Updated May 8, 2019 by Mike Stewart PREC
Get the Docs!
When you are preparing to submit an offer on a property or have an accepted offer, you will receive a package of documents from the Sellers Agent giving you detailed information about the property. One of the most important documents is the Property Condition Disclosure Statement.
What is it?
The Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS) is a disclosure of what a Seller knows about their property. There are several versions of the document (see below – We have only included Strata & Residential versions) which has a series of questions for Sellers to answer that give a potential Buyer of the property a guideline of what the Seller knows about the condition of the property.
The Strata condo version asks condo specific questions such as parking stall numbers, locker numbers or whether the building has had water leaks, insect infestations, structural issues, etc (see below)
The Residential version for single family houses asks many of the same questions, but asks questions more relevant to this type of housing such as whether or not the seller is aware of asbestos in the property oe moisture in the crawlspace or basement, etc. (Please see the example below)
Kathryn please post the residential version here!
Why do Buyers need a copy of the PCDS?
The PCDS was introduced in BC to so that Sellers can to disclose defects they may be aware of with their properties and it gives buyers an opportunity to better understand the condition of the property. The home buying system in BC is based on ensuring a Buyer can make an informed decision on a purchase and the PCDS is a large part of this system of informing a Buyer. A PCDS can (should be in our view) be incorporated in and form part of the Contract of Purchase of Sale, which may (confirm this with your lawyer) provide a Buyer legal protections if a Seller does not disclose all known issues.
Is a Seller Required to provide a PCDS in BC?
A Seller is not required to provide a PCDS in British Columbia. If a Seller is not willing to provide a PCDS, they may not be disclosing a major issue with the property. The fact a Seller is not willing to provide a PCDS to a potential Buyer should be cause for concern to the Buyer. Proceed with caution!
Of far less concern, Sellers of tenanted properties very often may provide a PCDS, but will scratch out all the questions on the document. Sellers do this because they have never lived in the property or have not lived in it for a considerable amount of time and therefore do not know enough about the condition of the property to comment on a potentially legally binding PCDS.
Don’t Rely ONLY On the PCDS
When buying a property, information in the PCDS should not be relied on a source of total information a Buyer needs about a property. Furthermore it should not be seen as means to avoid the cost of getting a home inspection by a qualified Home Inspector. ALWAYS get a home inspection! Sellers very often have limited knowledge (or might be trying to hide something!) about the condition of their property and cannot be relied upon to give complete or accurate information. The PCDS should be a guide to further investigation on the property and your Realtor, Home Inspector, and lawyer should be able to answer any questions that arise.
I welcome questions and comments on this blog!