Real estate development marketing
Multi-unit development properties, such as condos and townhouses, are a popular option when buying a home in B.C. Real estate developers are responsible for providing full information and deposit protection to consumers when marketing their developments.
The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate helps purchasers understand their rights and takes enforcement action if developers do not meet legislated requirements.
Real estate developers must meet the requirements of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act when marketing multi-unit development properties.
A multi-unit development property can be any of the following:
- Five (5) or more subdivision lots, unless each lot is 64.7 hectares or larger
- Five (5) or more bare land strata lots
- Five (5) or more strata lots in a stratified building
- Two (2) or more cooperative interests
- Five (5) or more time share interests
- Two (2) or more shared interests in land
- Five (5) or more residential leasehold units
The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) is responsible for ensuring transparency between developers and consumers.
Rights of purchasers
Real estate purchasers are entitled to full information and deposit protection when entering into a purchase agreement for a development unit in British Columbia. Learn how purchasers are protected:
- Real Estate Development Purchaser Rights
- Consumer Information Brochure: Understanding Pre-Sale Purchases (PDF)
A purchaser’s rights are governed by contract law and the purchase agreement. Under contract law, a purchaser may ask a court to order compensation or may ask a court to rescind the purchase agreement, as a remedy for any breach of contract. Although OSRE cannot enforce a purchaser’s rights, they can investigate complaints and take regulatory action against the developer.
Requirements for developers
Real estate developers must abide by provincial legislation when offering, selling or leasing development units in B.C. unless otherwise exempted. Learn how to meet the legislated requirements:
Any failure to comply with the requirements may result in a cease marketing order, administrative penalty or other regulatory action by OSRE.
The Superintendent of Real Estate may grant individual exemptions from some or all of the legislated requirements.
Properties located outside of B.C.
In the Province of British Columbia, the Real Estate Development Marketing Act also governs the marketing of development properties located anywhere in the world. Local and foreign developments must meet similar requirements in order to be marketable in the province.
Foreign property regimes may be different from B.C.’s property regime and may not be familiar to purchasers here. Therefore, the required disclosure of development approvals, land title, and land‐use restrictions is especially important for foreign developments. Additionally, all deposits received from British Columbian purchasers must be held in trust inside the Province of British Columbia.
Property Transfer Tax
In 2016, the Province introduced an additional Property Transfer Tax of 15% on residential property transfers to foreign entities in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Failing to pay the additional tax, or providing incorrect information to avoid the tax, could result in significant fines and/or imprisonment.
Developers and consumers should obtain professional advice to determine if their existing or proposed trade in real estate will be subject to the additional Property Transfer Tax.