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BC brings in anti-flipping legislation

The BC NDP government has followed through on a February 2024 budget promise and introduced legislation to tax home flipping, beginning in 2025.

Bill 15 2024: Budget measures implementation (Residential Property (Short-term holding) Profit Tax) Act, known as the home flipping tax, applies to income from the sale of a property, including presale contracts, in BC if the property was owned for less than 730 days.

Types of properties

The tax will apply to income earned from the sale of:

  • residential properties with a housing unit;

  • properties zoned for residential use; and

  • the right to acquire properties, such as the assignment of a purchase contract for a pre-build condo building.

Presale contracts

If your client enters into a presale contract to buy a property under development, and buys the property – they close on the property once it is complete, for the purposes of the two-year window of the tax – they’ll be considered to have acquired it on the date they entered into the presale contract.

If your client is assigned a pre-sale contract and then closes on the built property, the acquisition date is the date they were assigned the contract.

When your client assigns a presale contract to another person within two years of entering into the presale contract, they’ll pay tax on any income received from the assignment.

Tax amount

The tax applies to:

  • individuals or companies selling property; and

  • net taxable income from the sale of taxable property that was owned for less than 730 days.

The tax is:

  • 20 per cent tax on profits of homes sold within a year of purchase.

  • 10 per cent if sold after 18 months.

  • Not applied if your client sells after two years.

Key dates

The tax is effective on January 1, 2025. Residential property bought before this date may be subject to the tax if sold on or after January 1, 2025 and owned for less than 730 days unless an exemption applies.

For example:

  • If your client purchased a property on May 1, 2023, and sold the property on January 31, 2025, income earned from the sale of the property would be taxable.

  • If your client decided not to sell the property until June 1, 2025, then income earned from the sale would not be subject to the tax since your client owned the property for more than 729 days.

The property seller may be a BC resident or a resident anywhere else in the world.

Exemptions

There are exemptions for:

  • life circumstances including separation or divorce, death, disability or illness, relocation for work, involuntary job loss, a change in household membership, personal safety, or insolvency; and

  • those adding to the supply of housing or engaging in real estate development and construction.

The tax doesn’t apply to Indigenous Nations, charities, governments and government-owned corporations, and non-profits.

Primary residence deduction

If your client sells their primary residence and they owned the property for less than 730 days, they may qualify for a deduction of up to $20,000 from their taxable income if:

  • they owned the property for at least 365 consecutive days before they sold it; or

  • the property includes a housing unit that they lived in as their primary residence while they owned it.

If your client sells a portion of their interest in the property, their primary residence deduction amount will be proportionate to that interest.

More information available

The Ministry of Finance has provided more details on their website, including how the tax is calculated and additional examples related to pre-sales.

Note: the BC home flipping tax is NOT the federal property flipping rule, which is a separate federal tax.

Questions?

If you have questions about the BC flipping tax, contact Harriet Permut, director of government relations at hpermut@gvrealtors.ca

Learn more

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Increased seller activity is giving buyers more choice this spring

The number of Metro Vancouver1 homes listed for sale on the MLS® rose nearly 23 per cent year-over-year, providing more opportunity for buyers looking for a home this spring.

Sales

The Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR)2 reports that residential sales3 in the region totalled 2,415 in March 2024, a 4.7 per cent decrease from the 2,535 sales recorded in March 2023. This was 31.2 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (3,512).

Listings

There were 5,002 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in March 2024. This represents a 15.9 per cent increase compared to the 4,317 properties listed in March 2023. This was 9.5 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (5,524).

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,552, a 22.5 per cent increase compared to March 2023 (8,617). This is 6.3 per cent above the 10-year seasonal average (9,923).

GVR Stats Package for March 2024

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March home sales growth off last month’s pace, but supply still building in the Fraser Valley

SURREY, BC –Home buyers in the Fraser Valley have more choice heading into the spring market with inventory levels for March at the highest they’ve been in the past five years.

