Who Can Apply for a Building Permit

The purpose of this brochure is to clarify who can apply for a building permit and who can sign an “Agency Agreement Form”. For further inquiries, please contact the City of Penticton, Development Services Department at 250-490-2501

Who can apply for a building permit?

Only the owner as described in the City of Penticton Building Bylaw No. 94-45 (Penticton Bylaw) or the owner's agent, with the Agency Agreement Form signed by the owner or one of the owners if more than one owner is on title, can apply for a building permit.

The Penticton Bylaw outlines the responsibilities of the “owner or owner's agent” in the process of building permits and inspections and that includes obtaining required permits, paying for the required fees, and complying with the B.C. Building Code and Bylaws, etc.  Section 7.1.1 (b) of the Penticton Bylaw requires that an application for a plumbing or building permit, including demolition permit, shall be signed by the “owner or agent, or a signing officer if the owner or agent is a corporation.”

Responsibility of Owner/Agent

Neither the granting of a permit nor the acceptance of the drawings, plans or specifications or inspections made by the Building Inspector, shall in any way relieve the owner or his agent from full responsibility for carrying out or having the construction carried out in accordance with the requirements of this bylaw or the B.C. Building Code.

At times, an owner may require another party to take direct control of the Building Permit application and building inspection process. The City's Agency Agreement Form allows an Agent (see definition of Agent below) to review existing permit files and to take responsibility for the permit application(s) and necessary inspections to complete a building project. The Agent, unless clarified in writing, also becomes the main contact person during the plan review and inspection process.

Please note that although the Agency Agreement Form transfers authority to the Agent to act on the owner(s) behalf, the owner(s) are still obligated to ensure that all applicable Local, Provincial and Federal regulations are adhered to including obtaining final approvals for occupancy and project completion.

Definition of Owner

Owner means the person(s) or organization listed as the titleholder on a property's legal certificate of title.

However, we would accept an “Agreement for Sale” without being registered on title in order to process the building permit application submitted by the buyer but we would not issue the permit until the title has been transferred.

Definition of Agent

Agent includes a person, firm or corporation representing the owner by designation or contract and includes a hired tradesman or contractor who may be granted a permit for work within the limitation of his or her licence.

Persons acting as Agents must provide written evidence, the Agency Agreement Form, signed by the owner or one of the registered owners on title.

The Agency Agreement Form may authorize a company to act on behalf of the Owner. In this instance any individual demonstrating that they represent that company will be deemed to be acting on behalf of that company and may apply for the permit.

Agency Agreement must be submitted at the time of permit application. Applications without it will be rejected.

Renovations for Strata Properties

Condominium, townhouse or commercial owners contemplating renovations or alterations to their unit need to comply with not only City Bylaws, but their own, particular, Strata Bylaws. For instance, the City does not require a permit to change your flooring from carpet to hardwood, but your Strata Council and the person living below you will want a say in what you're planning. As well, you may meet all the City's requirements to enclose a balcony or add a window, but your Strata Bylaws may not allow any exterior alterations. So, for strata owners, reviewing your Strata Bylaws is an essential step in planning your home renovations.

Please note that a letter of approval or a copy of the Strata minutes outlining the proposed construction will be required from your Strata Council at time of permit application.

Who can pick up a building permit?

At the time of the issuance of a building permit the owner or the owner's agent is to acknowledge those responsibilities listed on the permit by signing for the permit. Therefore, only the owner or the owner's agent can pick up the permit.

Quite often the permits are picked up by the contractors. In those cases the owner(s) have to sign the Agency Agreement Form authorizing the contractor to act as their agent to pick up the permit if the contractor was not the same agent that applied for the permit.

Who can request for transfer, refund or cancel a building permit?

Although the permit is issued to the owner or owner's agent, only the owner, not the agent, can request for transfer, refund or cancel a permit.

Further Information

If you have questions or require additional information, please contact the Building Department at 250-490-2501 or buildinginfo@penticton.ca

Applications and other building forms can be found at our website page at Building Forms or you can obtain copies at City Hall, 1st floor, Development Services.

 “This information is provided for convenience only and is not in substitution of applicable City Bylaws or Provincial or Federal Codes or laws. You must satisfy yourself that any existing or proposed construction or other works complies with such Bylaws, Codes or other laws."