heath Law has experienced lawyers that can help you avoid the pitfalls of a shady real estate deal or incorrectly filed documentation. Contact us today for any real estate purchases you’re considering.


What are standard conditions that a Purchaser of residential real estate may want in a contract for the purchase of a home?