Strata and Condo Law

Costs of Remedying Bylaw Breaches can be Charged Back to Owners

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Section 131 of the Strata Property Act permits the strata corporation to recover from an owner the cost of remedying a bylaw contravention. This is a very broadly worded section and, depending on the breach, can result in significant charge backs to an owner who has breached the bylaws.

In the case of The Owners, Strata Plan NW 2170 v Broadbent, 2017 BCCRT 114, an owner had made structural changes to her strata lot without permission of the strata council as required in the bylaws: she had widened a doorway in her unit and altered a structural beam to do so. As a result of the changes, the strata council was concerned that the owner had compromised the structural integrity of the roof of her strata lot. Continue reading “Costs of Remedying Bylaw Breaches can be Charged Back to Owners” »

Easement Costs between Strata Corporations

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Some strata corporations are so close to each other that the access to one is over the roadway of another, or they share use of common facilities. In some cases, the developer for the two stratas was the same developer and they created a facility sharing agreement – such as a parking area facility agreement. Continue reading “Easement Costs between Strata Corporations” »

Can a Strata Allocate Repair of Common Property Roofs to Owners?

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There are two types of possible strata plans: bare land strata and regular strata plans. A regular strata plan can consist of condos, townhomes, duplexes, etc. Some regular stratas look like bare land because all houses are not attached to each other. However, whether it is actually a bare land strata depends on the strata plan that is filed with the Land Title Office. The distinction is very important because it can greatly affect repair and maintenance obligations for the strata corporation and individual owners. Continue reading “Can a Strata Allocate Repair of Common Property Roofs to Owners?” »

Smoking in Stratas

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Smoking is a polarizing issue, typically smoker vs non-smoker. This debate can become heated in the strata complex when people live close together and it is a question of who has the greater right: the person who wants to live in a smoke-free home or the smoker who has been smoking for many years and is most likely addicted.

This has come up twice now in reported CRT decisions: The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 2900 v. Mathew Hardy, 2016 BCCRT 1; and Mundel et al v. Hastings-Evans et al, 2017 BCCRT 108. Continue reading “Smoking in Stratas” »

Are There Regulations Governing Short Term Rental of my House or Apartment?

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The answer is: there might be. Currently, the zoning of your house will govern whether you can legally offer short term rentals as far as your City regulations are concerned. If you live in a strata, there are bylaws that may prevent you from renting your strata out on a short term basis. Continue reading “Are There Regulations Governing Short Term Rental of my House or Apartment?” »

5 Essential Tips for Buying into a Strata

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Buying into a strata corporation can be a scary thing for many owners because they have heard horror stories about stratas: the stratas enforceable large special levies against the owners,  restrictions on what owners can do with their own strata lot, etc. The question of whether you should buy into a strata more often depends on your budget and what you can afford. If your budget points you towards strata living, there are at least 5 things that you should review carefully before you decide to buy a strata lot in that strata. Continue reading “5 Essential Tips for Buying into a Strata” »

Owners’ Hot Tub Request Denied

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It can come as a shock to some owners that they don’t have a right to a hot tub in their strata lot. Hot tubs can be restricted or outright banned by a strata corporation’s bylaws. As a result, it is very important to review a strata’s bylaws when considering buying a strata lot.

In the case of Doig v The Owners, Strata Plan VR 1712, 2017 BCCRT 36, the owners had installed a hot tub and the strata demanded its removal. Continue reading “Owners’ Hot Tub Request Denied” »

Forced Interim Distribution

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There is not a wealth of case law on forcing interim distributions from an estate, that is paying out part of the inheritance before all of the estate administration is complete, or before litigation involving the estate has been concluded. In situations where there is ongoing litigation involving an estate, the estate cannot payout funds for any purpose other than estate debts. Therefore, some beneficiaries of estates cannot receive their inheritance for years as they wait for litigation to be concluded.

Kimberly Rule applied successfully to Court to have an interim payment made to her clients as the litigation tying up the estate for more than 2 years. Continue reading “Forced Interim Distribution” »

Creating Enforceable Rental Restrictions

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Enacting rental restriction bylaws can be trickier than originally contemplated for several reasons: the original state of the bylaws, the delaying provisions in the Strata Property Act, situations that prevent rental restriction bylaws from applying to some or all of the strata lots, and the requirements that must be met for rental restriction bylaws to be valid. Continue reading “Creating Enforceable Rental Restrictions” »