We have written on other occasions about the need to ensure your Strata Corporation’s bylaws are thorough and enforceable. That is best done by independent legal counsel, to ensure that they are consistent with current practices, the applicable legislation (Strata Property Act “SPA”, Personal Information Protection Act “PIPA”, the Human Rights Code, etc.) and recent case law.
As Property Managers, we are aware of some of the difficulties of ensuring Bylaws are kept modern and current and consistent with all of these factors. Still, we are often asked by our clients to “write” new bylaws for them. In these instances we have to deliver uncomfortable news, that we are not qualified to do so and the Law Society of British Columbia will take great issue if we behave or represent otherwise. Even if we have examples of bylaws from other properties, these should be taken as guidance only because each property is different and those examples might themselves be outdated. The Real Estate Council of BC has clarified that Property Managers should not write Bylaws as it is beyond the scope of our expertise, and that the writing of Bylaws should always be referred to lawyers.
One law firm that specializes in the drafting of bylaws is Lesperance Mendes- whom we have linked to before on our blog. They recently published an article entitled The Benefits of Periodic Bylaw Review intended to highlight some of the pitfalls of failing to arrange for an occasional review of Bylaws. There is never a good time to do this as it costs money, but it is better to do it before faced with expensive litigation or a Civil Resolution Tribunal claim than after. We recommend any client who has not had legal counsel review their Bylaws in recent memory to do so, which can usually be done at a somewhat nominal cost (especially compared against the cost of litigation around unenforceable bylaws).