A Victoria couple were ordered to pay more than $50,000 to the people they sold their property to almost four years ago after an underground oil storage tank (UST) was found despite an addendum in the contract stating they would remove any USTs from the property. (Black Press Media File Photo)

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

A Victoria pair has been ordered to pay $55,000 to the people who bought their home almost four years ago after an underground oil storage tank was found on the property

Christopher Warren and Antonia Warren were ordered by the B.C. Supreme Court to pay $44,774 in damages, plus $10,655 in litigation costs to William Walton and Nikolas Hill after the tank was removed from the Esquimalt property and the contaminated soil remediated.

READ ALSO: Esquimalt arsonist sentencing adjourned to allowing family time to plan

Walton and Hill bought the property in early 2016. They assert the Warrens breached the contract of purchase and sale by failing to remove the oil tank before the sale concluded.

Walton claimed their Realtor had warned them that many older homes in Victoria have buried oil tanks. Following her advice, they included an oil-tank addendum in the contract to protect them against any costs associated with removing it.

Two companies scanned the property for evidence of an underground oil storage tank and found none, and the contract was completed.

Two years later, the home’s basement flooded and required a new drain system. A contractor eventually discovered an underground oil storage tank on the property.

READ ALSO: Saanich aims to help homeowners dump their oil tanks for heat pumps

The plaintiffs paid $42,720 to remove the tank and remediate the soil. Walton and Hill were initially unable to pay the full sum on time and incurred carrying charges of $578.

Neither Christopher nor Antonia Warren claimed to have had any knowledge of a tank, and said they received a report stating there was none when they bought the property. A company scan also turned up no evidence.

“I accept that the defendants were surprised to learn of the underground oil storage tank on the property,” wrote Justice Heather MacNaughton in her reasons for judgment, which were posted online last week.

According to MacNaughton, the claim was not a complex one and revolved around the interpretation of the addendum. The Warrens argued it should be interpreted as only requiring them to remove and remediate any underground oil tank that was discovered prior to the contract’s completion date.

MacNaughton disagreed, stating the addendum was not “ambiguous” and required the defendants to remove “any” oil tank on the property.

“As an oil tank was discovered some years after the completion date, the defendants had not complied with the terms of the addendum on the completion date. They were in breach of the addendum,” she wrote.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Beaver Creek home hit by fire

Cause of the late night fire is still undetermined

BCHL: Bulldogs set to face Clippers in Round One of BCHL playoffs

Alberni Valley Bulldogs have won two out of eight games against Nanaimo this season

Maple Leafs alumni take over Alberni Valley Multiplex

Inclusion Cup raises funds for Port Alberni Association for Community Living

Coldest Night event raises $33K in Port Alberni

Elementary school students raise $445 with daytime walk

Juno-nominated teen singer from Port Alberni to appear on ‘American Idol’

Lauren Spencer-Smith up for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for ‘Unplugged, Vol. 1’

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read