When you employ a licensee, you are responsible for providing him or her with accurate information concerning your home; for example, its age, the current financing arrangements, the condition of the roof and hot water heater, the property taxes, etc. The licensee will also need your assistance and/or authorization to gather information about such things as the ownership details, the outstanding balance owing on the mortgage, the home’s assessed value, and the current zoning of the property.
For strata titled properties, licensees will want your assistance to gather and provide information, including minutes of all strata meetings in the last two years, current financial statements, registered bylaws, current rules, building inspection or engineer’s reports, Information Certificate (Form B prescribed under the Strata Property Act), as well as information pertaining to the nature of how parking stalls and storage lockers are designated, whether a special assessment is being proposed, and any other documentation relevant to the strata property.
Obligation to Disclose Defects:
Sellers must disclose known material latent defects about their property to a buyer. A material latent defect means a defect that cannot be discerned through a reasonable inspection of the property, including a defect that renders the real estate:
- dangerous or potentially dangerous to the occupants;
- unfit for habitation; or
- unfit for the purpose for which the buyer is acquiring it, if the buyer has made this purpose known to the seller.
Material latent defects may also include:
- a defect that would involve great expense to remedy;
- a circumstance that affects the real estate in respect of
- which a local government or other local authority has given a notice to the seller, indicating that the circumstance must or should be remedied; or
- a lack of appropriate municipal building and other permits respecting the real estate.
Common examples of material latent defects could include the fact that the basement leaks when it rains, structural damage to the property, failure of the building’s envelope (water ingress), underground storage tanks located on the property, problems with the potability/quantity of drinking water and any un-remediated damage caused by the illegal use of the property, e.g. marijuana grow operation.
New installations or renovations of electrical or gas systems completed without appropriate permits and inspections may also be considered examples of material latent defects. For information on what type of work in a home requires gas and electric permits, please contact the BC Safety Authority at 1-866-566-7233 or visit www.safetyauthority.ca.
Failure to disclose material latent defects could result in future problems, including legal issues if the new owner discovers problems that you were aware of and did not disclose.