Basic Strata Law Terminology

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strata law terminology railtown law

Annual general meeting of the owners of the strata. A lot of strata business can take place at an AGM and they are usually the most important meetings of the year for a strata and its owners.

A strata corporation where the owners have built their own homes on their individual strata lots. The common property generally includes the roads and parking areas at a minimum. Bylaws for bare land stratas normally include terms regulating the conduct of the owners, their tenants or guests and prohibiting things like nuisance and noise and controlling the number and kind of pets.

Every strata corporation must have bylaws. A strata that has not created its own bylaws is governed by the Standard Bylaws attached to the Strata Property Act. These are the minimum requirements and all stratas should have additional bylaws tailored to their particular situation and needs. Bylaws are not in effect until they are registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA).

Often shown as “CP” on a strata plan. A strata plan may however only show SL and LCP designations. If that is the case, then everything else on the strata plan, inside and outside the building is common property. Building systems including electrical, plumbing, mechanical etc. are common property for which the strata is responsible.

Usually refers a strata lot. “Strata lot” is a BC term for a condo whereas “condominium” is used in other provinces like Ontario and Alberta. “Condominium” is also sometimes used to refer to the entire stratified building or property.

Limited Common Property (LCP) usually includes patios, storage units, parking spots and/or balconies associated with a specific strata lot. If the strata plan does not show “LCP” on one of these areas then it is not limited common property but probably common property. LCP means the owner of the strata lot associated with the LCP has exclusive use of it.

The Land Title and Survey Authority formerly known to most of us as the LTO (Land Title Office). This is where your formal strata documents including your strata plan, bylaws, amended bylaws and other forms dealing with, for example, voting entitlement, strata mailing address, etc., are registered.

This person or firm should be an independent neutral party with the necessary knowledge of the Strata Property Act and bylaws to assist the strata council with their management duties. They cannot and must not give advice that amounts to legal advice. A property management company is only as good as the people who work for it. Ask for qualifications and experience before accepting the assignment of a particular individual as your strata agent.

Not all stratas have rules and it is not required. Rules primarily deal with how people behave, i.e. what they can and cannot do on common property. For example, if the strata has a gym or a pool, rules can be made around opening and closing times, access, conduct not allowed and keeping the area tidy and clean while using it.

An Special General Meeting can be called by the strata council or a percentage of the owners if there is a special issue that needs to be discussed and voted on by the owners which cannot wait until the AGM.

Also known as a ¾ vote. Certain actions of the strata, including changing or adding bylaws, must be passed by a vote of ¾ of the owners at an AGM or SGM. If a ¾ vote was required but was not obtained, then the proposed action will be invalid if the strata attempts to proceed with it.

A special corporation (not a company so the BC Business Corporations Act does not apply) created when a developer registers a strata plan with the LTSA. All owners of strata lots in the strata are members of the strata corporation. In addition to their own strata lots, owners own a percentage of the common property.A

The strata council is elected from amongst the owners at an AGM. A strata should have at least a president, secretary and treasurer. The number of council members is usually set in the strata’s bylaws. The duty of strata council is to meet and make decisions for the benefit of the strata and all of the owners. The strata council can delegate some its management duties to a property manager or strata agent.

Your suite, unit or condo that you own in a strata corporation. You are responsible for most repairs and maintenance that may be required in your unit. For example, if your shower leaks, you are responsible for paying to have it fixed and for any water damage caused by the leak. Your strata lot is your home and the strata (including its representatives or agents) cannot come into your unit, unless there is an emergency, without giving you advance written notice. If the strata is relying on an “emergency” to enter your unit without the required advance notice, it will have to justify its decision to do so.

A sketch diagram usually prepared by a surveyor showing the strata buildings and strata lots as well as the location of the common property and limited common property if there is any. Some strata plans are very detailed and will also show setbacks and clearances to the property line.

Legal Disclaimer: The general information provided in this blog does not constitute legal advice to you and is provided strictly for informational purposes only on an “as is” basis. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided to you if we have met with you personally to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. If you wish to have formal legal advice about your matter, please make an appointment with us for a consultation. No lawyer-client relationship is created by your use of our blog or our website.

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