BC REALTORS® Advocate for Better Consumer Protections During 2022 Government Liaison Days
TAGS: A Better Way Home Cooling Off Period Development Approvals Housing Affordability Housing Supply Real Estate Practice
On May 10 and 11, many BC REALTORS® took part in the BC Real Estate Association’s 2022 Government Liaison Days (GL Days), an event where Realtors from across BC convene to discuss government liaison issues and meet with their local MLAs.
First held in 1988, GL Days connects Realtors from across the province, giving them a forum to showcase discuss issues pertinent to BC’s real estate sector with their colleagues and members of the government. Typically, GL Days takes place in Victoria, but due to ongoing travel concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event took place virtually, hopefully for the last time.
This year, attendees discussed potential solutions to improve housing affordability and strengthen consumer protections. These issues were a continuation of advocacy undertaken by BCREA through our paper, “A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protections in BC Real Estate.”
In attendance to speak with Realtors were MLAs David Eby, BC’s Housing Minister and Attorney General, and Liberal Housing Critic, Mike Bernier.
Strengthening Consumer Protections
The first series of recommendations discussed at GL Days was related to Bill 12, the Property Law Amendment Act, which enables the government to implement a “cooling off period” for buyers of residential real estate.
Realtors are concerned that a “cooling off period” will worsen affordability by increasing the number of frivolous offers. To mitigate these risks, we propose an exemption for situations where both the buyer and seller agree to waive their right to rescission. There are many instances where a mandatory “cooling off period” would not make sense and a property needs to be sold quickly, such as the result of a divorce, health problems or other unexpected circumstances.
Increasing Housing Supply
To address long-term consumer protection concerns, Realtors are advocating for improvements to housing supply as a key function to improve affordability. We recommend a provincial policy review to consider tying development approvals to housing targets, such as a local government’s Official Community Plan or Housing Needs Report. This ask mirrors recommendations from both the Development Approvals Process Review and Expert Panel on the Future Housing Supply and Affordability in BC. Our second recommendation for solutions to housing affordability is a provincial, permanent housing roundtable that brings together all levels of government and housing stakeholders to address challenges and construct innovative solutions.
We would like to thank all of the Realtors who volunteered their time to attend our sessions and represent their profession through meetings with MLAs.
Additional GL Days resources:
- Housing affordability brief (BCREA Access login required)
- Consumer protection brief (BCREA Access login required)
- BCREA’s White Paper, “A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protection in BC Real Estate”
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