• Investing Your Reserves


    Please note that this post is outdated, but still contains useful information. An important update to this post can be found here as the Regulations referred to below have been amended.

    We have previously written on the amendments to the Strata Property Act requiring all strata corporations to obtain a Depreciation Report by December 2013.

    If you live in a strata corporation which has obtained a Depreciation Report already, you’re no doubt familiar with the various funding scenarios they present.  At least one of those scenarios will involve a very substantial increase in the amount of money your strata corporation puts away into the Contingency Reserve Fund (CRF).  Depending on the size of the strata corporation, there could be millions of dollars put away over the 30 year time horizon to fund capital renewals of expensive common elements such as windows, walls, mechanical equipment and waterproofing.  This money will get put away gradually over time, again depending on the nuances of the scenario itself, and accrue interest at a given rate.  Strata Corporations also have the advantage of being able to invest money tax free, because they are ‘not for profit’.  So, money invested by your Strata Corporation is not taxed when in a Strata account (while it would be if each individual owner invested the money on their own and then pooled it later on via a special levy).

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  • Changes to the Limitation Act – Consequences on Strata Collections Procedures


    First off, a disclaimer- we are not lawyers, nor do we offer legal advice.  We usually point this out, but it’s especially critical when we write about legal statutes.  An industry colleague of ours, Veronica Franco at Clark Wilson LLP provided our staff with an in-house seminar on the new Limitation Act recently and has prepared an excellent primer on what we discuss below. You can find it here.  Our purpose in discussing this is to elaborate on some of the practical consequences facing your strata corporation and our industry as a result of this new Act.

    On June 1st, 2013, a new Limitation Act came into force in British Columbia.  One of the primary aims of the new Act was to bring it in line with similar statutes across the country.

    Because we’re not lawyers, we’ll steer clear from a broad commentary on the Act and focus on one important subject: the new Act’s consequences for Strata Corporations collecting arrears.

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  • Who Is Entitled To A Special Levy Refund?


    We are often contacted by former owners of strata lots, who have learned that a Special Levy Refund was issued at the Strata Corporation in which they used to own and where they had paid the initial special levy.  Sometimes there is a great deal of confusion, and unfortunately it is often the case that the owner’s realtor did not explain to them when they sold their suite that, failing a clause they are not entitled to any refunds which are paid out by the Strata Corporation after the transfer of title is complete.  However, the Strata Property Act clearly states that refunds are issued to the individual who is the owner at the time of the refund.  Indeed, Section 108 (which contains Special Levy provisions) was amended on December 10, 2009 to clarify previous ambiguities on the subject.  Section 108, clauses 5 and 6  (which deal with levy surpluses) read as follows:

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  • Owner Access to Records


    Quite regularly, an owner (or a group of owners) will request access to certain records of their given Strata Corporation.  The owner must be provided access under Section 36 of the Strata Property Act (SPA) and need only pay for the copy costs (with the Strata Corporation being charged the related administration time for staff to observe the records review, if so required). The most typical requests relate to financial records, copies of contracts, repair work and the like.

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  • Owner Ordered Evicted By Judge


    In a case making headlines around the province, an owner is being ordered to sell her strata unit and vacate it (along with her son).  The saga began in 2006 and may be reaching its conclusion.

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  • Thank you Art Phillips


    Thank you Art Phillips.

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  • Insurance Renewals And The Outlook For 2013… So Far.


    With the ever-changing nature of global insurance markets and the related moving pieces leading to the local trend of rising premium costs, we have been looking to find unbiased third party articles and information to pass along to keep our clients informed and hopefully help make some sense of this very significant and mandatory operating cost. In this article, we offer some commentary on the insurance renewal process along with some information on the 2013 outlook for Strata Corporation Insurance in British Columbia.

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  • Earth Hour


    Earth Hour will be observed beginning at 8:30pm on Saturday March 23rd.  Anyone wanting to learn more about this global event can find information at


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  • How Are Strata Fees Calculated?


    There are a number of excellent resources available on the internet, particularly those published by the Ministry of Housing, which answer some fairly basic questions about strata corporations.  A great example is the article we’d like to suggest for review below.  It explains one of the most fundamental concepts of the Strata Property Act – how strata fees are calculated.  Owners often ask us how their fees are arrived at, and whether or not there is something arbitrary at play.  This article explains the process for calculating Unit Entitlement (UE) which is the basic building block used to calculate all funds raised by strata corporations.

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  • Proxies And Owner Direction


    Attached to every Annual & Special General Meeting Notice you will find a Proxy form.  The Proxy form allows an owner to appoint another individual to vote on their behalf at the meeting in the event that they themselves are not available to attend. The Proxy form is most often provided to a relative, a neighbour or a member of the Strata Council. A person provided the form is called a “proxy” and the person designating him or her is called a “principal”.

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