The Strata Property Act (SPA or ‘the Act’) mandates that a Strata Corporation must have Bylaws. Those bylaws allow for the Strata Corporation to govern the use of Common Property, such as a parkade, stairwell, lobby or other shared facility. Bylaws can also govern the use of Strata Lots themselves – restricting the behaviour of Owners within property that they own. It is for this reason that a Strata Corporation is sometimes referred to as a ‘4th Level of Government’. Sometimes a Strata Corporation’s Bylaws may conflict with other legislation, and the question arises as to whether or not those Bylaws are enforceable. We’ve included below some general commentary, which should not be interpreted as legal advice. If you are concerned with whether or not a specific Bylaw is enforceable, it is certainly prudent to seek legal advice.
Followers of our blog will know that the BC Government is preparing the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRF) for action beginning in 2015.
Though there was a temporary Chairperson appointed, the government has now appointed a permanent chair, Ms. Shannon Salter.
The CRT will provide online access to Strata Property Owners wishing to resolve strata property disputes and small claims.
More information about Ms. Salter and the CRT can be found at the CHOA website.
First off, our standard disclaimer- we are not lawyers, nor do we offer legal advice; however, the following is not actually legal advice, but an advisory and commentary on a recent ruling on a very interesting (if somewhat extreme) case… and it is from an actual lawyer. An industry colleague of ours, the law firm of Lesperance Mendes has kindly provided permission to share the following article written by their own Catherine Scott, and we do so here with many thanks.
When is a Strata Council entitled to levy a fine against an Owner for a contravention of a Bylaw or Rule? This is a common question and it is important that all Council members familiarize themselves with the process, so that fines which are levied are not overturned later on if challenged.
In a previous post, we wrote about the subject of investments permitted by Regulation 6.11 of the Strata Property Act. This Regulation had been one of the more confusing and ambiguous sections of the Act and the source of a great deal of controversy.
The Regulations were recently updated and proclaimed by the Government in an effort to reduce the confusion and clarify what types of investments are permitted. The new Regulations dramatically reduced the number of allowable investments under the Strata Property Act. This topic may not have affected you or our Strata Corporation yet, but particularly in light of the rising levels of Contingency Reserve Funds associated with Depreciation Reports, it is likely a topic that would have arisen sooner or later.
Recent Amendments made to the Strata Property Act
Further to advisories sent out by The Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI), Strata Property Agents of BC (SPABC) (information from both of which are included below) and others this past week, please be advised that there have been amendments to the Strata Property Act (SPA). These amendments were included in the Natural Gas Amendment Bill (Bill 12: Natural Gas Development Statues Amendment Act) which has received Royal Assent as of April 9th. The amendments to SPA (in sections 39 – 44 of the bill) take effect as of that date.
Changes to the Strata Property Act – An Update
In 2009, the BC Provincial Government announced several significant changes to the Strata Property Act. The amendments had three main components which were written about and widely publicized. They were:
– A requirement that strata corporations conduct a Depreciation Report, a subject we have written about on many occasions;
– The creation of a Dispute Resolution Tribunal, which has not yet come into force but which is still being worked on, and;
– A requirement that strata corporations perform an audit of their financial statements on an annual basis.
The Third Annual Stratawest Christmas Toy Drive
With incredible support from our staff and industry colleagues alike, Stratawest is proud to have blown the doors off the North Shore Christmas Bureau for the third year running. The response to our Toy Drive this year was again awe-inspiring, with amazingly generous donations of toys, musical instruments, gift cards, sporting equipment, iPods and other items for needy families… there was actually more than the picture below shows and it continues to come in!
We were advised this week by the Office of Housing & Construction Standards (Ministry of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing) that on December 12, 2013 the Province brought into force legislative amendments to allow strata corporations with majority support to apply to the BC Supreme Court to require strata owners to pay for certain repairs.
Please make note of the following important dates for the upcoming festive season.
Friday, December 13, 2013 – Staff Lunch, office closed at 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 – Office Closed at 12:00 Noon.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013 – Office Closed
Thursday, December 26, 2013 – Office Closed
Friday, December 27, 2013 – Office Closed
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 – Office Closed at 12:00 Noon.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014 – Office Closed
Thursday, January 2, 2014 – Office Re-Opens