However, March sales were slower than anticipated with 1,395 transactions recorded on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listings Service® (MLS®), a 13 per cent increase over February, but still 31 per cent below the 10-year average. Sales were the second lowest recorded for a March in a decade. Active listings were 6,197, up by 11 per cent over last month and by 37 per cent over March 2023.

FVREB Stats Package for March 2024

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Short-Term Rental Changes #571

In an effort to increase the supply of long-term residential housing, the BC Government has introduced the Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act) which will have substantive effects on many individual homeowners.

In brief, the legislative changes include:

  1. Limiting short-term rentals to the host’s principal residence plus one secondary suite or accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in most major BC communities (populations of 10,000 or more or adjacent communities) effective on May 1, 2024.

  2. Empowering regional districts to license short-term rentals located outside municipalities.

  3. Data sharing from short-term rental platforms is required to monitor and enforce the rules.

  4. Removal of legal non-conforming use or grandfathering of historical short-term rental use.

  5. Creation of a provincial registry for short-term rentals and a compliance and enforcement unit.

These rules exclude hotels, motels, strata hotels, timeshares, fishing lodges, First Nations reserve lands, and modern treaty lands (unless those First Nations opt in).

Importantly, the new rules serve as a baseline for the province, but they do not supplant stricter municipal restrictions; for example, the City of Kelowna has recently removed short-term rentals as a secondary use for all zones.

The new legislation will affect real estate across British Columbia. Here are some common questions from REALTORS® across the province:

Q: How do we advise clients who currently own short-term rental accommodations?

A: Clients should be aware that the new provincial Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act will come into force as of May 1, 2024. This Act is in addition to any municipal rules and strata bylaws that already apply. Clients should examine whether their use complies with the new law.

Q: I have a listing in a small or resort municipality; how do I know if the new short-term rental accommodations principal residence requirement applies here?

A: There are several exemptions: small and resort municipalities, mountain resort and electoral areas (including the Gulf Islands), and most municipalities with a population under 10,000 people (except those adjacent to larger municipalities; e.g., Highlands, Belcarra, Anmore, Qualicum Beach, Peachland). Small exempt municipalities, which are initially exempt from the principal residence requirement in the legislation, may opt in. Realtors should check the list of included and exempted municipalities as part of their due diligence (see the full list here).

Q: How do I advise buyers looking to purchase short-term rental accommodations?

A: The current housing shortage in British Columbia is prompting governments at all levels to respond in various ways. Clients should be aware that laws are constantly changing, and current permitted uses may change. Buyers looking to purchase short-term accommodations should be aware that a number of laws have been recently amended to address the housing shortage, including local bylaws, provincial laws (e.g., Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act, Speculation and Vacancy Tax, etc.), and federal laws (e.g., Foreign Buyers Ban, Underused Housing Tax, etc.), which may affect their intended and future uses. REALTORS® should draft specific subject conditions to allow buyers to do the legal due diligence necessary to determine if the target property will support short-term rental use.

Q: One of my clients purchased a pre-sale condo and intends to use it for short-term rentals. With the introduction of the legislation, do they now have a new right of rescission for a material change after their initial 7-day recission right has passed?

A: This will depend on the nature of the pre-sale condo development, the contract, and the disclosure statement applicable for that unit. Developers are required to provide continuous and accurate disclosure, and affected buyers should be advised to seek immediate legal advice specific to their situation.

Q: If I am listing a property that is currently a short-term rental, do I need to disclose the change in the law?

A: The change in law has been published and advertised by the government; therefore, this would not be considered to be a material latent defect and would not require separate Rule 59 disclosure. There may be practical reasons that a REALTOR® and a client may choose to provide this as prudent additional disclosure (for example, to ensure a smooth closing); however, this should only be done with your client's specific direction.

Q: A local strata building wants to petition the mayor to “opt-out” of these provisions. Are they able to do so?

A: While the legislation has “opt-out” mechanisms for local government where the rental vacancy rate is 3 per cent or higher for two or more years, these provisions are limited and only apply to a geographic area, not a specific building or parcel. There is no mechanism in the legislation for a single property or building to be exempted, even if the local government desires this. 

