Common Property


Common Property

At the last council meeting, the council passed a rule requiring anyone who books the common room for a private event to pay a fee of $100. Is the rule enforceable?

Although section 110 of the Strata Property Act and Strata Property Regulation 6.8 permit a strata corporation to adopt a rule to impose a user fee with respect to common property or a common asset, the rule and the fee are not enforceable until the rule has been ratified by the owners at the next annual general meeting after the rule was adopted by the council.

My strata corporation consists of two sections – commercial and residential. The residential section has a limited common property lobby area with furniture that is looking worn and should be replaced. Do all owners have to pay for the new furniture?

Strata Property Regulation 11.2 provides that an operating expense or special levy related to limited common property designated to a section is shared amongst only those strata lots who are entitled to the benefit of the limited common property.

Every owner in our development has a balcony that is accessible only through a strata lot. Are these balconies common property or limited common property?

Whether a balcony is common property, limited common property or part of a strata lot is determined by a review of the strata plan or a review of any resolutions that may have been filed in the Land Title Office on the general index. A balcony is not limited common property merely because access is limited or restricted.

The strata council has received a request from an owner for permission to use a space as storage located under some stairs adjacent to the electrical room. This is common property. May the council do that?

Yes. In some instances, the permission may also require the approval of the owners by a 3/4 vote, but generally speaking, the strata council may give an owner permission to exclusively use common property for a period of not more than one year and subject to conditions specified by the council.

If an owner wants to install a skylight, is a 3/4 vote of the strata corporation required?

If an owner wants to install a skylight , the Schedule of Standard Bylaws would require approval from the council because a roof is common property. However, an alteration may also require a 3/4 vote, if the alteration is a significant change in the use (or appearance) of common property.

May a strata corporation change a common property roof with access for all to a private access roof for some strata lot owners?

A strata corporation may, by 3/4 vote resolution designate common property as limited common property for the exclusive use of one or more strata lots. A strata corporation may make a significant change in the use (or appearance) of common property by a resolution passed by a 3/4 vote. Therefore, a strata corporation may, by 3/4 vote, change a common property roof to private access roof for some strata lot owners.

Our strata corporation would like to have a resident caretaker's suite in the building. May the strata corporation buy a strata lot for this purpose?

Yes, but before entering into a contract to purchase a strata lot (which will be a common asset of the strata corporation), the purchase must be approved by a resolution passed by a 3/4 vote at a special or annual general meeting.

My strata corporation consists of two identical buildings each with 40 residential strata lots. The furniture in the lobby of one of the buildings is looking rather worn and we would like to purchase new furniture and pay for it by a special levy. Do all strata lots pay the special levy?

Yes. Since the complex is not eligible under the Strata Property Act to have separate sections, one for each building, the strata corporation must levy on all 80 strata lots and not just the strata lots in the building getting the new furniture.

Our strata corporation is entering into a contract to repaint the exterior of our building. The contract refers to the complex as Mountain Oaks, which is our building name. What is our strata corporation's legal name for purposes of a contract?

Pursuant to section 2 of the Strata Property Act, the owners of the strata lots in the strata plan are members of the strata corporation under the name “The Owners, Strata Plan [insert the registration number of the strata plan].

A strata corporation has a bylaw that prohibits the posting of signs in a strata lot or on common property. An owner wants to put an election sign in the window of his strata lot. Does that contravene the bylaw?

No. The Canada Elections Act, in section 322, provides that no condominium corporation or any of its agents may prohibit the owner of a condominium unit from displaying election advertising posters in his or her unit. However, the condominium corporation or agent may set reasonable conditions relating to the size or type of election advertising posters that may be displayed on a strata lot or the common property and may prohibit the display of election advertising posters in common areas of the building in which the premises are located.

A company that provides cell phone communications services approached the strata corporation to place a communications tower on the roof of the strata's building. Does the strata corporation need approval of the owners in order to allow this?

Yes. Pursuant to the Strata Property Act, this is a lease of common property and as such requires approval of the owner by a 3/4 vote at a general meeting.

An owner is in arrears of strata fees and the strata corporation is responsible for repairing certain damage inside the owner's strata lot. May the strata corporation delay repairing the damage in the owner's unit until the owner pays the arrears?

No. A strata corporation has a duty under the Strata Property Act to repair and maintain common property and any damage that results from its failure to repair and maintain common property. An owner must pay strata fees. However, the strata corporation may use other remedies in the Act to collect strata arrears.

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