Building Bylaw Enforcement
Overseeing construction of sound and safe buildings that comply with local land use regulations is a key responsibility of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS). When Building Bylaw violations occur, bylaw enforcement actions need to be considered to protect the health and safety of the public.
For any construction which requires a building permit as prescribed in RDOS Building Bylaw 2333, 2005, begun without a permit, the building permit fee shall be increased by 25%. If a Stop Work or Do Not Occupy Notice is issued and remains outstanding for 14 days, double the building permit fee will be charged.
Building without a permit and other violations of the building bylaw are also subject to monetary penalties set out in RDOS Bylaw Enforcement Bylaw 2507, 2010. These violations include: modification of approved plans without approval, unsafe demolition condition, failure to obtain final inspection. The penalties are found in Appendix 5(a) to Schedule A of the bylaw. Continuation of contravention of the building bylaw may be subject to additional fines.
Enforcement of Building Bylaw Violations
For violations of the Building Bylaw which are observed by the Building Official or which occur during the course of construction or building permit term, the following approach will be followed, after other means of resolution are exhausted:
1. Minor Deficiencies: For Minor Deficiencies, a letter may be sent to the owner of the property advising of the problem, advising that it is the responsibility of the owner to remedy the deficiency, advising that failure to do so is a breach of the RDOS Building Bylaw, and advising that the Regional District retains the right to take further enforcement steps.
2. Major Deficiencies: For Major Deficiencies, the RDOS may wish to consider putting future purchasers or lessees on notice that the property is in breach of the Building Bylaw. For these deficiencies, the Building Official may make a recommendation to the RDOS Board for a resolution to place a Section 57 Notice against the Title of the property.
3. Health and Safety Deficiencies: For Health and Safety Deficiencies, the Building Official may make a recommendation to the RDOS Board for a resolution to place a Section 57 Notice against the Title of the property and/or to seek compliance with the Building Bylaw or the Building Code through the courts with an application for injunctive remedies. Prior to forwarding the file to the solicitor, a letter will be sent to the property owner advising of the Regional Board Resolution to seek injunctive remedies and providing the owner one month to rectify the violation.
Notice on Property Title
Section 57 of the Community Charter of the Province of British Columbia was provided to local governments as a tool to administer and enforce the BC Building Code and building bylaws. It enables a Regional District to register a Bylaw Contravention Notice, through the Land Titles Office registrar, on the title of a property where there is an infraction of the Building Code or RDOS building bylaws.
For example, notices may be registered where:
- · start of construction without a valid building permit;
- · construction deficiencies not corrected;
- · covering construction without required inspections;
- · when a building permit has expired but the work has not been completed and/or inspections are outstanding AND there exists a life health or safety concern.
The filing of a Bylaw Contravention Notice on the title of a property is not intended to be a punitive action; rather, it is an efficient way to secure compliance with the BC Building Code and/or RDOS building bylaws, and serves as a disclosure mechanism protecting future owners or other parties with an interest in the property. It is important that owners involved with the building process understand the potential impacts of a Section 57 Notice.
Removal of Notice on Property Title
Per RDOS Building Bylaw 2333, in order to remove a Bylaw Contravention Notice from a property title, a Deficiency Inspection Permit must be issued. The cost of this permit is $1,000 if the RDOS Board had just resolved to place a Notice on the title and $1,500 if the Board resolved injunctive action. This permit includes a property inspection and subsequent removal of the Notice. The permit application requires a description of the proposed solution to the bylaw infraction.
If a building is being removed, a demolition permit may also be required. Please contact Building Inspection for details. A Building Official may contact you for further information before this permit can be issued.
A Deficiency Inspection Permit includes a final inspection of the building. If a re-inspection is required, a fee of $100 must be paid before a subsequent inspection can be done.
Once the final inspection has been completed and approved, removal of the Bylaw Infraction Notice on title will be undertaken. This process to remove the Notice can take 3 to 5 weeks to be completed.