These legislative changes will affect buyers, sellers, strata corporations, and developers differently depending on each client's unique circumstances. As these are general guidelines only, REALTORS should ensure that their clients obtain legal advice specific to their respective clients' circumstances.

More information on how these changes affect BC's real estate is available from BCREA and BC Financial Services Authority.

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Ethics Guy®: Cancelling listings

Listing and buyer agency contracts are terms we use so often we may not give them much thought. But it’s important to remember that they are contracts. The words in them have meaning, and describe the rights and obligations of the parties. Our familiarity with them may, just sometimes, lead us to forget what they mean or take them for granted. That’s a risk, as we all know. 

Take a listing contract, for example. The parties to that contract are the seller and your brokerage, not you. You’re appointed as the designated agent for the seller. 

Your managing broker, as the representative of the corporate entity known as your brokerage, “owns” the listing. This means your managing broker has complete discretion, by virtue of the brokerage policy manual and your independent contractor agreement, to decide what to do with the listing contract should a seller demand it be cancelled. Ditto for a buyer agency contract.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you’ve tried, there isn’t a buyer willing to come to your seller’s party. Despite the advertising, showings, and all the other work you’ve done, there’s no buyer knocking on the seller’s door.

"That can be frustrating for the seller, not to mention to you and your bank account. Sometimes, this can lead to a frayed agent-seller relationship. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the seller will tell you they want the listing contract cancelled so they can try their luck with someone else."

That’s understandable, but there’s no early cancellation of contract language in either the standard listing form or buyer agency contract. This means the seller can’t cancel you without your (more technically, your managing broker’s) consent, and you can’t cancel your seller (or buyer) without their consent. 

As you can imagine, we don’t often hear from sellers or buyers who are unhappy that their agent is trying to cancel them.

When we do hear from sellers, the conversation often goes like this: “I want to cancel my listing, but your member won’t cancel it.”

We point out they’re in a contract with the brokerage and suggest they speak to your managing broker. We sometimes add that Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR) isn’t a party to the contract and therefore, can’t cancel it. Feathers can get ruffled.

What are the options? Let’s take a look. (A GVR managing broker suggested I write about this topic.)

First, if you and your managing broker agree to it, the listing can be cancelled. Maybe you have good business reasons for saying goodbye. But you don’t have to cancel it early if you don’t want to. A refusal to cancel isn’t usually grounds for a professional conduct complaint—although the underlying reason for the cancellation demand might be. That’s a discussion for another day.

Which brings me to the two types of cancellation.

The first is a “standard” cancellation of listing contract. The standard form contains a clause saying that if the property sells after the cancellation, your right to collect the commission, as specified in the listing contract, remains alive until 60 days passes or the original contract expires, whichever comes first. If the seller really doesn’t want to sell and wishes to take the property off the market, then this clause shouldn’t concern them. Process the cancellation and move on. 

The second type of listing cancellation is an “unconditional release,” which means exactly what it says. When signed, you and the seller no longer have any rights or obligations under that contract. It’s dead and buried, which may be something you want.  

"But consider this: signing an unconditionally released contract means there’s no going back to claim a commission. This would be a pain if a buyer's agent had shown your listing with that buyer and later contracts with the seller directly to make a deal. It’s possible the buyer agent could want you to go after your seller for a commission, which you have now unconditionally waived. A tad messy, no? Think about this before you consider giving someone an unconditional release of listing."

There's a third option if your seller client is unhappy. If you agree to part company but don’t want to extinguish your rights under the listing contract by unconditionally releasing (or cancelling) it, you could offer the seller a “transfer of listing.”

With such a transfer, you agree to transfer a live listing contract to someone else, without affecting the rights of the parties. When I was a broker, I pushed for a transfer rather than an unconditional release, all day long. It’s up to you and your client (and the transferee brokerage) whether you negotiate a fee of some kind in return for agreeing to a transfer.

