Surrey couple awarded $300K in court over breach of real estate contract

The defendant contracted to buy the Newton rancher but didn’t complete

A Surrey couple has been awarded $300,340.35 in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver over a real estate deal that went bad.

Eric and Cecilia Albrechtsen owned a rancher in Newton and the defendant, Jarnail Panaich, contracted to buy it for $1,260,000 and paid a $60,000 deposit but didn’t complete the deal.

Their total loss was $360,340.35, less the deposit which the court declared forfeit and to be paid to the Albrechtsens, and including other costs they incurred due to the breach of contract, for the stated award of $300,340.35.

Master Leslie Muir noted the contract was signed in May 2016 and was to be complete in September. It included clauses “that time was of the essence, that it was the entire agreement between the parties and if the balance on the purchase price was not paid, the deposit would be forfeited,” Muir said.

After Panaich didn’t complete the deal the Albrechtsens listed the property for sale and in February 2017 sold it for $910,000, substantially less than what they’d contracted to sell it to Panaich for.

“Although this offer was less that I had expected when I listed the property for sale, the market remained soft, and given that the property had been on the market for more than five months, I did not believe that Mr. Albrechtsen would receive a substantially better offer,” the couple’s realtor, John Massullo, explained to the court. “Although it was for a lower price, this offer was stronger than the previous offers I had received because it was subject-free and included a substantial deposit, which the purchaser agreed to pay directly to Mr. Albrechtsen and which was non-refundable.”

Muir cited a court case, Gagner v. McCarthy, for “the general rule that damages for breach of contract are intended to put the innocent party in the same position they would have been in had the contract been performed, and, further, that an innocent party is entitled to recover consequential damages, such as interest or the carrying costs.”

In that decision, Muir noted, the “principle is stated that damages for breach of a contract to purchase real estate are typically assessed when the loss is crystallized, particularly when the real estate market has fallen.”

Muir found, based on the realtor’s evidence, that “the impact of the foreign buyer’s tax softened the market and that that had, as a consequence, reduced the market value of the property.”

tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Just Posted

Reported hit-and-run in Surrey

A witness said the woman appeared to suffer significant injuries

City of Surrey could approve contractor for Hawthorne Park project on Monday

The city wants the project to commence on Jan. 8th, 2018

PHOTOS+VIDEO: Surrey’s City Dream Centre dreaming big with $60,000 in gift donations

250-300 volunteers helped wrap gifts at North Surrey Secondary on Sunday

VIDEO: Schulte ‘overwhelmed’ by Christmas cards for Surrey’s homeless

She has received more than 600 Christmas cards for the homeless, with more to come

Kirk McLean, Dave Babych and Jurki Lumme help raise money for child sex assault victims in Surrey

People donated food and unwrapped toys in exchange for autographs on Sunday

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

AP Exclusive: Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

5 to start your day

Owl found dead in South Surrey draws concern, Vancouver promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows and more

Calgary Flames thump Vancouver Canucks 6-1

Mark Giordano, Sam Bennett lead the way as Flames thump Canucks 6-1

Light snow, cold temps called for just before Christmas in Metro Vancouver

Snow melting Tuesday but back on Thursday, as mercury drops

Homicide detectives now probing billionaire couple’s death

Police release cause of death of Barry and Honey Sherman as “ligature neck compression”

‘Case not made’ for Liberal bill’s problematic cyberspy powers

The Liberal government’s ill-defined plan to give Canada’s cyberspy agency wide-ranging powers to go on the attack against threats could trample civil liberties

Holiday travel chaos after Atlanta airport outage

A sudden power outage at the airport on Sunday grounded scores of flights and passengers during one of the busiest travel times of the year

Flames threaten coastal California communities

Flames continue to threaten coastal communities as firefighters mourn

Most Read