“Strata Squeeze” – Inflation, Property Management Shortages, Derelict Properties and More

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We take this opportunity to link this excellent article from Vancouver Magazine, “Strata Squeeze: Could Florida’s Condo Collapse Happen in Vancouver?”.

The author highlights and expands upon several subjects we have been discussing on our blog for many years now.  These topics include:

  1. The impacts of inflation and recent cost increases for just about all labour;
  2. The Insurance crisis in BC,
  3. The shortage of qualified and licensed Property Managers compared against the massive number of new Strata titled developments, which is creating significant disruption within our industry;
  4. Depreciation Reports and the importance of long term planning;

The article is framed around the troubling story of one Strata in particular, somewhat well known here in Vancouver for being mired in a multi-decade maintenance nightmare- with concerns about a structural collapse resembling that which we wrote about last year after the tragedy at Surfside Florida.

These subjects are truly interconnected in that it is impossible to separate them and, unfortunately, they are coming together in a ‘perfect storm’.  Our bottom line when it comes to advising clients is that everyone needs to be prepared for the long-term maintenance needs of your Strata Corporation in addition to the many day to day challenges.  This is a daunting task for volunteer Strata Councils, but those are the shoulders upon which the decision making and responsibility sit.  More than ever, it is critical to have expertise on your side whether that is engineers, lawyers or Property Managers.  Strata Corporations are becoming more and more complex both in terms of physical structure and communities are getting more and more beset by legal woes and conflict.

The truth of that matter is that expertise and best maintenance practices come at a price.  While we seem to be eternally delivering “bad news” to our clients and wish that were not the case here, we truly believe that those who start early in recognizing these concerns and plan to reasonably and responsibly address the increasing real world costs will find themselves properly protecting what is very likely their largest asset- their home.