Blog

  • A Strata Corporation’s Responsibility To Repair & Maintain Strata Lots

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    We are taking this opportunity to republish one of our more popular articles, originally published October 16, 2014, as we can now include a Chinese language translation of the entire article (including the Handling Uninsured Claims within a Strata Corporation portion provided by Clark Wilson LLP).

    Chinese language translation of this article can be found here.

    Strata Corporations often wrestle with the question of who is responsible for repairing a Strata Lot when there is water damage as a result of a leak, drainage backup or other calamity. Included below for your benefit is advice offered by Clark Wilson LLP on the subject, which we hope will provide some guidance.  Special thanks to them for offering this advice.

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  • Medical Marijuana and Strata Corporations

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    With apologies in advance for the many puns from our colleagues at Lesperance Mendes, we thought it would be beneficial to link to two recent articles of theirs regarding marijuana (and smoking in general) within Strata Lots.

    The first is a link to their excellent commentary on the very first decision published by the Civil Resolution Tribunal.  The case revolves around a Strata Corporation seeking relief from an Owner who had been fined repeatedly for smoking in their suite (both marijuana and tobacco). The Strata sought an order to prevent the Owner from continuing to do so and not for any monetary damages- though this is an option that was available to them.  The CRT found in favour of the Strata Corporation, though unfortunately it was at least partially because the claim was uncontested. The reasons are laid out in the published judgement itself, but suffice it to say the Tribunal was very critical of the argument put forward by the Owner, his lawyer and his Doctor as to why he felt compelled to consume marijuana by smoking it.  They noted in particular that there are other (legal) consumption methods available to anyone with a prescription for marijuana.  The Tribunal also quite rightly pointed out that the alleged disability of the Owner had no bearing on their smoking of cigarettes.

    The second link is a more general, pun filled discussion on medical marijuana, the implication of “grown your own” and the importance of strong bylaws outlining clear expectations of Owners who suffer from medical conditions that require them to ingest marijuana.

    We should all expect this issue to become much more prevalent within shared communities. Consumption of marijuana is becoming more normalized, and it is expected that in the not so distant future marijuana will be decriminalized and available for recreational consumption. Whether or not this will lead to increased usage is debatable, but it will surely result in more difficulties within Strata Corporation as Owners and Residents advance more and more claims that they should be allowed to “smoke it” if they’ve “got it”.  We encourage any Strata Council dealing with a nuisance complaint about marijuana to tread carefully and engage legal advice where appropriate to address the complaints, so as to be sure that fines and other enforcement measures are enfor0ecable in the event of a claim at the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

     

     

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  • The Sixth Annual Stratawest Christmas Toy Drive

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    With continued incredible support from our staff and industry colleagues alike, Stratawest is proud to have made significant contributions to the North Shore Christmas Bureau for the 7th year running and to Harvest Project in our second year of involvement with their fantastic program – extending a hand up, not just a hand out.  The response this year was again awe-inspiring, with amazingly generous donations of toys, clothing, thousands of dollars in gift cards, movie passes, and restaurant meals, sporting equipment – including 12 NEW bikes! – and sporting event tickets, iPods and many other items for needy families. Incredibly, there was far more than the picture shows as we had to make a number of trips over the past couple of weeks.

    We were also inspired to take part in Harvest Project’s Adopt A Family campaign to bring hope to North Shore families in need and on their way back to healthier lives. The staff and leadership of Stratawest believe it’s important to ‘give where we live’. Harvest Project is a local charity that supports over 350 families each month with coaching and counsel along with grocery and clothing support. On our goal of $2,400, we are thrilled to have raised (so far) over $3,100 which will help support a family for the coming year. Amazing!

    We want to sincerely thank and acknowledge the support of our colleagues in the industry and our staff for making this holiday season a better one for so many kids and their families. It is because of the participation and big hearts of many that we are collectively able to make a difference in so many lives, so thank you so much to those that took part and to the many others holding events of their own this holiday season.

    Season’s Greetings to all of you, and best wishes from all of us here at Stratawest Management. Cheers!

