Developer ordered to pay condo fees

Homeowners in a Whitehorse condominium complex have won the latest court battle against the developer. A Yukon Supreme Court Justice has ordered the developer to pay nearly $400,000 in unpaid condo fees.

Homeowners in a Whitehorse condominium complex have won the latest court battle against the developer.

A Yukon Supreme Court Justice has ordered the developer to pay nearly $400,000 in unpaid condo fees.

The board for the Falcon Ridge complex took the developer, a numbered company owned by Brian Little, to court late last year.

They argued Little’s company owed them the money that is used to cover common expenses between all the homes.

Brian Little, on behalf of the developer, insists there was an “understanding” with the condo corp. that it would not pay any condominium fees until units were sold or leased.

But in a decision released this week, Justice Ron Veale disagreed.

“There is no evidence that supports the contention that the condo corp. made an explicit agreement or had an understanding that condominium fees would not be charged to the units owned by the condo developer,” he said.

Between 2005 and 2012, the developer built 86 homes, most of which were sold off.

It still owns 10 units in the complex.

The condo board was originally asking for more than $2 million – a combination of fees, interest and other penalties it claimed it was owed.

In his decision Veale recalculated that number and awarded the condo board $394,212.79.

The developer also argued that asking for retroactive payment of fees was unfair. Again, Veale disagreed.

“In this case, the obligation to pay its share of the common expenses always existed but was conveniently disregarded by the condo developer,” he said.

Veale ordered the money be paid with an interest at the rate of 18 per cent per year compounded monthly.

He also ordered the developer to pay the condo corporation’s legal costs.

Development in Falcon Ridge first came to the public’s attention when the condo corporation took the developer to court over a controversial apartment building on the property.

Last year, Veale halted construction on the project – which still sits half finished.

Veale called the case “a cautionary tale for condo developers, condo corporations and condo owners.”

He ruled the developer did not get the appropriate consent from homeowners before starting the new construction project.

More than $1 million has been sunk into the building, according to court records.

More recently, the court’s attention turned to what to do with the land in question.

In January, Veale said the developer should construct four-plex units or a combination of four-plex and single family units on the land.

He gave a 90-day deadline to come up with an approved plan.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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