Murder homes buyer beware

Buyer beware. The B.C. Court of Appeal has overturned a ruling against the seller of a Vancouver mansion that did not tell a prospective buyer about an unsolved targeted murder that had taken place in the property.

CTV News reports the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March 2018 that Feng Yun Shao was the victim of "fraudulent misrepresentation" when she agreed to buy a $6.1M Shaughnessy home without being told that Raymond Huang was shot at the front gate in 2007.

The seller, Mei Zhen Wang, was told by the lower court to repay a $300,000 deposit to Shao after she backed out of the sale when she learned of the murder in 2009. Shao then counter sued, claiming she had been deceived during the original transaction.

In the original trial the seller testified her son-in-law’s murder did not motivate the sale, but said they moved because a grandchild was changing private schools. Court documents, however, indicate the grand daughter had been asked to leave for the safety of the other students.

The seller nor her realtors ever mentioned the shooting to Shao and the judge in the original trial ruled in her favour.

But Appeals Court Justices Mary Newbury, Daphne Smith and Peter Willcock did not agree, and found “there was no misrepresentation by omission."

The appeals ruling puts the onus on the buyer to ask specific questions about a property, rather than a seller voluntarily disclosing sensitive info.

"There was no evidence (the seller) knew or should have expected that Ms. Shao would have a particular sensitivity to an event that had occurred two years earlier and that did not affect the quality of the house or its usefulness," Newbury wrote.

with files from CTV Vancouver 

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