This case was heard in the Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia.
The Duperes entered into an agreement to buy property from the Evanses. The buyers were aware that there had been some oil spillage on the property, and so the Agreement of Purchase and Sale included a condition stating that the vendors would obtain a certificate from an environmental assessor identifying the environmental condition of the property. The vendors obtained that certificate and the buyers moved forward with the purchase; however, after the buyers paid their deposit, the Department of Environment and Labour indicated that further testing would have to be done on the site before the Department could approve the environmental condition of the property. After learning this, the Duperes refused to go through with the closing, and they applied for the return of their deposit, arguing that the Evanses had either fraudulently or negligently misrepresented the property.
After considering the history of the transaction, the Court held that the Evanses had been neither fraudulent nor negligent, and that the property was not substantially different from what the Duperes believed they were purchasing. The Court therefore dismissed the Duperes’ claim.
To read about this case in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, go to Dupere v. Evans, 2006 NSSC 4 (CanLII).