Q. I had written to you a while back and you responded in your article about not getting what we want. Basically, the time has come for use to move into our new condominium (the entire building has been in interim possession for months) and there are some major deficiencies that the builder is not able to address. In particular, there are three proposed west facing windows in our unit that the builder has bricked over and will not open up and also where a tub and a shower were supposed to be situated in the ensuite master bathroom, they can only fit a shower stall. We want the condo but we would like a reduction in the purchase price. What should we do?

A. You are in a bit of a situation because you want the unit but at a reduced cost; which is entirely understandable.

You should have your lawyer request an abatement (a reduction) in the purchase price prior to closing. Presumably, the response you will get is that there will be no abatement in the purchase price and closing is set as usual. Here comes the tricky part. If you state that you won’t close unless they drop the price you are entering into the “thick cloud” of legal jargon known as “anticipatory breach” wherein the vendors can actually turn around and say they have been put on notice that you have no intention of closing as originally planned and therefore the transaction is null and void.

You and your lawyer need to tread carefully around this matter and be prepared to close the transaction with the deficiencies, if that is at all palatable to you.

It sounds like you folks have had a nightmare (which happens unfortunately all too often). Listen to your lawyer’s advice and try for a compromise in all things. Remember, the builder wants to close this transaction with as few hitches and smooth sailing regardless of how you feel you’ve been treated.

– Jeffrey D. Cowan is with Cowan & Taylor, Barristers & Solicitors. The info in this article
should not be relied upon as legal advice.