Category: News

  • BC’s Guide Dog and Service Dog Announcement & Impact to SPA

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    On December 3rd, Minister Suzanne Anton announced that British Columbia’s new Guide Dog and Service Dog Act will come into force on January 18, 2016. As some of you may know, the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act was passed by the Legislature earlier this year.

    We have been informed that corresponding changes to the Strata Property Act will also come into force on January 18, 2016. Strata owners, occupants, tenants and visitors will be able to have their certified guide dog or service dog on strata premises, regardless of tenancy agreements or strata bylaws restricting or banning pets. Owners, occupants and tenants will also be able to keep their certified retired guide dog or service dog with them, including after a new dog has been certified to take over its duties. This serves to acknowledge the bond between a handler and their retired guide dog or service dog.

    These changes are intended to protect the rights of individuals who rely on guide dogs or service dogs, while providing clarity to strata corporations. In order to be certified, a guide dog or service dog will need to demonstrate that it meets a high training standard for public safety. Once the new program is in place, efforts will be made to provide certified handlers and trainers with standard provincial identification.

    Please note the following:

    • Not all certified guide dogs and service dogs will necessarily be a specific breed or size – the focus of certification is on the dog’s training to support public safety.
    • Protections under the Human Rights Code may still apply to uncertified dog and handler teams – clients may wish to seek legal advice specific to your strata corporation’s situation if there is a concern in this area.

    For more information about these changes, please see https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015JAG0296-002012 or visit www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/guideanimal/index.htm.

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  • Drones, Drones, Drones

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    There has been a great deal of media attention over the past few years on the use of drones for a variety of purposes.  As the cost of small machines that can take flight plummets, they become more and more common for both commercial and personal use.  

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  • Civil Resolution Tribunal – Latest Update

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    Preparations for the launch of the Civil Resolution Tribunal are continuing and the CRT has now officially appointed their Tribunal Members (many of whom are well known legal minds in the strata community).

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  • Insurance Ramifications For Strata Corporations With Commercial Units

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    A recent news story generated a fair bit of “buzz” in the Strata community, as a downtown Vancouver Strata Corporation found itself without insurance after a marijuana dispensary set up shop in one of the commercial units in the ground floor of the building. As mixed-use facilities are becoming more and more common, it is more important than ever for Strata Corporations to ensure they have sound bylaws with respect to the use of Commercial Strata Lots in order to restrict activities that the community would find unwelcome.  In particular, certain types of commercial uses may have negative consequences on the insurability of your Strata Corporation.  We encourage all mixed-use Strata Corporations to consider seeking legal advice on potential amendments to the bylaws and giving serious consideration to the types of activities you would like occuring in your community.

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  • Short Term Rentals / “AirBnB”

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    Recently, there has been a fair bit of media attention on the subject of 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.

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  • BC Civil Resolution Tribunal – Amendments

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    The Vancouver Sun recently published an article regarding the new Civil Resolution Tribunal, which we have previously written about.

    Discussed briefly in the article are proposed amendments to the legislation, which would make it mandatory for most Strata Corporation disputes to be settled at the CRT- including those initiated by the Strata Corporation.  This addresses a significant criticism of Strata Council’s, that the Strata Corporation be obliged to participate in the process but not Owners.

    These amendments are further discussed at both the CRT Website and in the press release from the BC Government.

    Further clarification can be found in the CRT article entitled “9 Things To Know About the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) Act Changes”.

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  • BC’s New Strata Housing Website

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    The province has updated their Strata Housing website which includes helpful guides, links, legislation and other resources for Strata Owners in British Columbia.  This is an immensely useful tool for Council members, Owners and Property Managers.  We encourage you to review the new website and in particular, familiarize yourselves with the various guides contained which answer a great deal many questions about Strata living in BC.

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  • Giving Notice For General Meetings

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    One of the most common questions we get from Strata Councils is how we calculate the 21 day notice period required before calling an Annual or Special General Meeting. On the face of it, the Strata Property Act appears to only require a 14 day notification period as noted in section 45 below:

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  • Upcoming Strata Educational Seminar

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    The Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) is hosting a half day Strata Seminar on Saturday, February 7th, 2015.  The seminar will discuss Contracts for Major Projects & Selecting a Contractor/Consultant and is open to members ($30 registration fee) and non-members ($35) alike.  A continental breakfast will be provided to all attendees.

    The seminar will be held on Saturday February 7th, 2015 at UBC Robson Square (800 Robson Street) with breakfast beginning at 8:30am and the seminar stating at 9:00am.

    Speakers included Ted Denniston, Principal at Sense Engineering at Jamie Bleay, lawyer with Access Law Group.

    You can find more information on the seminar here.

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  • The Fourth Annual Stratawest Christmas Toy Drive

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    You did it again! With unbelievable support from our staff and industry colleagues, Stratawest is delighted to have helped to fill up some otherwise empty stockings through the Christmas Bureau for the fourth year running. The response to our Toy Drive this year was awesome, with amazingly generous donations of toys, musical instruments, gift cards, sporting equipment, iPods and other items for needy families… we had a number of loads so there was actually more than the picture below shows and it continues to come in.

    We were also very pleased to be a second time sponsor of the Vancouver Special Children’s Christmas Party held at Canada Place this past weekend. We again had staff and family give their time as well to volunteer and actively spread some holiday cheer at this wonderful and important event that benefits the terminally ill, the intellectually and/or physically challenged, and children who have suffered from domestic violence or abuse. This day means a tremendous amount to the parents and children attending the event, and we encourage others to become a sponsor next year alongside us.

    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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