Top tip: Size does, indeed, matter

A longtime member writes: “[Here’s] something to address in your articles: I’m not sure if this might cause a legal issue if someone wanted to pursue it. Writing on a contract or subject removal that has a font so small it takes a magnifying glass to read it. This means a REALTOR® can’t read it with the naked eye, [nor can] the client and, at completion, a lawyer/notary. I’m seeing this more and more. Trying to stuff everything on one page on WEBForms just keeps shrinking the font to unreadable levels. I currently received a subject removal that had to be magnified to the max to barely read it.”

Kim's comment:

Vanity stopped me from getting reading glasses for many years before I finally gave in and bought some. Now I have a pair of cheap readers in every place I sit. If you do the same it means you never lose your glasses because you take them off and put them down as you leave your chair, confident that you’ll have the use of another pair in all the different places you sit, as you read something.

Notwithstanding that great plan, I still end up in situations where I am squinting at a screen or a page, trying to figure out what it says. That might be okay when choosing a movie to stream, but it isn’t okay when you’re helping clients with a contract involving big life decisions, like moving homes.

So in answer to this member, I’d say, I hear you. It’s annoying to see text reduced in size to fit into a form field. It’s not only annoying, it’s a liability risk for all concerned, including you. For members who haven’t yet reached an age where they’re reminded everyday that their eyes aren’t what they once were, can I suggest on behalf of the member, please do your clients, your colleagues, and someone’s else’s clients a favour. Make your font size big enough to read without an electron microscope.

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Find reports, housing data, and more on GVR’s new Economics Web App

Are you looking for housing statistics you can share with your clients? How about reports and market forecasts?

Then you need to check out Greater Vancouver REALTORS®’ (GVR) new Economics Web App at economics.gvrealtors.ca. You can also access it under the Market Watch section at gvrealtors.ca.

Using this app, you can find everything the GVR Economics team produces all in one spot, including:

 We’ll be adding new content and features regularly, so be sure to bookmark the page and check back often.

Take a look around and let us know what you think!

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Home sellers active, bring much-needed inventory to housing market

While Metro Vancouver1 home sellers appeared somewhat hesitant in January, new listings rose 31 per cent year-over-year in February, bringing a significant number of newly listed properties to the market.

Sales

Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR)2 reports that residential sales3 in the region totalled 2,070 in February 2024, a 13.5 per cent increase from the 1,824 sales recorded in February 2023. This was 23.3 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (2,699).

"While the pace of home sales started the year off briskly, the pace of newly listed properties in January was slower by comparison. A continuation of this pattern in February would have been concerning, as it could quickly tilt the market towards overheated conditions. With new listings up about 31 per cent year-over-year in February, this will relieve some of the pressure that was building in January and offer buyers more choice as we enter the spring and summer markets." - Andrew Lis, REBGV director of economics and data analytics

Listings

There were 4,560 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in February 2024. This represents a 31.1 per cent increase compared to the 3,478 properties listed in February 2023. This was 0.2 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average (4,568).

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,634, a 16.3 per cent increase compared to February 2023 (8,283). This is three per cent above the 10-year seasonal average (9,352).

View the GVR Stats Package for February 2024


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Sales, listings continue to pick up heading into spring

SURREY, BC – Home sales in the Fraser Valley posted a second consecutive bump in February as new listings continue to rise and trend slightly above the 10-year seasonal average.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board recorded 1,235 transactions on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a 32 per cent increase over January but still 21 per cent below the 10-year average for sales in the region. New listings increased to 2,797 in February, up 18 per cent from January and 4 per cent above the 10-year average.

“There is somewhat of a buzz in the market right now,” said Narinder Bains, Chair of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. “We are seeing new listings come onto the market and REALTORS® continue to see more traffic at open houses, however buyers are still exercising caution. We aren’t out of the woods just yet, but the signs are pointing to a further increase in activity as we head into spring.”

