Home Buyer Rescission Period Consumer Guide

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This FAQ explains the Home Buyer Rescission Period (“HBRP”) for buyers in British Columbia who are purchasing certain types of residential real estate. The specifics of the HBRP are set out in the Property Law Act (“PLA”) and the Home Buyer Rescission Period (“HBRP”) Regulation. The legislation comes into effect on January 3, 2023. 

What is the HBRP?

The HBRP provides buyers an opportunity to rescind their contract to purchase certain residential properties up to three business days after an offer is accepted with a financial penalty. This rescission period applies to residential real property transactions regardless of whether a real estate licensee is involved in the transaction and cannot be waived by the buyer or the seller.

Is there a fee if I choose to rescind my offer?

If you choose to exercise your rescission right in the period provided, you must pay the seller an amount equivalent to 0.25% of the purchase price.

What types of properties does the HBRP apply to?

The types of residential real estate property that are subject to the legislation are as follows:

  • A detached house;
  • A semi-detached house;
  • A townhouse;
  • An apartment in a duplex or other multi-unit dwelling;
  • A residential strata lot, as defined in Section 1(1) of the Strata Property Act;
  • A manufactured home that is affixed to land; and
  • A cooperative interest, as defined in Section 1 of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act, that includes a right of use or occupation of a dwelling.

Are there any exemptions to the HBRP?

The following types of properties are excluded from the legislation and the rescission period does not apply:

  • Residential real property that is located on leased land;
  • A leasehold interest in residential real property;
  • Residential real property that is sold at auction; and
  • Residential real property that is sold under a court order or the supervision of a court.

The HBRP also does not apply to any purchase and sale of property under the Real Estate Development and Marketing Act (“REDMA”) where Section 21 applies.

Learn more about Pre-Sales covered under REDMA

Is my real estate licensee required to give me information on the HBRP?

Yes. Your real estate licensee is required to make two disclosures regarding the HBRP Regulation. The first disclosure is made on the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services Form which includes information for consumers on the HBRP Regulation at the outset of your agency relationship. If you are represented by a real estate licensee, they will also make second disclosure at the time they prepare or present an offer to you. an offer is made.

This disclosure will include the following:

  • The fact that the right of rescission cannot be waived;
  • The period during which the buyer may exercise their rescission rights;
  • The calculation of the dollar amount that the buyer must pay to the seller;
  • The requirement to return to the buyer the remainder of the deposit (if one is being held); and
  • The exemptions to the right of rescission.

I am entering into a real estate transaction but am not represented by a real estate licensee. The party on the other side of the transaction is. Will their real estate licensee provide me with any information on the HBRP?

Yes. The real estate licensee representing the other party will provide you with a form called the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services which outlines that they are not representing you in the transaction. This form will include information about the HBRP and your rights that the real estate licensee will explain to you.

If you are unrepresented, the real estate licensee will not provide you the second disclosure noted in the answer above.

When does my rescission period start and end?

The rescission period begins the next full business day after an offer is accepted. For example, if your offer is accepted by a seller on Monday afternoon, your rescission period would end at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. Should your offer contain subject conditions (e.g., financing, home inspection etc.), these will run concurrently with the rescission period. The rescission period DOES NOT begin after subject removal.

Do I have to provide a deposit with my offer?

No. Please refer to the guide on deposits for information on when deposits are paid.

How does the seller collect the rescission fee?

If you, as a buyer, happen to provide your real estate licensee with a deposit upon acceptance of your offer, and you exercise your right of rescission within the allowable period the real estate brokerage will pay the 0.25% rescission fee to the seller out of those funds and return the remaining deposit to you, the buyer.

If you have not provided a deposit with your accepted offer, you will need to pay the seller the required rescission fee directly or to your real estate licensee who may deliver the funds directly to the seller or the seller’s representative. Alternatively, you are able to provide the fee directly to the seller as well. If you fail to pay the rescission fee, the seller can file to recover the funds through the courts.

How do I notify a seller that I plan to rescind my accepted offer?

If you choose to rescind your offer to purchase within the rescission period you or your real estate licensee (on your behalf) must serve notice in one of the following ways:

  • By registered mail to the seller’s address that is set out in the contract of purchase and sale;
  • By fax to the seller’s fax number that is set out in the contract; or
  • By email, with a requested read receipt, to the seller’s email address that is set out in the contract.

The rescission notice must include the following:

  • The address, the parcel identifier (PID) or a description of the property;
  • The name, and the signature or electronic signature, of the purchaser who is exercising the right of rescission;
  • The name of each seller who is a party to the contract; and
  • The date that the right of rescission is being exercised.

Can my real estate licensee receive (for a seller) or provide (for a buyer) the notice of rescission?

Many consumers do not wish to include their personal email or phone number on the contract of purchase and sale, and instead, the real estate licensee will include their information. Because notice can be sent to the email address provided in the Contract of Purchase and Sale, your real estate licensee can accept service (for a seller) or serve notice (for a buyer) on your behalf.

Does the rescission period apply to the purchase of an assignment?

No. The rescission period does not apply to buyers purchasing assignments of contracts.