RDN wants province to provide study guide for home builder exam

Regional district notes failure rate to pass required test is extremely high

Some property owners want to build their own homes in order to save money, but before they can do that, the Province of B.C., through the Homeowner Protection Act, requires property owners to write and pass an Owner-Builder Authorization (OBA) exam.

This requirement, which took effect as of July 4, 2016, is applied to all the areas of British Columbia regardless of whether building permits are required or not, and are in keeping with amendments to the Homeowner Protection Act and Regulations.

However, obtaining an OBA from the Licensing and Consumer Services to build a new home for their personal use is not that easy, according to the Regional District of Nanaimo.

The RDN has noted that the failure rate for applications has been extremely high. That’s because there are no study guides or education sessions available to property owners to help them prepare for the required examination.

The RDN, in support of the ability for property owners to reasonably receive authorization as owner builders, put forward a resolution at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention held Sept. 25-29 in Vancouver, asking the UBCM to recommend the province prepare study materials and host education sessions designed to assist applicants through the required examination process.

The motion was supported by the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities.

In order for owner-builders to be eligible to take the exam, they must meet the eligbility criteria and pass an exam to evaluate their knowledge and understanding of home-building basics.

The new requirements are designed to enhance professionalism in residential construction and increase consumer protection for buyers of new homes in British Columbia.

— NEWS Staff

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