The government in British Columbia has introduced new rules that will apply to residential real estate contracts from next week. Premier Clark had promised in March to introduce new rules to prevent investors turning a fast buck by flipping.

As of May 16, 2016 contracts must include a clause stating that if the contract is assigned without the seller’s written consent, then any profit made from the assignments goes to the original seller. Sellers can instruct realtors to amend or remove the clause.

"Real estate consumers now have a tool to help them decide whether they want their contracts to be assignable," says BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) President Deanna Horn. "Like many other provisions in the contract, buyers and sellers have the option of keeping the new paragraph, changing it or striking it out completely—but at least the conversation is more likely to happen now."

BCREA says it supports the new rules and the government’s announcement that it will begin collecting data on citizenship of buyers through the Property Tax form from next month.

Meanwhile the province’s regulator says it will help real estate agents to implement the new rules.

“These new regulations are designed to empower real estate consumers to make informed decisions in their own best interests” says BC Real Estate Council Chair Marylou Leslie. “As the regulatory body responsible for administering the Real Estate Services Act, we will be working on many fronts to make sure the requirements are well understood, that licensees comply with their new obligations, and that comprehensive monitoring and enforcement programs are put into place.”

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