Home Renos in British Columbia

  • Recorded on: June 22, 2021
  • Length: 60 minutes

Summary

Planning a home reno and want to know if you need a permit? Did some work and now you’ve been told you should have gotten a permit? Whatever stage you’re at, you’ll benefit from the answers lawyer Nathalie Baker offers on common questions about home renos in BC.

Featuring

Nathalie Baker

Nathalie is a litigator practising primarily in the area of municipal law. She has a particular interest in land use matters and issues of procedural fairness, and represents landowners, developers, citizens groups and business owners on a wide range of local government matters. Nathalie also acts for members of municipal councils and regional boards on motions to censure and allegations of conflict of interest and misconduct.

Highlights

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Three things to consider before starting home renovations to avoid common pitfalls. [3:00]

  • Common problems that arise in relation to permits for home renos. [6:45]

  • What you can do to avoid those problems. [9:55]

  • How the permitting process works. [13:00]

  • What happens when you build without a permit. [16:20]

  • What the Board of Variance is, when you might seek a variance through the board, and whether the process requires a lawyer. [20:25]

  • How you can get a variance without going to the Board of Variance. [22:50]

  • When a building inspector can enter your home. [25:30]

  • Whether an inspector who enters your home to investigate one issue can investigate other issues at the same time. [29:25]

  • Whether a homeowner can be forced to correct unpermitted work that was done, say, 20 to 30 years ago. [30:40]

  • What you can do to avoid problems with contractors you hire. [32:30]

  • How much it costs to get a building permit. [33:50]

  • What disclosure documents protect a later purchaser of a home if renovations are done without a permit. [35:35]

  • Whether you can build a shed on your property without a permit. [36:44]

  • What happens when renovations done by a previous owner were done without a permit. [38:20]

  • What your options are when — without a permit — your neighbour builds a large deck that is less than three feet from your property. [39:30]

  • How to know if a neighbour has obtained a permit for their renovation. [41:30]

  • What to do if your neighbour builds a shed right alongside your shared fence. [43:30]

  • Whether a permit is required to prune tree branches from a neighbour’s tree that overhangs your property. [45:20]

  • What to do when a city tree’s roots and branches encroach on your property, including steps you can take to get the municipality to deal with it. [47:25]

  • Whether you need a permit for a basic kitchen renovation. [49:35]

  • How long it takes to get a building permit. [51:10]

  • Whether you can complain about a bylaw violation anonymously. [51:55]

  • Whether doing a strata renovation at UBC is similar to doing one in Vancouver. [52:40]

  • What steps are prudent, in a co-op situation, when dealing with work done in years past, such as work that was not done to code. [53:40]

Attendee feedback

"Excellent presentation. Thanks to Peoples' Law School for providing such interesting and helpful webinars."

"Thank you. I learned a lot. Excellent pacing."

"First time participant; great webinar — very informative! Thank you!"

“Very helpful information provided by People's Law School.”

“Keep it up & THANK YOU!!!”

Additional resources 

From People’s Law School:

Featuring Nathalie Baker:

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