Homeowners listing a property for sale will be asked by their REALTOR® to complete a detailed residential Property Disclosure Statement (PDS).
This PDS gives potential buyers more detailed information about the condition of the property.
Thanks to BC REALTORS®
Although British Columbia doesn't have a law requiring property sellers to complete the PDS, the REALTORS® of BC make the form available to sellers listing their home on the MLS®.
The seller prepares the three-page document which can be legally incorporated into the Contract for Purchase and Sale.
The PDS itemizes potential problems such as asbestos insulation, unauthorized rental suites, renovations done without a permit and unregistered easements or encroachments, and includes a wide range of questions such as:
- Are you aware of any past or present underground oil storage tanks(s) on the premises
- Are you aware of any moisture and/or water problems in the walls, basement or crawl space?
- Are you aware if the premises have been used as a marijuana grow operation or to manufacture illegal drugs?
- Are you aware if the property, or any portion of the property, is designated or proposed for designation as a "heritage site" or of "heritage value" under the Heritage Conservation Act or under municipal legislation?
There are separate disclosure for residential, strata title properties and rural properties.
The Strata Property Disclosure Statement covers condominium-specific issues such as parking and storage allocations, special assessments, restrictions on age, pets or rentals and building envelope problems.
The Rural Property Disclosure Statement identifies issues related to rural land, such as the quality of well water, septic systems and flooding problems.
When completing a PDS, the seller typically must answer yes, no, do not know or does not apply to most questions and is responsible for the accuracy of the information.
In some situations, such as an estate sale, the seller may not have enough information to complete the PDS, and the buyer will need to rely on other sources of information.
The PDS is not a legally-binding warranty of the property’s condition. It is a report as to what the seller knows about the property including known defects.
The PDS is a good starting point for buyers to begin their due diligence investigation into a property they are considering buying.
Even when the PDS is incorporated into the contract, buyers should always hire a qualified home inspector.
Sellers can be liable for damages if they misrepresent the condition of a property or conceal problems.
If you have questions about the PDS or disclosure, contact your REALTOR®.