Active listings in February were 5,561, up by 14 per cent over last month and up by 26 per cent over February 2023. With a sales-to-active listings ratio of 22 per cent, overall market conditions are edging into a seller’s market. The market is considered balanced when the ratio is between 12 per cent and 20 per cent.

“All indications suggest we will see the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate begin to decrease mid-year, which is encouraging for buyers and sellers,” said FVREB CEO Baldev Gill. “With that confidence and the spring market on the horizon, we recommend anyone looking to buy or sell to seek the knowledge and guidance of a professional REALTOR® who can provide detailed analysis and intimate knowledge of the local market.”

The average number of days homes are spending on the market is dropping, with single-family detached homes spending 35 days on the market, down from 44 days in January, apartments spending 29 days on the market, down from 41 days in January and townhomes moving more quickly at 28 days, down from 33 days on the market in January.

After six months of decreases, overall Benchmark prices posted a slight bump in February, edging up 0.9 per cent from January and up 4.8 per cent over February 2023.

View the FVREB Stats Package for February 2024

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Legally Speaking | From Foundation to Finish - Understanding the Nuances of Owner-Built Homes for REALTORS® #570

Buyers may be unaware of the differences between purchasing a newly built home from:

  • a developer, subject to the provisions of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act;

  • a residential builder licensed with the Homeowner Protection Office; or

  • an owner-builder under an Owner Builder Disclosure Notice.

There are different benefits and pitfalls for buyers and for REALTORS® in dealing with each of these three categories of sellers. Additionally, there are different considerations for REALTORS® when dealing with each of these categories of builder or homeowner.

This article will focus on considerations for REALTORS® acting for buyers or sellers of homes built and sold by owner-builders. A good starting point for all REALTORS® is reading the provisions of the Homeowner Protection Act and Regulation, and the Regulatory Bulletin on Buying or Selling an Owner-Built Home.1

To sell an owner-built home, the owner-builder must obtain an occupancy permit and then occupy the house for at least one year. The owner-builder cannot list, sell, or rent the new home during that one-year period unless they have obtained BC Housing’s permission to do so on account of hardship.

If less than ten years have elapsed since the date of the occupancy permit, the owner-builder must give any prospective buyer an Owner Builder Disclosure Notice before entering into an agreement for the sale of the home. BC Housing will not release the Owner Builder Disclosure Notice if less than a year has passed since the occupancy permit.

Note that anyone who buys an owner-built home, but then re-sells it within the ten-year period, is still required to provide the Owner Builder Disclosure Notice.

The Land Title Office notifies BC Housing any time the title to an owner-built home is transferred. BC Housing can take enforcement action against the seller if the sale happens without following the letter of the law. Such enforcement action can include compliance orders, monetary penalties, convictions under the Homeowner Protection Act, etc.

When listing a home within ten years of the date of the occupancy permit, a REALTOR® will want to inquire whether an owner-builder originally built the house and if at least one year has passed since the date of the occupancy permit. If so, the Owner Builder Disclosure Notice must be given to any prospective buyers before entering into any agreement to sell the home. Listing the home for sale prior to the expiry of the one-year period or failing to provide the Owner Builder Disclosure Notice, can have significant BC Financial Services Authority disciplinary consequences for the seller’s agent2 and can give rise to potential civil liability to the buyer and/or seller.

If the home was built by a licensed residential builder, a REALTOR® may wish to confirm with the Homeowner Protection Office that the builder’s licence is still active and that there is valid warranty coverage for the home.

Similarly, when representing buyers interested in purchasing a relatively newly built home, REALTORS® should request documents related to the identity of the builder of the home and any warranty policy that might apply.

Interested buyers can check the status of a new home in the New Homes Registry at bchousing.org. The registry provides information for homes built on or after November 19, 2007, such as whether a licensed residential builder built the home and has a policy of home warranty insurance; or whether it was built without warranty insurance under an exemption such as an Owner Builder Authorization.

