If you are buying a new home, it is very important that the listing Realtor produce the approved municipal building plans – And confirm the plan reflects what has actually been done.
Upon a closer look, if the two don’t in fact correspond, then alarm bells should start ringing.
SURREY B.C. – Home for sale has been removed from the market, as numerous complains sighting building violations have forced the home-owner to re-evaluate British Columbian building code standards.
If the seller has chosen to build without having the plans approved, this is illegal in British Columbia. Furthermore, becomes the liability new owner during the property transfer process.
This means that the buyer is in effect buying the property as it is, regardless of whether it conforms to the plans or not.
Should a building inspector ask to see the plans, he can obtain a court order requiring that you turn the building back to its original state at the owners expense, and you would be liable for legal costs as well. In serious cases, you could be fined or sent to prison.
Make Your Offer, Subject To Inspection
In British Columbia, if the home-owner were to sell the building, should these obvious abnormalities be overlooked, the buyer may insist on a verified building inspection prior to releasing subjects to an accepted offer. At which time, the buyer can then cancel the sale agreement.
If it is the case where a new home-owner or buyer has bought a property, only to find out later that it does not comply with the approved plans, it is essential the home-owner consult an architect or similar, to draft the schematics of the building as it is now today. Then, submit the plans “as built” plans to the municipality for approval.
Unfortunately, even the best of efforts cannot prevent being held liable or responsible for building repairs, and sometimes fine imposed by the municipality.
When owning a dwelling that does not comply with the B.C. approved building code or plans, parts of the property might designated for mandatory repairs to remain compliant.
Luckily the images of the most recent example in Surrey do not suggest a major renovation would be necessary. That being said, the listed single family rancher received no offers, not even from the Chinese buyers who are flooding the Canadian market.