Contact Us Licensee Login

Professional Standards Manual

Trading Services

9. Manufactured Homes

(c) Sale of New or Used Manufactured Homes

[09/23/2014 The following section was amended with expanded information]
[04/03/2012 The following section was amended with new and expanded information]
[01/16/2011 The following section was amended with new and expanded information]

Acting for Sellers of Used Manufactured Homes

In order to list new or used manufactured homes for sale, licensees must:

  • verify that an approval mark, affixed by either an accredited certification or inspection body as listed in the BC Safety Authority Information Bulletin (see reference link below), or BC Safety Authority, is displayed in the home (see section 21 of the Electrical Safety Regulation),
    and
  • confirm that the home is registered with BC’s Manufactured Home Registry or that it has been de-registered under an existing exemption (see sections 4 and 5 of the Manufactured Home Regulation for details).
electrical-box

Manufactured Homes Checklist

  • Is there a CSA sticker or other approval mark in the home?
  • Is there an MHR sticker?
  • Have there been alterations?
    • When alterations to wiring are done under permit, the original CSA sticker is not invalidated
    • When alterations were done without a permit, the home must be inspected by a licensed electrical contractor under permit.

Used manufactured homes (whether deregistered or not) may only be offered for sale in BC provided they bear an approval mark such as a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certification label (sticker).

If the home’s wiring has been altered, licensees should take steps to discover whether the alterations were done under permit. When alterations to the wiring have been done under permit, this does not invalidate the original CSA sticker. When wiring has been altered without a permit, before the manufactured home can legally be offered for sale, it must be inspected by a licensed electrical contractor under permit, or accredited inspection body acceptable to the appropriate provincial safety manager to certify electrical equipment for a specific installation. In the case of an accredited inspection body, a new approval sticker must be applied to the home.

The following scenarios illustrate some of the situations licensees should be aware of when listing manufactured homes for sale.

The Case of the Altered Wiring

Reiko is an experienced real estate licensee who has handled a number of sales of manufactured homes. She knows that without a valid CSA sticker or silver label, a used manufactured home cannot be offered for sale in BC. So when a recent client asked her to list his manufactured home, she made sure the CSA sticker was in place before listing the home.

However, when the new owners applied for a permit to make renovations to the home, they learned there had been previous alterations to the electrical wiring. Because the alterations had been done without a permit, the CSA sticker was now invalid. In order to offer the home for resale the owners would have to pay for an inspection, which could cost several thousand dollars. Upset, the new owners filed a complaint against Reiko.

What could Reiko have done differently?
When taking the listing, Reiko should have asked her clients whether there had been any alterations to the wiring, and if so, whether the work had been done with the appropriate permits. When she learned that the wiring had been altered without a permit, invalidating the CSA sticker, she should have recommended that her clients have the home’s electrical system inspected by a licensed electrical contractor under permit. If the clients were not willing to have the home inspected, Reiko would need to cease listing the property.

Certification or approval mark required for electrical equipment

21 (1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), a person must not use electrical equipment in British Columbia, or offer for sale, sell, display or otherwise dispose of electrical equipment for use in British Columbia, unless the electrical equipment displays a label or mark as follows:

(d) in the case of used manufactured homes, used factory-built structures and used recreational vehicles, a label supplied by the appropriate provincial safety manager.

Source: Safety Standards Act, Electrical Safety Regulation

The Case of the Missing CSA Sticker

Ramon’s new clients want to sell their manufactured home. Ramon knows that he must note the CSA number, so he checks for a CSA sticker on the electrical panel, then on the exterior near the front door, and finally in the kitchen cupboards. He can’t find one.

Puzzled, he asks the clients to tell him more about the home, and learns that there has been a recent kitchen renovation. He concludes that the CSA sticker must have been removed along with the old cupboards.

What should Ramon do now?
When a licensee cannot find a CSA number or a silver label, they should discuss the requirements of section 21 of the Electrical Safety Regulation with their client, and suggest that the client hire a licensed electrical contractor under permit. In this case, an approval label would be required.

If the client is unwilling to have the property inspected and the licensee continues to be unable to locate a CSA sticker or silver label, the licensee should cease with the listing of the property.

The Non-Existent CSA Sticker

Roberta’s clients want to sell their older manufactured home. Roberta discovers that the home was built in 1963, before manufactured homes were required to conform to CSA certification standards. There is no CSA sticker in the home.

What should Roberta do?
Roberta must recommend to her clients that they have the home inspected by a licensed electrical contractor or an accredited inspection body acceptable to the appropriate provincial safety manager, to ensure that it meets current electrical safety standards. Once the appropriate label has been applied to the home, Roberta can list the property.

The Mysterious Manufactured Home

As Rasheed, a new licensee, pulls up into the driveway of his prospective clients’ property, he notes that it is a large two-storey home on an extensive, landscaped lot. When he talks with his clients about their intention to sell the home, Rasheed doesn’t ask whether it is a manufactured home— he assumes it isn’t one, because it doesn’t look like a “trailer.”

Spot the Difference

CSA number…

MHR number…

May be found on the

  • electrical panel
  • near the front door
  • kitchen cupboard
  • various other places depending on make/model of home.

May be found on the

  • electrical panel
  • left front corner of the home
    MHR Office may be able to advise of other locations where sticker may be found
 

Numeric (contains no letters)

But is Rasheed right? Manufactured homes can take many forms: from the traditional single or double-wide located in a manufactured home community (previously known as a mobile home park), to two-storey homes on rural properties, urban lots, or suburban streets.