An owner-builder’s obligations to a subsequent buyer are similar to those of a licensed residential builder under a 2-5-10 home warranty insurance policy.3 However, a licensed residential builder’s warranty insurance policy is underwritten by an insurance company. Unless the owner-builder has specifically purchased such coverage with an insurance company, an owner-builder is liable personally and directly to subsequent buyers of the owner-built home for defects that a 2-5-10 home warranty insurance policy would have covered. Such personal liability might be difficult to enforce if the owner-builder no longer resides in BC, has no assets to cover any judgment made against them, or has died.

When purchasing a home built by a licensed residential builder, a buyer will likely want to know whether the builder’s licence is still active, and the expiry dates and terms of the warranty coverage. A buyer may also wish to know if any outstanding warranty claims made by the seller have not yet been resolved. REALTORS® will want to discuss these issues with buyers early on in the process to allow adequate opportunity to investigate and/or negotiate suitable terms.

Don’t forget homes built in the last ten years or so can raise additional issues for consideration before listing and/or entering into a Contract for Purchase and Sale. The ten-year deadline usually starts from the date of the occupancy permit, which can sometimes be years after the home was substantially built. The Homeowner Protection Office is a good start for any inquiries. Licensees may also wish to take the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s course on the Homeowner Protection Act and to review  BC Financial Services Authority’s Knowledge Base article on this topic.


 1.BC Housing Regulatory Bulletin, Buying or Selling an Owner-Built Home.
 2.Please refer to the following cases and Legally Speaking issues:
https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcrec/doc/2017/2017canlii92500/2017canlii92500.html
/legally-speaking/owner-builders-liable-for-poor-construction-489/
https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcrec/doc/2018/2018canlii98908/2018canlii98908.html
https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcrec/doc/2018/2018canlii126969/2018canlii126969.html
https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcrec/doc/2019/2019canlii37495/2019canlii37495.html
 3.https://www.bchousing.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/Regulatory-Bulletin-03-2-5-10-Year-Home-Warranty-Insurance.pdf


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Ethics Guy®: Strata documentation and privacy

Recently, questions from members about strata documentation have focused on whether the information is private, and if so, what the requirements are for keeping it private.   

Let’s first take a moment to cite the standards relating to strata documents: 

Rules of Cooperation 

Rule 6.04 – Strata Properties  

Unless otherwise instructed by the seller in writing,” members shall, “at the time of taking the listing obtain current relevant strata corporation documents including but not limited to two (2) years of strata council minutes and strata corporation minutes, registered strata corporation by-laws, financial statements, registered strata plans, and information concerning special assessments, either proposed or levied.”  

In part (b) it says, “Unless otherwise instructed by the seller in writing, the Listing Brokerage shall, upon request by a Cooperating Brokerage after the seller and buyer have an accepted Contract of Purchase and Sale, provide to the Cooperating Brokerage current relevant strata corporation documents including but not limited to those documents referred to in (a) above and a current Information Certificate (Form “B”).” 

Part( c) says, “In the event that the Listing Brokerage has received written instructions from the seller not to provide all or some of the documents described in (a) and (b) above to buyers and Cooperating Brokerages, a notation to that effect must be included in the REALTOR® Remarks, and, where the seller is not providing such information directly to buyers and Cooperating Brokerages, the Listing Brokerage shall provide written authority from the seller to the Cooperating Brokerage to obtain the Form “B” and other pertinent information directly from the strata corporation. The responsibility for the cost of these documents should be detailed in the appropriate condition clause in the Contract of Purchase and Sale.” 

Rule 3.12 – Consent to Post Documents to the MLS® System 

All Members are responsible for ensuring that prior to posting any documents to the MLS® System, they have secured all the necessary consents to that information being posted.” 

The Rule goes on to say in part (b), that unless otherwise instructed by the seller in writing, “a copy of the registered strata plan must be posted by the Listing Brokerage to the MLS® System as an associated document within 24 hours of the listing becoming active on the MLS® System.”  

