Fines & Fees
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.
Can a strata corporation charge interest on late strata fees?
Yes. A strata corporation can charge interest on strata fees if the strata corporation adopts a bylaw authorizing the imposition of interest on strata fees.
What is the maximum rate of interest that a strata corporation can apply to strata fees?
The Strata Property Regulation caps interest charged on strata fees at 10% per annum, compounded annually.
At the last AGM, the strata corporation did not approve the budget for next year. Do I still have to pay strata fees? If so, how much are my strata fees?
Yes, strata fees are still due and owing. Until the new budget is approved, an owner must continue to pay to the strata corporation the same monthly strata fees that they were required to pay under the previous budget.
May a strata corporation prevent an owner from standing for council if the strata lot is in arrears of strata fees?
Yes, but the strata corporation must have a bylaw that states that no person may stand for council with respect to a strata lot if the strata corporation is entitled to register a lien against that strata lot. In that case, the owner may not stand for council.
May a strata corporation charge interest on overdue strata fees?
Yes. The amount of interest must not exceed the interest rate set out in the Regulations. Right now, the maximum interest rate that a strata corporation may charge on overdue strata fees is 10% per annum, compounded annually.
The council wants to levy a fine for contravention of a bylaw. What are the procedures to follow?
Before the strata corporation imposes a fine against a person for contravening a bylaw or rule, it must (1) receive a complaint; (2) give the owner (or tenant) details of the complaint in writing; and (3) provide a reasonable opportunity for the owner (or tenant) to answer the complaint. A reasonable opportunity to answer the complaint may include a hearing in front of the council, if the owner (or tenant) requests a hearing. If the person complained of is a tenant, the strata corporation must give notice of the complaint to the landlord and to the owner, if the landlord and the owner are not the same. Once the strata corporation has complied with (1), (2) and (3), it makes its decision and gives notice in writing of its decision to the person complained of. Then the strata corporation may impose a fine.
Our strata corporation is very large, but has very few visitor parking spaces. With visitor parking at such a premium, we adopted a bylaw to fine an owner $250.00 for parking in visitor parking. We just found out that the maximum fine in the Strata Property Act for this type of bylaw is $200.00. May we fine $200.00 instead?
No. The bylaw says $250.00 and therefore, it is not enforceable. The strata corporation should amend its bylaws.
A strata corporation has a bylaw that permits it to apply the same fine for contravention of each and every bylaw. Is this appropriate?
Fines are a penalty. The punishment should fit the “crime”. A strata corporation should apply a different fine for different bylaws depending on the seriousness of the breach.
The strata corporation filed a lien on the title to a strata lot for unpaid strata fees. It was filed over a year ago and since then the amount owing has doubled. Does the strata corporation need to file another lien and revise the amount owing?
No. The lien remains valid for all lienable amounts up to the date of payment by the owner, including the reasonable costs incurred by the strata corporation to enforce the lien. A subsequent lien filing is not required.
May a strata corporation register a lien on the title to an owner's strata lot if the owner has been assessed fines for breach of bylaws and failed to pay those fines?
No. A strata corporation may not lien for arrears of fines. A strata corporation may register a lien against an owner’s strata lot if the owner fails to pay any of the following: (1) strata fees, (2) a special levy, (3) the cost of work performed by the strata corporation, but ordered by a public or local authority or (3) the strata lot’s share of a judgment against the strata corporation.
May a strata corporation prevent an owner from voting if the strata lot is in arrears of strata fees?
Yes, but the strata corporation must have a bylaw that states that the vote for a strata lot may not be exercised if the strata corporation is entitled to register a lien. In that case, the owner may not vote.
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.
An owner has not paid strata fees and now the strata lot is being sold. May the strata corporation collect these arrears from the new owner?
A transfer of title to a strata lot requires the strata corporation to prepare and deliver to the buyer a Form F stating that no monies are owed to the strata corporation or, if monies are owing, that arrangements suitable to the strata corporation are in place for the strata corporation to be paid these arrears. If the strata corporation issues a Form F without collecting the outstanding amounts and states in the Form F that no monies are owing, the strata corporation may not then turn around and try to collect these arrears from the buyer or the seller.