Missing permanent occupancy permits not so uncommon: expert

Sukhi Kang 604-377-1246

Hundreds of Surrey condo owners are in legal limbo after they realized their development was never granted a permanent occupancy permit.

That means even if the residents of the Terrane complex on 68th Avenue want to sell their property, they would be faced with major legal difficulties.

But, it turns out the problem is not uncommon.

The executive director of the Condominium Homeowners Association of B.C. Tony Jo-Ventu says sometimes a temporary occupancy permit is issued when a building meets all the safety requirements to be occupied, but some work – like landscaping or road ways — is still outstanding.

Jo-Ventu says whether it is legal to sell a property without an occupancy permit is up for debate.

“The question is whether they have a final occupancy permit or a temporary occupancy permit, and is it legal to occupy the unit under those circumstances? That is the question that they are going to have to pose to the city of Surrey,” says Jo-Ventu.

Who is actually at fault for the situation is also a grey area, according to Jo-Ventu.

“It is a bit of a void as to who is actually responsible for notifying the strata corporation that they did not get a permanent occupancy permit and the temporary one is expired, and you have no occupancy permit right now.”

Jo-Ventu says it is a good idea for home owners to check with the local city hall and make sure they do have a final occupancy permit.