Does a purchaser have a right to resile from a contract of purchase and sale if the purchaser fails to complete the purchase at the agreed price?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Peier v. Cressey Whistler Townhomes Limited Partnership, 2011 BCSC 773 (CanLII):

In Gulston v. Aldred, 2011 BCCA 147, the court was faced with a similar issue. It had to determine whether an addendum to a contract of purchase and sale dealing with removal of an oil tank and remediation of soil was a condition that gave the purchaser a right to resile from the contract. In Gulston, as set out at para. 16, the relevant term required the seller, at her own expense, to “remedy the soil contamination caused by the underground oil storage tank in compliance with current environmental standards as overseen by the municipal authorities and obtain a certificate of approval from the municipal authorities on or before May 29, 2008.” The work to remedy the soil contamination was completed before May 29, 2008 but the certificate of approval was not obtained until June 4, 2008. As the date of completion approached, the purchaser took the position that the vendor was in breach by failing to obtain the certificate of approval in time, but did not treat the contract as at an end. Rather, he attempted to extend the completion date and vary a term of the contract that required him to pay the interest on bridge financing. Close to the completion date, the purchaser advised that he was not going to complete the purchase at the agreed price but would do so at a reduced price. When the purchaser failed to complete, the vendor sold the property to another purchaser at a reduced price and sued for damages.

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