Strata Property Act Regulations #324

Jun 01, 2000

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By Gerry Neely
B.A. LL.B.

BCREA published in 1999, a very useful cpe seminar manual, called Strata Property Law for REALTORS, on strata property law and in particular, the Strata Property Act which becomes law on July 1, 2000. This year, regulations to the Act were published which will affect developers, owners and strata councils.

The Act requires an owner/developer to pay the actual expenses of a strata corporation until the first strata lot is conveyed. Then the owner/developer must prepare an interim budget for the next 12 months. If actual expenses exceed estimated expenses, the difference must be paid to the strata corporation within eight weeks after the annual general meeting. If the difference is more than 10 per cent and less than 20 per cent of the estimated operating expenses, the owner/developer must pay double the difference to the strata corporation. If the difference exceeds 20 per cent, the penalty is three times the difference.

An owner/developer must call the first annual general meeting the earlier of nine months after the date of the first conveyance or the date when 50 per cent plus one strata lots have been conveyed. Failing to do so means that the owner/developer must pay to the strata corporation $1,000, if the annual general meeting is delayed for more than 30 days. An additional $1000 must be paid for each further seven-day delay.

A strata corporation must set out in its bylaws the maximum fines for bylaw and rule infractions. The regulations limit the maximum to $500 and $50, respectively, for each breach of a bylaw and rule.

The Act allows a strata corporation to prohibit or to limit the number, percentage or length of term of rented residential strata lots. These restrictions only apply to a strata lot after the later of one year after the bylaw is passed, or an occupying tenant at the time the bylaw is passed, ceases to occupy the strata lot. In addition, these restrictions do not apply to family members who are defined in the regulations as the spouse, parent or child of the owner, or the parent or child of the owner's spouse.

The minimum contribution to the contingency reserve fund has been increased from five per cent to 10 per cent, which must be paid annually until the fund reaches 25 per cent of the current operating fund. When the fund reaches 100 per cent of the operating fund, the owners must approve any additional contributions to it by three quarters majority. Between 25 and 100 per cent, the owners may approve any amount, or presumably, none.

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