Complying with the Homeowner Protection Act

In BC, the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) is a provincial government agency that helps protect home buyers by:

  • overseeing compliance with the Homeowner Protection Act and the Homeowner Protection Regulation;
  • licensing residential builders;
  • administering owner-builder authorizations;
  • providing new home warranty information; and
  • offering resources such as a New Homes Registry database.

The Act, HPO and new homes

The Homeowner Protection Act requires all new homes built in BC to be built by a licensed residential builder and covered by home warranty insurance or have an approved exemption. Before a new and never occupied home can be legally offered for sale, a developer (owner) must be a licensed residential builder.

Owner-builders may qualify for an exemption from the mandatory residential builder licensing and home warranty insurance by being granted an Owner-Builder Authorization (OBA) by the HPO. To be granted this exemption, the owner-builder must:

  • be an individual and personally own the land and be the builder of the home (either directly or act as the general contractor);
  • own and occupy the home for at least 12 months after receiving a final occupancy permit or is granted an exemption by the     HPO, for example, due to death or divorce; or
  • provide an Owner-Builder Disclosure Notice, obtained through the HPO, to all potential buyers. Note: for 10 years after the   occupancy permit is issued, all subsequent owners must also provide the Owner-Builder Disclosure Notice to potential
  • buyers before they enter into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Check the New Homes Registry

Before listing a home, REALTORS® should perform due diligence by asking the builder or the owner:

  • Is the home currently under construction? Is it being built by a licensed residential builder?
  • Is the home new and has never been occupied? Was it built by a licensed residential builder or by an owner-builder?
  • Does the home have warranty insurance?
  • Is the home less than 10 years old?
  • Is the home more than 10 years old?

Homes registered with the HPO between July 1,1999 and November 19, 2007 to the present

This data is not in the registry. However, owner-builders who built their home before November 19, 2007 must provide prospective buyers with an Owner-Builder Declaration and Disclosure Notice within the first 10 years after occupancy. Contact the HPO at 1.800.407.7757 for advice and guidance.

Check the Public Registry of Residential Builders

This registry shows if an individual or company has a valid HPO licence and any other information about the licensee. The registry is available at: www.hpo.bc.ca/public-registry-residential-builders

HPO

Homeowner Protection Act and Regulations: www.hpo.bc.ca/acts-regulations

New Homes Registry: www.hpo.bc.ca/public-registry-residential-builders

Public Registry of Residential Builders: www.hpo.bc.ca/public-registry-residential-builders

HPO online portal for licensed residential builders: https://lims.hpo.bc.ca/LIMSPortal/LRBPortal/

Regulatory guides: www.hpo.bc.ca/regulatory-bulletins

Resources for homeowners: www.hpo.bc.ca/homeowners

Resources for home buyers: www.hpo.bc.ca/homebuyers

Videos: www.hpo.bc.ca/homeowners#maintenance

Webinar workshops: www.constructivehomesolutions.com/BCBECWindows/story.html

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