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Enhancing Consumer Protection in B.C.’s Real Estate Market
BCFSA’s report, Enhancing Consumer Protection in B.C.’s Real Estate Market, contains a suite of advice on potential parameters of the Government’s proposed homebuyer protection period, commonly referred to as the cooling-off period, for residential real estate sales, as well as advice on additional measures to increase consumer protection. The report was released on May 26, 2022.
On November 4, 2021, the Minister of Finance announced that the Government would implement a homebuyer protection period. Minister Robinson tasked BCFSA to consult with key stakeholders and experts. She called for BCFSA to report back with advice on potential parameters of a homebuyer protection period, as well as additional measures to strengthen protection for homebuyers.
BCFSA’s report was developed following an in-depth consultation process and with input from a wide range of participants.
On April 25, 2022, the Government passed Bill 12, amending the Property Law Act to enable the creation of a homebuyer protection period.
On July 21, 2022, the Government created regulations to enable a Home Buyer Rescission Period. This will be implemented on January 3, 2023.
What is a Home Buyer Rescission Period?
A Home Buyer Rescission Period (“HBRP”)provides a timeframe after an offer has been accepted when homebuyers can still legally withdraw from the purchase. During this time, a prospective buyer may conduct additional due diligence activities such as a home inspection, confirmation of financing, and seeking legal advice to help ensure they have made a well informed decision.
Please note the terms homebuyer protection period and cooling-off period both refer to the Home Buyer Rescission Period.
Based on BCFSA’s advice a Home Buyer Rescission Period (cooling-off period) for residential real estate transactions will be implemented starting January 3, 2023 and will feature the following parameters:
- Three clear business days.
- Narrow exemptions.
- A modest termination fee to address the risk of frivolous offers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. The Real Estate Development Marketing Act (“REDMA”) provides for a seven-day rescission period for sales of units in multi-unit development properties, like condominiums.
B.C. is the first Canadian jurisdiction to legislate a cooling-off period for residential real estate sales.