Curriculum Guideline

Real Estate Law

Effective Date:
Course Code
BLAW 3770
Real Estate Law
Business Law
Commerce & Business Administration
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Weekly Distribution:

  • Lecture: 3 hours
  • Seminar: 1 hour
  • Total: 4 hours
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Lectures, videos, analysis of legal issues, discussion of legal cases, case assignments, and/or group activities.

Course Description
The emphasis of this course is the law relating to real property in British Columbia. Attention will be given to the entire process of the real estate transaction in British Columbia from the initial purchase and sale contract to the registration and protection of legal interests, including mortgages. Discussion will focus on the rights and duties of the parties typically involved in the purchase, sale and finance of real estate that arise primarily from the law of contract along with regulatory requirements set out by statute.

The course will also consider concepts relevant to the ongoing ownership and management of land such as principles of tort law that apply to real estate, the law of leasing from both a residential and a commercial perspective, the law relating to strata properties, as well as other legal issues such as expropriation, environmental considerations and taxation. Students who have already received credit for BUSN 3770 will not get further credit for this course.
Course Content
  1. Sources of real property law in British Columbia
  2. Estates in land (possessory interests)
    1. Fee simple estates
    2. Life estates
      1. The rule against perpetuities
      2. Reversions and remainders
      3. The doctrine of waste
    3. Leasehold estates
    4. Timesharing
    5. Aboriginal title
  3. Non-possessory interests in land
    1. Riparian rights
    2. Easements
    3. Restrictive covenants/building schemes
    4. Statutory rights of way
    5. Certificates of pending litigation
    6. Caveats
    7. Land (Spouse Protection) Act
    8. Builder's liens
    9. Profits a prendre
    10. Mineral leases
  4. Shared ownership
    1. Joint tenancy
      1. Right of survivorship
      2. Severance of joint tenancies
      3. Partition
    2. Tenancy in common
  5. Land Title Registration
    1. Overview of Land Title and Land Registry systems
    2. Registration of title and charges
    3. Nature of indefeasibility
    4. Qualifications to indefeasibility
    5. Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements
  6. Acquisition of title
    1. Acquisition of title by possession
    2. Transfer of title through gifts
    3. Fixtures and conversion
    4. Transfer of title through purchase and sale
  7. Contract of purchase and sale
    1. Common terms
    2. Closing procedures
      1. Undertakings
      2. Statements of adjustments
    3. Role of real estate agent
  8. Tax
    1. Property Transfer Tax
    2. Goods and Services Tax
    3. Property Tax
      1. Exemptions and deferments
      2. Assessment Act (including appeals of assessments)
  9. Expropriation
  10. Property insurance
    1. Typical forms and terms (including title insurance, and new home warranties)
    2. Role of insurance agents
  11. Mortgages
    1. Role of mortgage broker
    2. Equity of redemption
    3. Subsequent mortgages
    4. Remedies
      1. The personal covenant
      2. Taking possession
      3. Foreclosure (and redemption)
      4. Sale
  12. Real estate torts
    1. Trespass
    2. Occupier's liability
    3. Rylands v. Fletcher
    4. Nuisance
    5. Negligence
  13. Leases
    1. Essential and formal elements
      1. Residential Tenancy Act
      2. Commercial Tenancy Act
    2. Discrimination under Human Rights Code
    3. Terms of the lease
      1. Obligation of quiet possession
      2. Obligation of repair
      3. Damage deposits
      4. Calculation of rent
      5. Assignment and subleasing
      6. Force majeure
      7. Landlord protection regarding tenant bankruptcy
    4. Termination and remedies
      1. Statutory rights of termination on notice
      2. Repudiation
      3. Specific performance/injunction
      4. Eviction/right of re-entry
      5. Distress
      6. Damages calculation
      7. Mitigation
    5. Licences
    6. Land title registration issues (including use of short-form leases)
  14. Strata properties
    1. Governance of strata corporation
    2. Finances of strata corporation
  15. Environmental considerations
Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, successful students will be able to:

  • identify the sources of real estate law in British Columbia (common law, statute, and the Constitution);
  • set out the forms of possessory and non-possessory interests in real estate that are commonly recognized in British Columbia, including the manner in which those interests arise;
  • demonstrate understanding of the manner in which contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate are formed, particularly with respect to the use of conditions precedent and true conditions precedent;
  • determine the key rights and obligations of the parties (including real estate agents) in typical real estate purchase and sale transactions;
  • analyze the basic procedure and documentation involved in registering real estate interests with the Land Title Office, as well as the extent to which such registration may (and may not) provide the registrant with the right to exercise, enjoy, and enforce those interests;
  • describe the process of obtaining and securing mortgage financing as well as the remedies available to the mortgagor and mortgagee where the opposite party is in breach of the mortgage agreement;
  • demonstrate awareness of the key elements of tort law (both at common law and under statute) with respect to real estate activities, including the torts of trespass, Rylands v. Fletcher, occupier's liability, nuisance, and negligence;
  • explain the meaning of common terms contained in commercial and residential leases in BC, including the rights and remedies available to the parties; and
  • summarize the key features of the law relating to strata properties in BC.
Means of Assessment
Term examinations (2) 55-65%*
Final examination 30-35%
Class participation and/or assignments and/or quizzes  5-10%


*No one examination may be worth more than 40%  

Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.

Textbook Materials

Ziff, Bruce, Principles of Property Law, Latest edition (Carswell), or 

Any alternative textbook(s) approved by the Business Law Department, and

Additional cases and/or readings as per the Instructor's discretion.


BLAW 1320, or

enrolled in the PDD Business Law

Which Prerequisite