Local governments in British Columbia that regulate construction enjoy a high degree of individual autonomy. They may require that permits be obtained for work governed by their building regulations and that inspections be carried out. But they are not required to complete the permitting process or issue reports to homeowners and homebuyers on the status of issued permits. This results in a lack of critical information that can expose homebuyers to the kind of horror stories Selena Robinson has heard and spoken about publicly.
But homebuyers can’t rely on governments to protect the most valuable investment most will ever make. Nothing prevents listing and selling homes with incomplete/unaccepted inspections or notifying buyers of building permit status.
The lack of provincial oversight of building regulation requirements and local government inspection activities exposes homebuyers to potential building defects that may not become known for decades.
Local government officials have chosen to regulate building regulations in the public interest for the health, safety and protection of persons or property, not for the benefit of builders or sales agents.
Until homebuyers receive the information they need to make an informed decision, no amount of cooling off time will solve this problem.
David MacPhail, Maple Ridge
• LEARN MORE: Provincial government set to impose cooling-off period on real estate
• LEARN MORE: How many homebuyers think about looking for bamboo on the property?
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