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Wheels of Justice: Judge heads off $1 property sale

Wheels of Justice: Judge heads off $1 property sale

MONTREAL - Every month, Quebec judges and regulatory agencies issue dozens of rulings that, without making headlines, set the ground rules for business in Quebec.

Here are a few of the offbeat and/or consequential rulings rendered in recent weeks.

 

A bitter feud between brothers over a real-estate transaction ended with Superior Court Judge Dionysia Zerbisias annulling the transfer of a million-dollar-plus penthouse apartment in Montreal.

The price on the notarized deed of sale was $1.

The older brother on the receiving end claimed the deal was an “act of conscience” by his younger brother to compensate him for not receiving anything from the final estate of his father, who had labelled him “the black sheep of the family” and cut him out of the will prior to his death in 2007.

The brother who inherited the apartment from his father, and then leased it to his older brother, asked for the annulment on the grounds he’d been misled.

He said he received an offer of $1.1 million for the apartment in 2008, but his brother then offered him $1.2 million.

He told the court his brother wanted the deed to show $1 because the municipal evaluation was $400,000 lower so his “welcome tax” would be based on a lower figure.

Their understanding, confirmed before a notary who testified at the trial, was that the sale price was $1.2 million.

But the money was never paid. The younger brother subsequently learned the other brother had put the property up for sale, for $1.25 million, just four days after the deed was registered, and had been approached by the same buyers who made him the initial offer. That’s when he took legal action.

Judge Zerbisias said the older brother, who remained in the apartment but stopped paying taxes and condo fees that now exceed $67,000, is manipulative and malicious, has “an elastic notion of truth” and presented a version of events that was “inconsistent, illogical and unworthy of being believed.”

“By contradicting himself, (he) divests himself of any reasonable explanations as to why (his brother) would give him an apartment worth $1.2 million.”

As well as voiding the transfer, Judge Zerbisias awarded the younger brother costs of $282,882 to compensate for his sibling’s “abusive” use of legal proceedings.

pdelean@montrealgazette.com


Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Wheels+Justice+Judge+heads+property+sale/5916500/story.html#ixzz1iuoD9y7i