Before you can start construction on a new home, it must be either enrolled in home warranty insurance or have an applicable exemption.
Steps to Register a New Home:
- Arrange Home Warranty Insurance
- Register the project on the Licensed Residential Builders Portal
- Pay the relevant fees
- Building Permit
Arranging Home Warranty Insurance
It’s essential that you have continued enrolment throughout the construction and sale of your new home. There are exemptions to the requirements for licensing and home warranty insurance, such as an applicable rental exemption or an Owner Builder Authorization.
The Homeowner Protection Act does not specify who must ensure a new home (or homes) are registered for home warranty insurance — just that home (or homes) must be registered. The most common scenarios are:
- When a licensed residential builder owns the land on which the home is being built, that person or their company will register and enrol the home.
- If a developer and general contractor working for the developer are involved in a new-home project under Part 9 of the BC Building Code, they must both be licensed residential builders. Either licensee may be responsible for registering and enrolling the project. However, the warranty provider sometimes states who they would prefer register the home.
- If a developer and general contractor who is working for the developer are involved in a new home project under Part 3 of the BC Building Code, only the developer has to be licensed. In this case, the licensee — the developer — is responsible for registering and enrolling the project. If the general contractor is also licensed, either may register and enrol the project.
- In a custom-home contract, the general contractor will be licensed. He or she will then register and enrol the home — not the homeowner.
Regulatory Bulletin No 8 Registering and Enrolling New Homes for Home Warranty Insurance Coverage, explains registration in greater detail, including continuation of coverage and the New Homes Registry.
When the commitment for home warranty insurance on a new home or multi-unit project is cancelled, the new home is de-enrolled. To learn more about de-enrollment, including common reasons and consequences, consult Regulatory Bulletin No 10 De-enrolling Homes from Home Warranty Insurance and the Homeowner Protection Act.
Register your project
Before you can obtain a building permit, or before starting construction in areas where a building permit is not required, you’ll need a New Home Registration Form as proof of licensing and home warranty insurance. As a licensed residential builder, you can register your project and enrol it in home warranty insurance online using the Licensed Residential Builders Portal.
If your licence status is “Approved” you can register new homes. If your licence is “Expired,” or if it has specific conditions that prevent the registration of new homes, then you cannot register new projects until you renew your licence or the condition is lifted. You must also have current acceptance with one of the approved third-party home warranty insurance providers.
Enrol your project
To enrol new homes for home warranty insurance, you must first complete the online registration information for each proposed single detached home and/or multi-unit building and pay the applicable fees. Use our Online Registration of New Homes to help you fill out the project information and pay the fees.
To complete the registration you will need detailed and accurate construction information on your project, including:
- Type of home (for example, a single family home, duplex or multi-unit dwelling)
- Civic and legal address, including the parcel identifier (PID)
- Property owner name and contact number
- Construction details
Once you have completed the project information and paid the applicable fees, the registration information is transferred to your warranty provider. If you have acceptance from more than one warranty provider, you can choose which provider to submit your enrolment request to.
Your warranty provider will assess the enrolment request after obtaining any additional required information and warranty fees. The New Home Registration Form is sealed electronically if enrollment is approved.
Please contact the Licensing and Consumer Services Branch at 604-646-7050 or [email protected] about how to register a new home manually if online registration is not possible.
We encourage you to register new homes early in the construction process. The various warranty providers may have different processes and documentation requirements. To avoid unnecessary construction delays, you should contact your warranty provider to learn about their registration procedures and documentation requirements to enrol different types of new construction.
It’s important to keep the registration information up to date for your projects. This will ensure that homebuyers can find your project on the New Homes Registry and will help you avoid compliance issues.
You can login to the Licensed Residential Builders Portal to start a New Home Registration Form change request. You can use a change request to:
- Update or correct a civic or legal address
- Change the unit count for a registered building
Either you or your home insurance warranty provider can make a New Home Registration Form change request. We will notify your warranty provider if you initiate the request. These requests must be reviewed and accepted by us and the warranty provider before we update the New Homes Registry.
New Home Registration Form Change Requests explains the process for completing a change request.
We collect a $40-per-unit licensing fee on the construction of each new home when you register. This charge is in addition to the fee that goes with an application to become a licensed residential builder.
When more than one licensed residential builder is involved in a new home construction project — for example, when a developer hires a general contractor — only one licensed residential builder has to pay the $40-per-unit fee.
We collect a $750 per unit reconstruction fee for each new dwelling unit that is in a multi-unit building in the coastal climate zone. These reconstruction fees fund the Reconstruction Loan Portfolio, which is run by the Ministry of Finance.
When more than one licensed residential builder is constructing a new home — for example, when a developer hires a general contractor — only one has to pay the $750-per-reconstruction-unit fee (where geographically applicable).
The Homeowner Protection Act regulations define the coastal climate zone as:
- Capital Regional District
- Regional District of Comox-Strathcona excluding Electoral Areas G, I and J and the villages of Gold River, Tahsis and Zeballos
- Fraser Valley Regional District
- Greater Vancouver Regional District
- Regional District of Alberni-Clayoquot
- Regional District of Cowichan Valley
- Regional District of Nanaimo
- Regional District of Powell River
- Squamish-Lillooet Regional District excluding Electoral Areas A and B and the District of Lillooet
- Sunshine Coast Regional District
Getting your building permit
A New Home Registration Form will be available once the registration and enrolment is complete. The Form will act as proof of licensing and home warranty insurance for your municipality or regional district when you apply for your building permit. You can download your sealed New Home Registration Form from your account on the Licensed Residential Builders portal.
Building departments have access to an online database of New Home Registration forms and may be able to look up your project. Check with your building department to find out if they need a paper copy of your Form.
Permit not required
In areas where building permits are not required, you must ensure that the project is enrolled and your warranty provider has sealed the New Home Registration form before you can start construction.
Sometimes, conversion or renovation projects on heritage buildings with a residential component are affected by the Homeowner Protection Act and Regulations.
If enough of the building’s original structure has been removed or replaced, the project is deemed substantially reconstructed, making it a “new home.” Therefore, the home must be covered by home warranty insurance before the municipality or regional district can issue a building permit.
For more guidance around renovations on heritage homes, including possible exclusions and conversions, our regulatory bulletin, Heritage Buildings and the Homeowner Protection Act, has all the details.