On May 29, 2014, Bill 17, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2014, received Royal Assent, bringing into force several amendments and additions to the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (British Columbia) (“REDMA”) previously discussed in detail in my colleague Scott Smythe’s post from earlier this year: http://www.canadianrealpropertylawblog.com/2014/03/redma-revisited/

According to the government, the amendments are intended to “clarify the scope of purchasers’ remedies and certainty to the enforceability of purchasers’ contracts” and are “designed to increase industry efficiency and provide purchasers with a more readable disclosure statement”.  In summary, the newly-passed legislation:

  • clarifies that a “new purchaser” is a person who has not previously received a disclosure statement from a developer in relation to the development unit or development property (REDMA, s. 1);
  • allows a developer to deliver a disclosure statement electronically (with the written consent of a purchaser) (REDMA, s. 15);
  • introduces the concept of “phase disclosure statements,” which developers of phased strata plans can file in respect of particular phases of a development. Developers can also provide a phase disclosure statement to new purchasers, instead of the initial disclosure statement (although purchasers can request the initial disclosure statement in writing) (REDMA, s. 15.1);
  • introduces the concept of “consolidated disclosure statements,” which developers can file when filing amendments to disclosure statements. Consolidated disclosure statements combine the content of the initial disclosure statement and all amendments, and can be provided to new purchasers in place of the initial disclosure statement and amendments (purchasers can request the initial disclosure statement and amendments in writing) (REDMA, s. 15.2);
  • provides for release of the deposit (without a court application) if a purchaser fails to pay the balance of the purchase price when due (REDMA, s. 18);
  • allows a developer to apply for a court order, when notice of rescission is served after title has transferred, for the purchaser to pay market rent for the use occupation of the unit post-transfer (REDMA, s. 21);
  • clarifies that a purchase agreement is enforceable if a non-compliant disclosure statement does not contain misrepresentations about material facts, or if a disclosure statement contains misrepresentations of material facts of which the developer is unaware (but the developer must file an amendment upon becoming aware of any such misrepresentation) (REDMA, s. 23); and

gives the Lieutenant Governor in Council authority to exempt people or classes of people from the definition of “developer” (REDMA, s. 46).