Real Property Reports with Hot Tubs
Do Real Property Reports show Hot Tubs?
Yes. A hot tub holds more than 0.60m (2 feet) of water and thus are classified as a pool by Alberta’s Building Code.
If you think through the process of a homeowner purchasing and installing a hot tub, it becomes quickly apparent why municipalities and potential home buyers share a keen interest. Hot tubs are often installed outside of the house, require electricity, and hold enough water to be a potential drowning hazard. They are also extremely heavy when filled with water and people. (This should make you wonder who built the deck under the hot tub the next time you take the plunge.)
Municipalities, including the City of Calgary, will use a Real Property Report showing a hot tub to determine if the placement is appropriate. They will consider things like the Land Use Bylaw, the position of the hot tub, the set back distances, slopes, fences, structures, and overhead wires.
Would you buy a home that had no building permit or inspection?
It is possible that a previous landowner installed the tub without the proper building or electrical permit. In this case, the tub may be illegal or pose serious risks to the new owners. A qualified Home Inspector can certainly look at the mechanics of the hot tub to ensure it is working safely. The Land Surveyor’s role is to show the position of the tub on the property relative to the boundaries and other structures. If the hot tub was not properly installed and permitted the landowner may be required to apply for an “as-built” building permit, which are typically more expensive and time consuming. The potential home buyer is thus protected and has the option to deal with the hot tub prior to signing a purchase agreement for their new home.
Are you planning on installing a hot tub?
Good news! You can use your recent Real Property Report as part of your application. It contains all the buildings and visible improvements, along with boundaries and easements.
Please consider securing your hot tub from unauthorized entry. They can often be fitted with locking lids that both protect the tub and prevent children or animals from diving in unattended. We also see many properties with locking gazebos built around the tub which provide for privacy and ventilation while improving the overall aesthetic of the property.