BCREA’s Position on Strata Properties
The Strata Property Act took effect on July 1, 2000, and was a significant improvement over the Condominium Act. Nonetheless, no legislation is perfect and the intervening years have provided ample opportunity for real estate practitioners and others to identify improvements that can be made.
BCREA Recommends the Provincial Government:
- Implement the Civil Resolution Tribunal no later than 2014.
- Ensure legislation specifies what is required to be reported in financial statements. While REALTORS® and BCREA support the ability of strata corporations to waive this requirement by a ¾ vote at a general meeting, a prescribed alternative short form should be required of all strata corporations. This form could be completed by the strata council or property manager.
- Prescribe a standardized depreciation report, updated annually with professionals completing appropriate sections. While REALTORS® and BCREA support the ability of strata corporations to waive this requirement by a ¾ vote at a general meeting, a prescribed short form should be required of all strata corporations. This form could be completed by the strata council or property manager.
- Amend the definition of “landlord” in the Residential Tenancy Act to include a strata corporation dealing with a difficult tenant, as described in s. 138 of the Strata Property Act.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act received Royal Assent in May 2012, and the tribunal is expected to be implemented by 2014. The Civil Resolution Tribunal will provide an alternative dispute resolution mechanism for strata corporations and others. On March 15, 2013, Cheryl Vickers was appointed to a six-month term as the Chair of the tribunal, to lead ongoing consultations and the development of the tribunal's processes, rules and technology. Vickers' background includes extensive experience with BC tribunals. Up to $500,000 has been committed to the tribunal as an initial investment. More information is available at www.civilresolutionbc.ca.
On December 14, 2011, new strata regulations were released:
- depreciation reports – effective immediately, though stratas have two years to comply, and they can opt out with a ¾ vote (stratas with fewer than five units are exempt)
- contingency reserve fund changes – effective immediately, strata corporations are not required to fund contingency reserve funds above the minimum previously required (25% of the operating budget); however, strata owners may now make any additional contributions by simple majority vote (previously an annual 3/4 vote was required to make contributions to the fund above 100% of the operating budget)
- Form B Information Certificate changes:
- effective March 1, 2012, the following will have to be attached: strata corporation rules, Form J (the rental disclosure statement), the current budget and the most recent depreciation report (if any)
- effective January 1, 2014 (though stratas can use the revised form before then), better identification of how parking and storage lockers are allocated to strata property lots.