In this blog, we explore the details of a strata property, including what they are, how they work, who operates them, and the impact they have on the owners of property inside the strata.
What is Strata Property?
A large number of British Columbians live in strata housing. This type of property can include apartment-style condos, townhouses, duplexes, fractional vacation properties, and certain single-family homes known as strata subdivisions.
An owner of a strata property will own their designated strata lot area, which can include a house, parking stalls, garages, and/or storage areas. Additionally, strata lot owners will share ownership of the common property and common assets as a strata corporation.
Essentially anything that is not a part of a strata lot is considered common property of the land such as the areas outside the buildings, shared facilities, amenities, and utilities.
The strata plan is what formally defines the strata corporation’s legal structure and the physical structure of the development.
Strata is not limited to residential housing, it can encompass commercial, industrial, and mixed-use strata developments.
A strata corporation consists of its strata lot owners. All strata lot owners and residents must follow the Strata Property Act, regulations, and the strata corporation’s bylaws and rules.
A unique feature of a strata corporation is that it is self-governed. Strata lot owners elect a “strata council” to hold council meetings, general meetings, and voting, often assisted by a strata property manager.
This system allows owners to approve the annual budget and bylaws. It is the bylaws that dictate how the strata operates.
Some commonly seen bylaws tend to prohibit smoking, restrict the rental of residential units, or not permit certain types of pets.
It is important to understand the strata’s bylaws and rules because owners and residents who disobey can be penalized by the strata corporation with a fine.
WHAT ARE THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A STRATA?
Each strata corporation has its own set of bylaws that spell out the rights and responsibilities of the strata lot owners. For example, who oversees repair and maintenance?
As a rule of thumb, the strata corporation has to repair and maintain the common property, while a strata lot owner is responsible for their own strata lot.
Although, each strata corporation can develop its own procedures for dealing with repair and maintenance, which would be reflected in the bylaws.
Given the individual bylaws and rules of each strata, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with your own strata bylaws.
WHAT ARE STRATA FEES?
Strata lot owners must pay for common expenses in their strata corporation, such as insurance, cleaning, gardening, and repair and maintenance of common property. It is typical to see the strata fees set up as a monthly payment.
HAVE A STRATA-RELATED QUESTION?
Whether you are interested in purchasing a strata lot or are a current owner with a legal question, our Real Estate Team is more than happy to help at any stage!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 604-973-0188.