When you own or lease a property in British Columbia, it is essential to understand the building scheme that comes with it. After all, building schemes impose restrictions and requirements on the property owner or leaser to enhance the value of the property. This can include limitations on building sizes, styles, finishes, colours, landscaping, and even the use of the property. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into what building schemes are in BC, their benefits, and how to deal with any disputes that may arise.

What are Building Schemes?

A building scheme is a set of rules and guidelines that govern how a property owner or leaser can develop or use their property. Building schemes are typically created by the developer or builder of a particular project and enforced through a legal agreement registered on the property title. The scheme outlines the specific restrictions or requirements that must be followed by the property owner to meet certain standards.

Benefits of Building Schemes

One of the primary benefits of building schemes is that they help to enhance property values by ensuring that a neighbourhood or community remains attractive and consistent. For example, the scheme can mandate certain architectural styles, colours, or finishes, which creates a cohesive look and feel throughout the area. Building schemes can also prevent the development of a property that would be out of place or fail to meet community standards and expectations.

a team of workers is building a house

Common Building Scheme Restrictions

Each building scheme is unique, and restrictions vary based on the specific project and location. However, common restrictions that can be included in a building scheme include limitations on building height, floor area ratio, building setbacks, fence or hedge heights, and parking requirements. Landscaping and exterior finishes, like stucco or brick, may also be regulated to ensure a cohesive street appearance.

Dealing with Building Scheme Disputes

Disputes over building schemes can arise if a property owner wants to make changes or additions to their property that go against the building scheme’s requirements. For example, a homeowner may want to add a second-story addition to their home, but the building scheme may only permit one-story homes. In these cases, it’s important to work with an experienced real estate lawyer who can help navigate the situation and negotiate a resolution.

How Bell, Jacoe & Company Can Help

At Bell, Jacoe & Company, we have extensive experience in handling all types of real estate disputes, including claims related to building schemes. We are well-versed in navigating complex legal matters and finding practical solutions to disputes. We understand how important your property is to you and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and interests.

Building schemes are an essential aspect of property ownership in British Columbia. They are designed to enhance property values by creating consistent and high-quality standards in a given community or neighbourhood. While building schemes can impose restrictions and requirements on property owners, they are fundamental to maintaining the look and feel of a neighbourhood. If you have any concerns or disputes related to building schemes, contact Bell, Jacoe & Company for a consultation today.

PATRICK A. BELL – Lawyer at Bell, Jacoe & Company in Summerland BC provides legal help with real estate and wills and estate law.
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