Guidelines for Owner-Built Homes

Guidelines for Owner-Built Homes

Building Inspection Services

An Owner Builder is a person authorized by Licensing and Consumer Services (LCS) to build a new home for their personal use. Some owners wish to take on the responsibility of building their own home to save money. They may want to work with a contractor in some capacity and physically handle some of the work on their own or directly oversee all the skilled tradespeople.

Individuals wanting to be an Owner Builder of a new home are required to obtain an Owner Builder Authorization from the LCS and to pay a fee, prior to commencing construction of that new home. These requirements are in effect for all areas of British Columbia, regardless of whether building permits are required or not and are in keeping with amendments to the Homeowner Protection Act and regulation.

Buying or Selling an Owner-Built Home

An Owner Builder must occupy their new home themselves for at least one year after obtaining an occupancy permit and are not permitted to sell or rent the new home during that one-year period. An Owner Builder must provide prospective purchasers with an Owner Builder Declaration and Disclosure Notice within the first 10 years following occupancy.

Owner Builder Eligibility

As of July 4, 2016, all applicants for an Owner Builder Authorization will be required to meet Owner Builder Authorization eligibility criteria and pass an exam to evaluate their knowledge and understanding of home building basics. These regulatory changes were made by the Province after extensive consultation with industry representatives. The new requirements are designed to enhance professionalism in residential construction and increase consumer protection for buyers of new homes in British Columbia.

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