And further, the Rule says, “Where written instructions have been received from the seller not to post the required document(s) under (a) or (b) above, a copy of the seller’s written direction must be posted by the Listing Brokerage to the MLS® System as an associated document within 24 hours of the listing becoming active on the MLS® System.” 

The Personal Information Protection Act, Strata Property Act and Real Estate Services Act are also relevant. 

Member questions on privacy relate to: 

  • how private the information is in strata docs; 

  • whether members are supposed to keep the information private; and  

  • given that members are required to obtain consents to post documents in the MLS® system, does this mean strata councils can withhold that permission? 

These are good questions, indeed.  

“Personal information” and whether there is any in the strata documents is something to ponder.  

There’s nothing private about some of the strata documents; for example, the registered strata plan and bylaws are posted in a government registry accessible by anyone, anywhere, with the help of a credit card, a mouse, and the Internet. 

"Not exactly private, n’est pas? So, no, a strata couldn’t instruct that these types of documents cannot be posted. However, documents containing someone’s personal information that identifies them as an individual are a different matter. "

With these, you must be careful not to post or distribute them unless: 

  • required by our standards (see Rule 6.04), or  

  • you have obtained the necessary consents to post them under Rule 3.12.  

The Personal Information Protection Act generally expects that someone’s personal information will be treated with care and kept private, unless consent has been given to reveal it.  

For example, strata council meeting minutes and any information in them that would identify an individual owner. Remember, the Personal Information Act applies only to an individual’s personal information, not to the strata corporation’s information. If in doubt, check with your client and your managing broker. 

As a general rule, do not post as associated documents strata documents containing someone’s personal information. 

Please note: While sellers’ agents are required by Rule 6.04 to make a slew of strata documents available to buyers’ agents, part (b) specifically states this information must be provided only after an accepted contract is in place. Again, that is because some of these documents may contain an individual’s personal information.  

In summary, posting some strata documents, for example a strata plan/bylaws/rules and regulations as associated documents, is a good way to manage risk. Privacy considerations shouldn’t be an issue because these documents are already public. Personal information identifying someone is private. Treat it with care.  

Top tip

This from a member, perhaps better described as a Realtor rant: 

“Who do I talk to about lazy Realtors and their lack of info on the MLS® system?  

"Time and time again I look to see what pet restrictions are in place for stratas when I have a buyer with, say, a large dog. Some Realtors don’t mention anything in restrictions. Others put a ‘yes’ or even ‘one dog and one cat.’ When I phone, text, or Touchbase asking if there’s a pet size restriction, I typically get, ‘I don’t know, I’ll send you the bylaws.’ “I then ask, ‘Didn’t you read the bylaws?’ And (point out that), ‘If you did, simply put the restrictions on size or whatever in Realtor comments.’” 

“These folks are wasting their colleague’s time and are (in my opinion) lazy. Do your job members, and READ the strata docs and then share pertinent info in the listing! 

“Whew, rant over. But can’t we make Realtors do their jobs?”  

When I read this, I thought, “It’s a bit blunt,” and I wondered if I should tone the language down a little, but decided not to. It’s a good question to ask ourselves.

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What’s in BC Budget 2024 for property buyers and owners?

Affordable housing was the top priority in BC Budget 2024 and the government plans to make significant capital commitments to get middle-income earners into market homes and provide more supports and protections for renters.

Here are the highlights for property buyers, renters, and small business.

Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

The first-time homebuyers’ exemption

Effective April 1, 2024, the threshold is increased from $500,000 to $835,000, with the first $500,000 exempt from property transfer tax. The phase out range is $25,000 above the threshold, with the complete elimination of the exemption at $860,000. 

The newly built home exemption threshold

This threshold now eliminates the PTT for eligible first-time home buyers on new homes up to $1,100,000 from the previous $750,000. The phase out range is $50,000 above the threshold, with the complete elimination of the exemption at $1,150,000 for qualifying newly built homes. 

