Home buyers sue realtors, inspector

Renovations on the home, which sit unfinished.

A Fort St. John couple is suing a pair of real estate agents and a home inspector for a number of defects they allege were not disclosed to them about a home they purchased last fall.

Derrick and Jolene Laychuk filed a claim in B.C. Supreme Court May 26, alleging realtors Stacey Goode and Kimberley MacKay, along with home inspector Daniel Bastiaansen, were negligent and breached their duties during the sale of a home and acreage at 8831 Pine Road.

The Laychuks are seeking a number of damages and costs for breach of contract and professional duties, along with the cost of repairs and overpayment on the price they paid for the $575,000 home.

According to the claim, the couple enlisted both Goode and MacKay to purchase the home in October 2014, and the two agents also offered to sell off the Laychuk’s previous residence as part of the deal.

Goode and MacKay had purchased the Pine Road home in 2006, which Goode lived in until September 2014 before it was put up for sale, according to the claim.

However, the claim alleges Goode and MacKay answered ‘no’ to a number of items in the property disclosure statement that they ought to have known — from the acknowledgement of a rodent infestation, structural and water problems, roof damages and repairs, and problems with the home’s electrical, gas, and plumbing systems.

According to the claim, the Laychuks relied heavily on a home inspection conducted by Bastiaansen, who was hired by Goode and gave the house an overall good bill of health. The Laychuks allege Goode advised them against conducting their own independent inspection.

Soon after buying the house and moving in, the Laychucks say they learned the house’s roofing and walls were rotten, its foundation cracked and damaged in several places, the electrical and plumbing systems defective and improperly installed, and that the home was infested with rodents.

“… by acting as their real estate agents, and because the Plaintiffs reposed trust in them to provide good advice and information with respect to the Property, relied heavily on their advice, and were vulnerable to them,” the claim reads.

The Laychuks bought the home based on Bastiaansen’s report, and allege he breached his duty by failing to make note of the defects, and understated the condition of the home’s electrical system and roof conditions in his inspection.

They also allege that Goode and MacKay breached their professional duty by improperly valuing the home, initially listed at $579,900, misrepresenting its condition, and failing to advise them to get their own independent home inspection.

At the time this article was published, only Bastiaansen, who owns Protech Property Inspection, has filed a response to the claim.  A formal response from Goode and Mackay is expected in the next few weeks.

In the June 12 response, Bastiaansen denies any negligence or misrepresentation of the property, and that his inspection was done according to standard practices.

The response goes on to deny that Bastiaansen knew his report would be relied upon by third parties, and that any damages and losses were the result of negligence by the Laychuks and the realtors.

Earlier this month, a student-led online fundraising campaign was launched to help the Laychuks pay for the fixes after an out-of-province contractor began renovations and bailed on them without notice a short time later.

About $16,500, but the campaign has since been suspended.

According to the Go Fund Me campaign page, the Laychuks say they are facing foreclosure or bankruptcy on the home, and are moving into rental housing.