Frequently Asked Questions

1. What types of Strata Corporations are there?

Strata housing is more than just condos. Strata housing can also include; duplexes, townhouses, fractional vacation properties, even single family homes in bare land strata corporations. In addition to strata housing, or residential strata, there are also commercial, industrial and mixed use strata developments (eg. restaurants, retail space, hotels, parking lots, offices, stables, marinas, etc). Many strata developments are a combination of commercial and residential (mixed use), and can be inside an air space parcel. These Stratas can also be "Sectioned" acting like their own unique independent corporations.

2. What legislation governs strata/condominium matters?

The Strata Property Act and Regulations plays a major role. Other legislation that can impact strata corporations, strata councils, strata lot owners and tenants includes, but is not limited to: the Human Rights Code, the Real Estate Services Act and the Residential Tenancy Act. As well, local government bylaws may impact strata corporations and residents.

3. Who manages a strata development and strata corporation?

The Strata Property Act and Regulations provide a framework for the creation and operation of strata developments. The legislation provides for strata corporations to operate and make decisions based on democratic principles. Under the Act, the strata lot owners elect a strata council that manages the development and the strata corporation. Many strata corporations hire a strata manager to help the strata council perform certain tasks. In addition to the strata council's role, some strata governance decisions reguire either majority, 3/4 or unanimous votes by the strata lot owners. Strata corporations are also governed by any rules that they create, and by either the schedule of standard bylaws or by amended bylaws. The Act gives a strata corporation the ability to pass its own bylaws to provide for the control, management, maintenance, use and enjoyment of the strata lots, common property and common assets of the strata corporation.

4. Who enforces the Strata Property Act?

The Strata Property Act is self-governing legislation. It is the responsibility of the strata lot owners and other interested parties to administer and implement the provisions of the Act, their rules and bylaws through the strata council.

5. What is the role of the Strata Council?

Section 4 and 26 of the Strata Property Act confirms the Council exercises the power and performs the duties of the strata corporation, which are mandated under Section 3 of the Act, to manage and maintain the common property and common assests of the strata corporation for the benefit of the owners.

6. What rules govern the use of the strata lots and common property?

The Strata bylaws govern the use of the strata lots and common property. Additionally, strata rules may be created to govern the use of common property.

7. Can common property be dedicated to specific strata lots?

Yes. A specific portion of the common property can be designated as limited common property for the use of only a specific strata lot or a group of strata lots. Short term exclusive use arrangements are also possible. The registered Strata Plan confirms the C (common property), LCP (limited common property) and PT (part of a strata lot) areas.

8. Who determines the budget for a strata development?

The strata council prepares the annual budget, which must be approved by a majority vote of the strata lot owners at an Annual General Meeting (AGM).

9. What is the budget Contingency fund used for?

This fund builds over time, based on considerations of future capital upgrades required to common components of the strata corporation. This fund is also used for emergency expenditures as per section 98 (3) of the Strata Property Act.

10. When are strata fees due and owing?

Shedule of Standard Bylaw #1 states, "an owner must pay strata fees on or before the first day of the month to which the strata fees relate."

11. What am I paying for in my monthly strata fees?

You are paying for the strata corporations duty and mandate under Section 92 to establish an operating fund and a contingency fund for common expenses that usually occur either once a year or more often than once a year, or are necessary to obtain a depreciation report under Section 94.

12. How are major repairs or improvements funded?

The contingency reserve fund may be used for strata expenses that usually occur less often than once a year. A special levy may be used to raise further amounts. Approval requires a 3/4 vote of the owners at a general meeting.

13. Can I rent out my strata lot?

An owner's ability to rent out his or her strata lot may be limited , or prohibited altogether, in amendments to the strata bylaws. Please review the strata bylaws of the strata lot in question.

14. Can I have a pet in my strata?

Review your Bylaws very carefully, usually under section 3 of the Schedule of Standard Bylaws.

15. How do I find out about moving in or moving out requirements?

Please review your Rules and Bylaws. These usually have information related to moving. If you cannot find anything, please contact the strata or property manager prior to the moving date.

16. How do I make a formal complaint about noise, Rule or Bylaw infractions?

You should retain a list of dates/times and information related to your concerns, and provide this to your strata main contact in writing (this can be the strata property manager by email). The manager will provide the information to the strata council for their consideration. Each situation is unique, so the Council's role is to determine appropriate steps to be taken to help you resolve your concerns once they have determined that the complaint is reasonable. In some situations, the first step might be that Council asks you to contact your neighbor first and discuss your concerns "owner to owner", prior to asking the Council to help resolve the issue.

17. What happens when I do make a complaint?

Your Council will ensure that you understand that, if they determine the next step is to contact the strata lot regarding the complaint being made, and possible enforcement action, that the indivdual receiving the complaint might be able to ask for a copy of the complaint being made against them. Under Section 35 of the Strata Property Act, the Council would be obligated to provide them with a copy of the original complaint letter. There can be a few situations where the Council can demark identification areas on the orginal complaint letter.