New purpose-built rental buildings

Buyers of new qualifying purpose-built rental buildings will be exempt from the PTT starting January 1, 2025 and ending December 31, 2030. This exemption builds on the further two per cent property transfer tax exemption for new purpose-built rentals announced in Budget 2023 and the rental housing revitalization tax exemption provided in Budget 2018. 

PTT exemptions dates

  • Increase threshold for first time home buyers’ exemption – begins April 1, 2024.

  • Increase threshold for newly built home exemption – begins April 1, 2024.

  • Enhanced exemption for new purpose-built rental buildings – begins January 1, 2025 and ends December 31, 2030.

The government estimates these new PTT exemption thresholds will save homebuyers about $8,000 and British Columbians over $100 million annually, and up to 14,500 homebuyers – twice as many as before – will now be eligible for the PTT exemption.

PTT revenue growth is expected to average 8.6 per cent annually over the next two years.

Note: For more than two decades, Greater Vancouver REALTORS® have been advocating for changes to the PTT, meeting with politicians and providing submissions each year. Government has finally listened. 

Flipping tax

The government is bringing in a new flipping tax, effective January 1, 2025, on the profit made from selling a residential property, including a presale assignment, within two years of buying it.

The rate is 20 per cent within the first year of purchase, declining to zero between 366 and 730 days. The tax will not apply to land or portions of land used for non-residential purposes.

There are exemptions for

  • those adding to the supply of housing or engaging in real estate development and construction

  • life circumstances including separation or divorce, death, disability or illness, relocation for work, involuntary job loss, a change in household membership, personal safety, or insolvency

In addition to these exemptions, individuals selling their primary residence within two years of purchase can exclude a maximum of $20,000 when calculating their taxable income.

The government estimates the tax would generate $44 million in revenue in the 2025/2026 fiscal year, which is slated for affordable housing.

Source: BC Budget 2024, page 66.

BC Builds and supporting renters

BC Builds, launched in February 2024, includes $198 million over three years and leverages government-owned, public, and underused land, and low-cost financing to bring down construction costs and deliver more middle-class rental and market housing.

Secondary suites

Forgivable loans up to $40,000 for homeowners to build and rent secondary suites below market rates to quickly increase affordable rental supply.

Renter tax credit

An annual income-tested tax credit of up to $400 per year for renters.

Zoning and permitting

Allowing small-scale, multi-unit affordable housing including townhomes, duplexes, and triplexes through zoning changes and proactive partnerships.

Streamlining permitting to reduce costs and speed up approvals to get homes built faster.

Short-term rentals

Strengthening enforcement of short-term rental regulation.

Electricity tax credit

A new, one year electricity affordability credit for all households, regardless of income starting in April 2024. Households will save on average $100 a year on their electricity bills.

Commercial and industrial customers will receive savings of about 4.6 per cent based or about $400 on their 2023/24 electricity bills.

Climate change and climate action

More than $1 billion in new spending measures to help protect British Columbians from the effects of climate change and build a greener economy.

The Climate Action Tax Credit increases to $1,005 per year for families up to four persons, up from $890 last year. Individuals will receive $504 compared to $447 last year. Start date is in July 2024. 

Small business

There is $100 million in relief for the employer health tax, including the  continuation of the venture capital tax credit, and the expansion of the interactive digital media tax credit.

Deficit and debt

The government estimates this years’ deficit at $5.914 billion rising to $7.773 billion by 2026.

The total debt will rise from $103 billion to $123 billion in 2024-25.

More information

Read the BC Government news release on BC Budget 2024.

Read Budget BC 2024 Highlights regarding housing.

Read the BC 2024 Budget speech.

Visit the BC Budget 2024 website.

Read BC Budget 2024 (opens a 170-page pdf).

If you have questions about the BC Budget, contact Harriet Permut, director of government relations at hpermut@gvrealtors.ca



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Royal Pacific Realty Group Awards Dinner

Friday, March 22, 2024

Reception - 5:45 pm

Dinner - 6:45 pm

When ordering your ticket for the Awards Dinner, please inform the front desk if you will require a vegetarian meal.

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