Tricky Limitation Periods and Real Estate Course?: Irps-Bleeker v. Van Gaalen, 2019 ONCA 592
The appellant sues her real estate agent for inducing her to sign a counter-offer and presenting the counter-offer to the purchaser against the appellant’s instructions. The appellant filed a Notice of Action on June 12, 2015 and a Statement of Claim on July 10 2015.
During this period the appellant was also suing her family law lawyer for the sale of the property. The appellant claims that she was not aware of the real estate agent’s wrongdoings until she became aware during the examination for discovery of the family law lawyer. The appellant was also taking real estate courses during this time.
The motions judge found that the appellant’s claim was statutorily-barred by virtue of the expiration of the limitation period. The motions judge ruled although the respondent may not have subjectively known that she had a legal claim against the respondent until the examination for discovery, based on her own evidence she knew on January 9 2009 that she was induced to sign the counter-offer. This should have led her to a further inquiry to find out if there was a legal claim against the real estate agents.
Additionally, given that she had taken real estate courses, the motions judge ruled that, objectively, a reasonable person in her circumstances would have inquired further whether her claim had a legal basis.
Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal agreed with the motions judge. The evidence proved the appellant knew of the wrongdoing by the real estate agents on January 9 2009. The appellant argued the real estate courses did not outline real estate agents’ obligations to client. The motion judge in response reasoned that the courses were enough to lead her to further inquire if a legal remedy is available against the real estate agents.