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Water-filter woes

"Filter" negative communication by communicating through their lawyers

Q: We purchased our first home three months ago and there was an expensive water filtration system installed in the home that was not included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

We had a lengthy time before we closed for the vendors to remove the system but on the closing date, it was still there. We contacted the vendors repeatedly and they put us off as to when they were going to come and take the system.

Finally, they sent a workman who indicated that they would have to rip the kitchen counter apart to retrieve the kitchen portion of the system.

We absolutely stopped the process and contacted the vendors who then slipped in to inappropriate language about who we were and nasty words ensued. What should we do?

A: Call your lawyer. There is some precedent that if a fixture is left on the property after closing, it becomes the new owner’s property. That being said, you may not want to enter into a nasty legal battle for a filtration system that you never contracted for and want to get rid of it from the property. At the very least, the vendors could possibly retrieve their system but not without putting the kitchen back into the shape it was in before the system was removed.

At the very least, you should shield yourself from the negative communication by ‘filtering’ the communication through their lawyer and yours.

Jeffrey Cowan is the principal of Cowan Law and can be reached at jeff@cowanlaw.ca.

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