Selling your home

What is a Bylaw Contravention Notice?

Section 57 of the Community Charter empowers local governments in British Columbia to uphold the BC Building Code across properties within their jurisdiction. This provision enables local authorities to issue notices on property titles at the Land Title Office whenever there's a violation of Section 57. These notices, typically filed by building inspectors, cover a range of infractions, including but not limited to:

  • Illegal suites
  • Homes not meeting code standards or lacking final inspections
  • Incomplete home construction
  • Expired building permits
  • Outstanding building inspections
  • Unauthorized construction work
  • Existence of hazardous conditions on the property

A Notice on Title acts as a warning to anyone researching a property title, indicating possible breaches of local government bylaws or regulations. Although not necessarily a financial penalty, it doesn't disclose specific violation details but rather directs interested parties to the local government for further information.

It's essential to address any issues listed on a Notice on Title promptly, especially before listing a property for sale. While properties with building code violations can still be sold, the presence of such notices can adversely impact sale potential, perceived property value, and access to financing or mortgages. If a notice is registered on a property's title, it's advisable to consult with lenders, insurers, and other relevant parties to understand its current and future implications.

To remove a Notice from Land Title, there are three main avenues:

  1. Rectify the issue: Upon resolving the violation, obtain a report from a qualified Building Inspector confirming the correction and pay any associated fees as per the Building and Plumbing Bylaw. Submit this inspection report to the local government.
  2. Expired notices: If the notice has expired, seek resolution through the Council, which can pass a resolution to file a cancellation notice.
  3. Legal recourse: If the Council refuses to address the matter, the registered owner may petition the British Columbia Supreme Court for an order to cancel the Notice on Title upon request.

It's crucial for property owners to identify who filed the notice and in which municipality it was registered, as well as ascertain whether the notice has expired before taking appropriate action.

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