Recent Amendments made to the Strata Property Act

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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.  

The definitions of the Operating and Contingency Reserve Funds have changed, as have the functions of these accounts and the votes necessary to spend money from these accounts.

Generally speaking, these amendments make it easier for strata councils to carry out their responsibilities by removing regulatory barriers for strata corporations and owners, clarifying requirements and refining problematic definitions. We are very pleased that a key focus of the amendments is supporting strata corporations in maintaining their buildings and other assets.

One amendment clarifies that paying for and accruing funds to pay for a Depreciation Report is a legitimate Operating Fund expense, and can be approved by a majority vote.  The changes to the Operating and Contingency Reserve provisions also allow a strata corporation to use moneys more easily for matters relating to the Depreciation Report – either to commission a Report, or to finance repairs called for in the Report.  Now, a simple majority vote will suffice to pass budgets or CRF related expenditures for Depreciation Report purposes. Discretionary spending (e.g. to build a swimming pool) will still require a ¾ vote for money to be spent form the CRF.  The changes alter sections 1, 92, and 96 of the Act.

Also changes have been made to Sections 35 (Strata Corporation records), 89 (Removal of claim of lien after purchase from owner developer) and 109 (Payment of special levy when strata lot sold).

Section 35 now includes a requirement that any storage locker assigned to an owner is kept on a list by the Strata Corporation;

Section 89 now allows for a new owner, having bought from the owner developer to discharge a Builders Lien by paying money into court.

Section 109 now expands the definitions of who is responsible for payments to a special levy during the sale and transfer of a strata lot.

All of the amendments are set out below in full.

Strata Property Act

39 Section 1 (1) of the Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43, is amended

(a) in the definition of “contingency reserve fund” by striking out “that usually occur less often than once a year or that do not usually occur“, and

(b) in the definition of “operating fund” by striking out “that usually occur either once a year or more often than once a year“.

40 Section 35 (1) (c) (i) is amended by striking out “parking stall numbers,” and substituting “parking stall and storage locker numbers,

41 Section 89 (1), (2) and (5) is amended by striking out “the purchaser” and substituting “the purchaser or, if the strata lot is conveyed to the purchaser and the purchaser becomes the owner of the strata lot, that owner“.

42 Section 92 (a) is repealed and the following substituted:

(a) an operating fund for common expenses that

(i) usually occur either once a year or more often than once a year, or

(ii) are necessary to obtain a depreciation report under section 94, and .

43 Section 96 is repealed and the following substituted:

Expenditures from contingency reserve fund

96 The strata corporation must not spend money from the contingency reserve fund unless the expenditure is

(a) consistent with the purposes of the fund as set out in section 92 (b), and

(b) approved or authorized as follows:

(i) the expenditure is first approved by a resolution passed by

(A) a majority vote at an annual or special general meeting if the expenditure is

(I) necessary to obtain a depreciation report under section 94, or

(II) related to the repair, maintenance or replacement, as recommended in the most current depreciation report obtained under section 94, of common property, common assets or the portions of a strata lot for which the strata corporation has taken responsibility under section 72 (3), or

(B) a 3/4 vote at an annual or special general meeting if the expenditure is not described in clause (A) (I) or (II);

(ii) the expenditure is authorized under section 98.

44 Section 109 is amended

(a)         in paragraph (a) by striking out “the seller owes” and substituting “the person who is the owner of the strata lot immediately before the date the strata lot is conveyed owes“, and

 (b)         in paragraph (b) by striking out “the purchaser owes” and substituting “the person who is the owner of the strata lot immediately after the date the strata lot is conveyed owes“.

 

Please feel free to contact the management company with any questions or comments related to the above.