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When a lawyer is acting for the buyer in a conveyance of an interest in a parcel, the lawyer should inquire as to the client’s intended use for the parcel and advise the client on the appropriateness of obtaining zoning and occupancy permit confirmations.1

When a lawyer is acting for the buyer or mortgagee of new construction, the lawyer should ensure that an occupancy permit has been issued, or that all final inspections required to ensure issuance of the permit have passed.

When a lawyer is acting for the buyer or mortgagee of commercial or residential income property, the lawyer should determine whether the use and occupancy is permitted by the appropriate authorities.

When the client elects to proceed without appropriate confirmations or assurances or where there is non-compliance, the lawyer must explain to the client the associated risks and confirm the client’s instructions prior to closing.2


  1. Building Code Act, R.S.N.S 1989, c. 46, s.8: The Building Code Act, adopts by regulation, the National Building Code.
  2. Standard 1.5 - Documentation of Advice and Instruction

Additional Resources

Approved by Council on November 22, 2002