New Changes Coming to Canadian Real Estate

Kim PhillipsReal Estate

It’s the New Year and there are many new rules and regulations coming into effect for 2023. Each of these new acts will impact Fraser Valley real estate, BC real estate and Canadian real estate as a whole. In this post, we will outline three of the major regulation changes that may impact you if you are thinking of buying or selling a home in British Columbia and beyond. This is just a quick overview, however, if you have additional concerns, our team is available to answer any questions you may have.

BC’s Home Buyer Rescission Period

The Home Buyer Rescission Period, commonly known as a “rescission period,” gives buyers the right to withdraw from a purchase agreement within three clear business days after an offer is accepted. Without a rescission period, if a buyer wishes to terminate an unconditional contract, they would need to negotiate with the seller and would typically face significant financial penalties or legal ramifications. 

The policy will apply to the following types of structures; detached homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, apartments in a duplex or other multi-unit dwellings, residential strata lots, manufactured homes that are affixed to land, and cooperative interests that include a right of use or occupation of a dwelling.

Buyers who exercise their right to rescind will have to pay a fee of 0.25% of the purchase price. For a $1,000,000 home, this would result in a $2,500 fee paid to the seller.

Prohibition on Rental and Age Restrictions in Strata Buildings

On November 24, 2022, the BC Government passed amendments to the Strata Property Act, which are now in full effect. There are two significant changes impact BC buyers and sellers:

  • All rental restriction bylaws are removed, except for bylaws restricting short-term rentals such as Airbnb or Vrbo
  • All age restriction bylaws are removed, with the exception of “seniors only” (55-plus) rules. This means that a strata will no longer be allowed to have 19-plus age restrictions. 

Other Amendments:

  • The Act also amended other portions of the Strata Act, such as bylaws within the Standard Schedule of Bylaws related to rental restrictions, and removed the requirement for strata corporations to confirm the number of strata lots rented on the Strata Form B.
  • Bill 44 also allows for electronic attendance (zoom) at an annual or special general meeting without needing a specific bylaw.

Foreign Buyer Ban

As of January 2023, non-Canadians will be banned from buying homes across Canada, through the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act. This Act prohibits non-citizens and non-permanent residents from purchasing residential property in Canada for two years.

Although it is uncertain, we anticipate exemptions will be put in place for recreational properties,

residential property located outside of a large urban center, vacant land where the land has been zoned for residential use or mixed use by municipal authorities within large urban centers, Indigenous peoples, international students on the path to permanent residency, individuals with work permits residing in Canada, individuals fleeing international crises and other vulnerable populations, and accredited members of foreign missions in Canada.

If you’re concerned that the foreign buyer ban may impact your ability to purchase, get in touch with our team first as there are many expected exemptions.

We’re Here to Help

The above information was obtained from British Columbia Real Estate Association and BC Financial Services Authority. Some information may change overtime as these regulations begin to be implemented. If you have questions about any of these changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for clarification and more information. 

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