Category: News

  • B.C To End Self-Regulation of Real Estate Industry

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    This is likely much more important to us than our clients, but in case you missed it yesterday…

    http://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/news/b-c–to-end-self-regulation-of-real-estate-industry-after-damning-report-209687.aspx

    See also today’s Press Release from the Office of the Premier https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016PREM0074-001180

    The word on the street is that we in the strata world – particularly those companies doing a respectable and honest job in the strata world – should not be particularly effected nor should there be concern with the planned changes in our regulation authority. These actions by the Provincial Government are aimed primarily at the Trading Services/Realtor ™ side of our industry and Stratawest is always in favour of any action taken to better inform and protect the consumer.

    It is believed that there will be little diminishment in the REC itself after the ‘overhaul’ takes place and that the REC will largely be business as usual for us – it is thought they will still be in charge of licensing, re-licensing, education, etc.; HOWEVER, ‘rule-making’, regulatory and enforcement responsibilities are intended to be carved out and put under the direction of the Superintendent of Real Estate.

    We have had numerous discussions with SPABC, CHOA and other industry stakeholders and we are on the same page that this will be good for the industry in that the real concerns of brokerages or individuals not playing within the rules should be more fully addressed. We work very hard to strictly abide by all legislated requirements and undertake to fulfill all of our duties in a competent and ethical manner, so any tide that forces the rest of the boats up or under is good for business and for the profile of the strata management industry.

    So there you go – by all accounts (as of end of business today) there is not yet another enormous wave on the horizon for the strata management industry to try and surf and all is well in the world.

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  • Bylaw Complaints as Harassment

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    A somewhat typical response from Owners and Tenants to complaint letters we send on our clients’ behalf is that the Strata Council is “harassing” them.  Often, we are required to send multiple complaints because of ongoing problems within a suite (noise, pets, smoking, etc.) and rather than addressing the alleged bylaw violation, the subject of the complaint will allege that they are being targeted unfairly.

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  • Hearings

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    The Strata Property Act contains an oft-used provision requiring Strata Council’s to hold a “hearing” at the request of an Owner or Tenant.  Section 34.1 reads:

    Request for council hearing

    34.1 

    (1) By application in writing stating the reason for the request, an owner or tenant may request a hearing at a council meeting.

    (2) If a hearing is requested under subsection (1), the council must hold a council meeting to hear the applicant within 4 weeks after the request.

    (3) If the purpose of the hearing is to seek a decision of the council, the council must give the applicant a written decision within one week after the hearing.

    Subject to any clarification in the Bylaws of your Strata Corporation which might provide more details, what you see is what you get.  There are no other Regulations relating to Hearings and the above provides very little in the way of guidance to Strata Councils who are asked to conduct a Hearing on what they might look like, whether or not there are any restrictions, what obligations are imposed on them at the Hearing itself, what a written “decision” might entail, etc.  

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  • Court Orders Troublesome Owner To Pay Fines and Cease Egregious Behaviour

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    In a ruling that will embolden some Strata Councils to pursue legal remedies against particularly abusive Owners (and occupants), a judge recently ordered an Owner to pay several thousand dollars in unpaid fines and to cease & desist from engaging in abusive, generally awful behaviour.

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  • Rock 101 Mugging

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    We were pleased to be selected to be “Mugged” by Rock 101’s team of Willy, Kim and Alece on March 22nd, 2016.  It was fun to welcome them into the office (free coffee and donuts!) and hear about their glamorous life in radio.

    An audio excerpt from their show can be found here.  A really pleasant treat for our staff!

    Mugging

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  • Vacancy Rates in Strata Corporations

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    Much has been made of a recent report made to the City of Vancouver regarding vacancy rates, particularly in Strata Corporations where it is estimated that approximately 12{e013b784d3a72fb890c716aa74480ba3c3f3d9e4c9f6942fcb94dfe33921e922} of units sit empty.

    The City has suggested it may be time to look at either forcing or strongly encouraging Owners to rent their vacant suites out.

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  • Depreciation Report – Funding

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    We are now a few years on from the legislation that requires most Strata Corporations in BC to conduct a Depreciation Report.  Nearly all of our clients have either conducted one, or are in the process of doing so- and our Property Managers field a wide range of questions from Councils and Owners alike relating to the reports.  We thought it might be helpful, especially in light of recent reports that most Strata Corporations continue to be underfunded, to address some of those questions here at our Blog- for the benefit of all interested parties.  Our first article, entitled “Depreciation Reports – Our Position” has more than 5,000 hits at current count- indicating significant interest in the subject.  We are heartened by the uptake of most of our clients in the Depreciation Report process, for reasons outlined in our original article and expanded upon below.

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  • Vancouver Sun Civil Resolution Tribunal article: Small claims and strata disputes to move online

    3,050 views

    Please click the following link for an information piece on the coming Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT).

    http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/mulgrew+small+claims+strata+disputes+move+online/11711273/story.html

    There remains much to be determined related to the CRT including further supporting legislation and the Rules relating to the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act. Once more of this information has been determined and shared publicly, Stratawest will provide a memorandum to clients to share the details.

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  • Short Term Rentals / AirBnB

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    Since our original blog post and the related Vancouver Province article back in March 2015, there has been tremendous discussion around the topic short-term rentals within Strata Corporations, specifically the use of websites such as Air BnB and VRBO by Owners to sublease their units on a nightly or short-term basis. The Condominium Home Owners’ Association of BC (CHOA) Journal published an article by Veronica Franco (partner and Chair of the Strata Property Group at Clark Wilson LLP) which provides more lessons learned, important information, and strategies for addressing the related concerns (spoiler alert: strata councils dealing with short term rental concerns need to contemplate seeking legal advice to assist with review of and revisions to the strata corporation bylaws).

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  • The FIFTH Annual Stratawest Christmas Toy Drive

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    We are so thrilled with the tremendous support we received this year from our many fantastic industry colleagues and our staff for our Christmas toy drive.  It was by any measure the biggest haul we’ve netted so far, all on behalf of the North Vancouver Christmas Bureau.  This was the fifth year of our annual toy drive, and we received hundreds and hundreds of dollars in gift certificates that parents will be able to use to Christmas shop for their kids, bikes, guitars, toys, iPods, board games, dolls and other amazing gifts for needy local families.

    We actually had to press our good friends at Ferguson Moving & Storage into service this year to help us get all the goods to the Christmas Bureau, so thanks to them for their wonderful support!

    As always, none of this happens without you, and 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 for taking part.

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

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