Owner builders | www.rebgv.org

Iindividuals planning to build a new home for their personal use are required to meet strict eligibility requirements, pay a fee, and obtain an Owner Builder Authorization from Licensing and Consumer Services before starting construction.

Owner builders must occupy the new home themselves for at least one year after obtaining an occupancy permit and aren't permitted to sell or rent the new home during the one-year period.

the owner builder is not permitted sell a new home during construction ‘‘as is’’ without permission from Licensing and Consumer Services; and

Owner builders who sell their home within the first 10 years after obtaining an occupancy permit are obligated to subsequent purchasers for defects in the new home during that 10-year period.

Owner Builder Disclosure Notice

  • An owner builder who has built their home under a BC Housing Owner Builder Authorization, who decides to sell their new home within a 10-year period of first occupancy must get an Owner Builder Disclosure Notice and provide it to prospective buyers before they enter into a purchase and sale agreement for their home. This notice informs buyers whether the home was built under an Owner Builder Authorization, when the 10-year period started and if there is a voluntary policy of home warranty insurance in place.
  • If an owner builder built their home before November 19, 2007, they must give prospective buyers the old-form Owner Builder Declaration and Disclosure Notice.
  • Any subsequent owners must provide the Owner Builder Disclosure Notice if they sell the home to another buyer within the 10-year period. 

Owner builder liability

If owner builders sell their homes within the first 10 years of occupancy, they stay liable to any subsequent purchasers for defects in the home during that 10-year period. 

An owner builder’s obligations are similar to those of a licensed residential builder under a policy of home warranty insurance as follows:

  • two years for material and labour;
  • five years for defects in the building envelope; and
  • 10 years for structural defects. 

Subsequent purchasers can take legal action against an owner builder to correct defects. There are some reasonable exceptions to the statutory protection, such as defects caused by someone other than the builder or natural disasters. These are described in detail in the Act and Regulation. 

Owners wanting to rectify defects within the 10-year period must contact the owner builder. 

For details, read this Fact Sheet.