When manufactured homes are sold with land, and/or have been altered, it can be difficult to tell by simply looking at the home whether or not it is manufactured. To be certain, licensees can consult the BC Assessment Roll Report. If the home is manufactured, the legal description of the home in the Roll Report will include the home’s Manufactured Home Registration (MRH) number.

However, if the number in the Roll Report begins with an A, B or Z, this indicates it is a “dummy number” issued by BC Assessment. When property assessors observe a manufactured home on the land and cannot locate an MHR number for the home, these dummy numbers are issued. They are a good indication that the home was likely built prior to April 1, 1978, when the Manufactured Home Registry was established, and has remained on that property since that time. The dummy number should alert licensees that the home has likely never been registered with the Manufactured Home Registry and may not meet CSA standards.

Sticker Confusion: CSA or MHR?

Rick, a new licensee, is preparing the listing information for a client’s manufactured home. The client isn’t sure what the home’s CSA number is, so Rick, who knows that CSA stickers are often found on a home’s electrical panel, asks to have a look at the panel. Sure enough, there is a sticker, and Rick immediately notes down the number.

But is Rick right?
Licensees must be careful not to confuse CSA stickers with Manufactured Home Registration (MHR) stickers. Both stickers can often be found on the electrical panel. However, the MHR number indicates that the home is registered with BC’s Manufactured Home Registry, a central register of ownership details that controls the movement of manufactured homes in BC. The MHR number is not an indication that the manufactured home is CSA approved.

 

Exemptions

Licensees should be aware that, when manufactured homes are sold with land, owners can apply to be exempt under section 21 of the Manufactured Home Act from the registration requirement with the Mobile Home Registry (this does not exempt the mobile home from the requirements under section 21 as noted above for a valid CSA sticker). Reasons for this exemption are provided for in section 5 of the Manufactured Home Regulation as follows:

5 (1) For the purposes of section 21 of the Act, the registrar may exempt a manufactured home from the operation of the Act or any provision of it if

(a) the manufactured home is located on and intended to be attached to land, each lessor-owner or other secured party with a security interest in the manufactured home who registered a financing statement in the personal property registry under the Personal Property Security Act using the registration number assigned under the Act consents to the exemption application and

(i) at least one registered owner of the manufactured home is registered in the land title office as an owner of the fee simple interest in the land, or

(ii) at least one registered owner of the manufactured home is registered in the land title office as a tenant pursuant to a lease for a term of not less than 3 years,

(b) the manufactured home is no longer capable of being used for residential accommodation, or

(c) the circumstances are such that the registrar considers it practicable to exempt the home from the operation of some or all of the provisions of the Act for a specified period of time.

When a manufactured home is exempt from registration, it may be difficult for a licensee to ascertain whether the home is actually a manufactured home. Licensees should look at the BC Assessment roll report which, in the legal description, should indicate a MHR number, specifically if the owner used the exempt manufactured home to qualify for a CMHC-insured mortgage of the land and premises. The MHR number is numeric and will not contain any letters.

Licensees are alerted to be aware of “dummy numbers” that are issued by BC Assessment. These numbers do not mean that the manufactured home has been de-registered. In the absence of an MHR number being provided by the Manufactured Home Registry, BC Assessment issues these numbers when they are assessing properties and observe a manufactured home on the land. These “dummy numbers” are indicated by an alphanumeric entry beginning with an A, B or Z, and are a good indication that the manufactured home in question was likely built prior to April 1, 1978 and has remained on the property since that date. As such, the manufactured home has likely never been registered with the Manufactured Home Registry and may not meet CSA standards.

New Manufactured Homes

New manufactured homes must conform to CSA testing and certification standards and are required to show evidence of conforming to the applicable standard.

When a new manufactured home is missing the approval mark, the owner or seller of that unit must apply to the certification agency for special acceptance and labeling. Applications for BC Safety Authority approval of new commercially produced manufactured homes will not be accepted.

Used Manufactured Homes

Used manufactured homes (whether de-registered or not) may only be offered for sale in British Columbia without reinspection provided they bear an approval mark (CSA or Silver Sticker from an approved source – see BC Safety Authority) and  the wiring has not been altered. Additional wiring done under permit does not invalidate the original label. When the electrical wiring has been altered without a permit, the manufactured home must be inspected and a new approval label applied.

Alternate documentation, indicating that the unit was originally approved, cannot be accepted in place of an approval label. However, if original documentation exists, and there have been no unpermitted modifications to the unit, then an approval label may be applied by a Safety Officer.

For BC Safety Authority approval, a licensed electrical contractor must:

  • Obtain an installation permit;

  • Complete FRM-1143 Used Manufactured Home Inspection Report form. Submit this form if requested by a Safety Officer;

  • Check any additional wiring added without permit, and check any structural additions added to the manufactured home for additional wiring. These additional checks are to be noted on the declaration form;

  • Complete any repairs required and note on the declaration form;

  • Submit a FRM-0206-07 Electrical Contractor Authorization and Declaration Form  confirming that the installation complies with this directive, and add any notes required by this directive; and

  • Upon acceptance, the BC Safety Authority label will be applied to the electrical panel cover.

Questions regarding electrical approval of manufactured homes can be directed to the BC Safety Authority, online or toll-free at 1-866-566-7233.