    P.S Shout out to James Wilson at Obsession Bikes and their 2017 Bikes for Tykes program in benefit of the North Shore Christmas Bureau for again handling delivery duties of the donated bikes. Merry Christmas guys!

     

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  • A Discussion on the Civil Resolution Tribunal

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    On November 15th, Stratawest was pleased to welcome a large number of our interested council members to a client seminar entitled, “A Discussion on the Civil Resolution Tribunal”.  Joining us to provide an overview of the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) were Shannon Salter, Chair of the CRT, and Tony Gioventu, Executive Director of the Condominium Home Owners Association (CHOA).  We are extremely thankful to both Shannon and Tony for taking time from their very busy schedules to speak with us and also for agreeing to provide the following information to our clients and all of those that follow our blog.

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  • Assignment of Rights to Tenants

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    Many Owners are unaware that when leasing out their suite on a long term basis (3+ years), they automatically assign most of their rights to their tenant.

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  • BC Law Institute Consultation Paper on Complex Strata Corporations

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    The BC Law Institute recently published a consultation paper on complex stratas, which includes recommendations for changes to the Strata Property Act. This is now in its last phase, and requires public analysis and commentary.

    The three legal devices dealt with in the consultation paper are:

    1. sections, which allow for the creation of mini strata corporations;
    2. types, which allow for the allocation (to specific strata lots) of expenses paid for out of a strata corporation’s operating fund; and
    3. phases, which allow for the development of strata properties in segments over an extended period of time.

    Please review the tentative recommendations and provide feedback by:

    If you choose to complete the response booklet, you can submit it by emailing it to kzakreski@nullbcli.org, or faxing it to 604-822-0144.

    This consultation will remain open for feedback until January 15, 2017. If you have any questions, please  contact kzakreski@nullbcli.org.

     

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  • New Real Estate Council Appointed

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    Further to our previous post on the subject, readers will be interested to learn that the BC Provincial Government has appointed a new Real Estate Council, with an aim to increasing consumer protection.

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  • Rental Restrictions – Legal Update

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    Our friends at Lesperance Mendes LLP have published this article, discussing a recent court decision that overturns a previous decision which rendered rental restrictions unenforceable if the Bylaws did not set out a process for administering rentals.

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  • Disclosure Of Remuneration

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    The subject of Disclosure of Remuneration to Strata Management Companies is discussed in detail in this article from Tony Gioventu and we encourage Council members to familiarize themselves with the requirements of Strata Management companies in this regard. While this article is from back in May 2016 and we did not initially post to our blog, we have decided to do so as there continues to be a fair bit of “buzz” in the industry on this subject. Although our clients are familiar with the fact that Stratawest Management is not involved in such practices, questions about commissions and other sources of potential ‘extra’ remuneration to a management company continue to be asked by prospective clients.  

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  • Canada Post Negotiations Update and Our Plan For a Potential Work Stoppage

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    As you may be aware, Canada Post has issued a 72-hour notice to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers as of last night. The issuing of the notice does not necessarily mean that Canada Post will not be operating on Friday, but it means there can be no legal work disruption before 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 8, 2016.

    Some Strata Corporations have General Meetings scheduled in the near future which may be impacted- as notices cannot be mailed and delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Strata Property Actsee this article – for more information on those requirements.  If your strata corporation is impacted, your Property Manager will be in touch about potentially postponing the General Meeting as may be required.

    Needless to say, the delivery of minutes, bylaw violation letters and other correspondence will be similarly impacted until the work stoppage ends (if it occurs).

    With respect to payment of invoices and delivery of cheques, Stratawest is making arrangements to ensure that they are either picked up by trades/service providers or couriered to them as may be required to avoid late penalties.  Some vendors, such as utilities and telecommunication companies will be unsympathetic about the strike and will charge late penalties if they are not paid (even though they are unable to deliver to us an invoice, they do not see that as their concern), so we will make progress payments based on the previous invoice to mitigate this possibility.

    The last time Canada Post experienced a work stoppage was in 2011 and this included 10 days of rotating strikes and a lockout before employees were legislated back to work by the Government. We’re hopeful that this labour disruption will not occur but are working diligently to ensure we have a solid plan in place in the event that it does.

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