Strata Rules Eased

Description

Provincial government changes to the B.C. Strata Property Act, effective July 29, 2016, allow a strata corporation to be terminated with the support of only 80 per cent of the owners. Previously 100 per cent support was required.

Significance

Lowering the bar for allowing a strata building to be sold is expected to lead to the sale and demolition of many three- and four-storey walk-ups built in the 1970s and earlier. The impact will be felt especially acutely in Grandview-Woodlands, West End, Mount Pleasant, Marpole, South Granville and Kerrisdale.

The strata sales may uproot long-time residents from their neighbourhoods against their will and put them in the position of being unable to find affordable replacement accommodations. However strata owners will be in a position to cash in more easily on windfall prices based on redevelopment values and will not face the heavy financial costs associated with capital repairs and replacements in an older building.

New construction will likely increase density and comply with the most current seismic standards.

Background

  • Changes to the B.C. Strata Property Act allow strata corporation members to terminate the corporation by an 8o per cent vote. Previously a unanimous vote is needed, making it extremely difficult to wind up a corporation even though a building may be at the end of its life cycle or a majority of strata members wish to sell their property for redevelopment.
  • The provincial government maintained extensive consultations were held on the proposed changes and the changes were widely supported by landlord and tenant groups, and condominium owners’ associations.
  • Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association, welcomed the change for condo owners who were struggling with aging buildings that are now imposing extremely high costs for renewals, and were prevented from considering redevelopment offers because they could not meet the previous requirement of unanimous support. He was quoted in a government news as saying that a unanimous vote was “virtually impossible” in most strata corporations.
  • The legislation included provisions requiring court approval of the sale in order to protect minority interests and ensure the sale is beneficial for the strata as a whole, and not just a focused interest group.

Sources