The Strata Property Act has a specific, if lengthy, procedure when expanding the habitable area of a strata lot. In the case of Hassan v The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 2854, 2018 BCCRT 303, the strata was in a dispute with the owners over whether the owners followed the correct procedure when expanding their habitable area.
The owners’ strata lot had made two sets of alterations to their second floor loft to increase their living space in the unit. The strata only became aware of the alterations in 2015 and a dispute ensued as the strata claimed the owners did the alterations without approval and without building permits.
Ultimately, the CRT found that the owners did not comply with the Strata Property Act. Specifically sections 71(4) and 261 required steps to be taken if the habitable area of a strata lot was increased, which steps require unanimous approval from the owners. The owners hadn’t complied with any of those steps.
The CRT ordered the owners to take steps to get unanimous approval from the rest of the strata corporation. If the owners failed to get that approval, the strata would then be able to start a new claim to have the alterations removed.