• 2019-2020 Insurance Renewals


    We regret to be the ones to share this bad news if you are not already aware, so please try not to shoot the messenger.  Strata Councils and their respective Ownership groups need to be aware that ALL Strata Corporations in and around the Lower Mainland (i.e. all of our clients) should expect to see very significant increases in the premiums they pay for insurance as well as deductibles.  This is a difficult topic to distill into a few bullet points and we will attempt to flesh out the new reality below, but here are some high (or low) lights:

    • Premium increases between 20-80% are common, with some outliers on either side;
    • Deductibles are increasing significantly- $100,000 is becoming the norm for water damage claims in high-rises;
    • This is the result of economic factors both micro and macro in scope;
    • You are not alone- this is impacting all Strata Corporations in the Lower Mainland, all Property Management firms and all insurance brokerages;
    • Owners found to be “responsible” for a loss will be liable for these new deductibles under most Strata Corporation bylaws;
    • We do not profess to provide expertise on insurance, but offer our update below- this has proven to be a very difficult month for Property Managers who are trying their best to assist their clients during what is our busiest time of an always busy year and we appreciate your understanding that this is not of our making and that there is zero money being made by our brokerage related to insurance commissions or the extra work involved in policy renewals. We are offering this memo in our efforts to educate Strata Councils and Ownership groups about the present realities and challenges of the Strata insurance market and will continue to do so at every opportunity.

    continue reading

  • Election Season


    The 2019 Federal Election season is now in full swing.  With that there are two common questions that often arise from Strata Councils during this period of sometimes fierce debate and partisan showmanship.

    continue reading

  • Insurance Changes Coming to the Strata Property Act


    The British Columbia Law Institute published a report earlier this year that could have several significant impacts on Strata Corporations throughout the province.  We have reviewed their report and tried to break out the most important recommendations they’ve made to the provincial government, which will likely result in at least some amendments to the Strata Property Act (the “SPA”).  We recommend reviewing the report in depth, however below we’ve included below notes on some of the more important subjects of conversation.

    You can review the whole report here:

    Some of the key recommendations they’ve made include:

    continue reading

  • The Civil Resolution Tribunal’s Enforcement Power….and Flags!


    Lesperance Mendes, whom we regularly link to on our blog, have 2 articles this month we think are worth referring.

    continue reading

  • Minimum Wage Increases – 2019


    Last year, we wrote to you regarding the planned increases to the minimum wage in British Columbia, and the impact these increased wages would have on Strata Corporations.

    continue reading

  • Short Term Rentals / Executive Stays


    Our great friends at Lesperance Mendes have posted a new article on their Strata Alert section (a great source of information for Strata owners) regarding a recent BC Court of Appeal decision that clarified whether or not executive stay rental businesses are exempt from Strata Corporation rental restrictions.

    continue reading

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations


    With the popularity of electric vehicles increasing every month (reportedly, BC has the highest adoption rate in the country which is not a surprise to anyone who has driven in the downtown core recently), there is more and more pressure on Strata Corporations to allow for electric vehicle charging stations to be installed in their parkades. Many are amenable, but run into pragmatic problems such as:

    • Aged infrastructure and limited electrical capacity;
    • The need for capital expenditures to run electrical wires/conduits/install stations;
    • The need to update Bylaws and Rules to set a regime for the installation, maintenance, operation, user parameters and remuneration related to the charging stations;
    • 3/4 Votes to change the use/appearance of Common Property (to accommodate the conduits and charging stations themselves, and also the re-designation of visitor parking when necessary);
    • Appropriate indemnifications to the Strata Corporation for owner installed stations and/or the usage of Strata operated stations.

    continue reading

  • Rental Housing Task Force & It’s Impact on Strata Corporations


    In late 2018, the Government of BC released a report from their Rental Housing Task Force which included a number of recommendations designed to alleviate the housing crisis facing British Columbians.

    continue reading

  • Insurance Renewals & Market Insights for 2019


    With the ever-changing nature of global insurance markets and the unfortunate increase in severity and frequency of weather-related catastrophes ‘helping’ continue the trend of rising premium costs, the world of insurance is an ever more complicated and expensive one for strata councils to navigate. We take this opportunity early in the new year to pass along some general information to keep you and our clients informed on the renewal process along with some Market Insights from an industry expert to hopefully help make some more sense of this very significant and mandatory operating cost.

    continue reading

  • The 8th Annual Stratawest Christmas Toy Drive


    The 8th Annual Stratawest Christmas Toy Drive was a huge success and we are still at it! With the continued unbelievable support from our staff and industry colleagues, Stratawest is proud to have made significant contributions to the North Shore Christmas Bureau for the 8th year running and to Harvest Project in our 3rd year of involvement with their extremely impactful program of ‘extending a hand up, not just a hand out’.  The response this year was again simply incredible, with amazingly generous donations of toys, clothing, thousands of dollars in gift cards, movie passes, and restaurant meals, sporting equipment – including 16 NEW bikes AND COUNTING! – sporting event tickets, iPods and many other items for needy families. Incredibly, there was far more than the picture shows as we could only fit in a few bikes and the boardroom still had plenty of toys in it… and gift cards are not that photogenic, but sure are awesome to get under the tree!

    continue reading