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March 2016

How holding companies may be beneficial to businesses

Opening one's own business is a dream for some. People who decide to follow this dream often put a lot on the line to do so. If the business does not perform as expected, financial problems could arise. Depending on the specific situation, those problems could financially decimate those behind the business. This outcome may be eliminated, or at least minimized, through proper planning. One method that may be employed to protect the assets of a business is to create a holding company. If the assets of the business are owned by a holding company, and leased to an operating company that carries out the business, then the failure of the business does not mean the assets are at risk.

Resolving strata disputes

Your strata neighbour plays music in the pool area, despite a no-music bylaw, and your unit looks out on the pool area. What should you do? When disputes arise between strata lot owners, there are several avenues available to bring about a resolution. 1. Informal discussions frequently lead to a resolution. A member of the strata council may agree to act as intermediary in the discussions. 2. If not, a formal hearing placed on the agenda of a strata council meeting could be the next step. Such a meeting must be requested in writing, and must be held within four weeks of the request. If a decision is reached by the council, a written decision must be provided to the owner who sought the hearing within one week of the meeting.

Inconsistent actions by landlord free tenant from future rents

A tenant's default creates alternative remedies for a landlord, and landlords must be clear and consistent in choosing the remedy that best protects their interests. A recent BC case emphasizes the pitfalls that await landlords who fail to do so. In Stearman v. Powers, the tenant had stopped paying rent and a month later vacated the premises, telling the landlord that he was terminating the lease due to alleged defaults in the premises (these alleged defaults were later rejected by the court). The landlord did not accept this termination and sued the tenant in Small Claims Court for each month's rent. 

Understanding a division i proposal

Corporate insolvency does not necessarily lead to bankruptcy. There are other options that may be explored to restructure the business and keep it alive. One such option is a Proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. There are many reasons why this approach could be advantageous to a business as well as its creditors. First and foremost it provides a company with the opportunity to address financial issues and continue in business, avoiding the need for bankruptcy. For the business, such a proposal gives the opportunity to repay only a portion of its debts, including tax liabilities.

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