All the new construction marketing hype has gotten me thinking: "are lifestyle promises a contract?"
Can you in fact come back to a developer and claim they didn't deliver what they promised?
The other night, we went for dinner to where we thought we were going to receive 5 star food with 5 star service. The place we chose made that claim. They had the 5 star rating on their website and advertising materials. They promised fresh food with ideal wine pairings. Let's just say they didn't deliver.
Now I know from having worked in luxury resorts in the past that promises lead to expectations. I know that when expectations aren't met that the customer is usually always right. I knew the other night that had I wanted to complain to a manager that the wait was too long, that the service was terrible, and that we didn't receive any bread with our meal, we could have at least received a discount on our meal if not a re-invitation to try them again on another night of our choosing, on the house.
We didn't complain. Instead we left upset that we'd wasted a considerable amount of money on a night that we tend to only permit ourselves once or twice a year. We won't go back and if anyone ever asks we'll tell them never to go there either.
So does this rule apply to real estate? If we make a purchase, say at Aquattro or at The Falls or any of the other myriad places that promise a new lifestyle with our luxury condo, what recourse exists for us when our expectations aren't met? Can we demand a discount, or our money back? I know that when I make a deposit I don't pay the remainder until closing. I also know that closing includes my satisfaction that the unit I purchased meets my expectations. I also know I can withhold payment until the work is completed to my satisfaction. Fair enough, we can do this with any property we buy.
But we didn't buy at Aquattro for the quality. Sure that was a part of it. But we got taken in by the promise of a stunning view of Mt.Baker over the city skyline. We expect our lives to be enhanced by neighbours without a care in the world. We expect our BMW to be the cheapest car in the secure underground parking lot. And we expect the weather to always be sunny and warm, the breeze to always be fresh and lightly scented with fresh blooming roses and the people who live in our building to be younger looking 50-somethings dressed for a ball or the spa; after all, that's what the marketing promised us.
Can I hold back some cash because my neighbours smoke, or they drive a Hyundai? Can I ask for my money back altogether because it rains in November, or the clouds block my view of Mt. Baker more often than not? Just asking is all...