Strata Law

We advise both strata councils and owners on the numerous issues that arise in ‘community living’ situations like this. There are some issues that arise over and over between stratas and individual owners/tenants. Some recurring issues that we have advised our clients about include:

  • unfair treatment by the strata against an owner/tenant. Do you feel that the strata council is picking on you when other owners in the strata seem to get away with ‘murder’? Is the strata misusing or abusing its powers?
  • bylaw violations. What do the bylaws say you can and cannot do? Did you really violate a bylaw?
  • advice and assistance with applications to the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). Most strata matters now go to the CRT for resolution or adjudication. Your strata council will usually have the assistance of the strata lawyer to prepare its evidence and argument. You may find yourself at a disadvantage if you do not obtain at least some legal advice, and assistance, in preparing your submission.
  • special problems in stratas with both residential and non-residential (commercial) strata lots. If you live in a mixed use strata, do you know that in order to control commercial activities at your strata, the commercial owners normally have to vote separately in favour of any proposed bylaw change? As a commercial owner, are you familiar with your rights and obligations in the strata? In a recent case, we successfully argued that the residential owners in one downtown strata could not legally impose restrictions on a commercial owner or its business. Omnicare Pharmacy Ltd. v. The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 2854, 2017 BCSC 256
  • short term rentals. Municipalities have been moving to pass new bylaws to deal with short term rentals (i.e. Airbnb). How does this affect your ability to rent out your unit after bylaws are passed?
  • parking. Do you have an assigned parking space? Is it limited common property? What are your rights?
  • difficulties with neighbouring owners. Noise, smoking, food smells: these are just some of the problems you may face on a regular basis. What can you do about it?
  • nuisance. Is there some activity being carried out regularly by your neighbour that interferes with your use and/or enjoyment of your unit? What can you do about it?
  • rights and obligations with respect to limited common property. Your balcony, patio, roof deck may be reserved for your exclusive use but you are not the ‘full’ owner. Who is responsible for maintenance, repair, or replacement?
  • actions of strata council relating to common property. If your strata has made or intends to make a significant change to common property, has there been or will there be a ¾ vote taken?
  • do you know what your bylaws mean? We can help clarify by reviewing and advising on your strata bylaws. Be careful of simply relying on information provided by your strata property manager.
  • many strata bylaws in place are still the original bylaws. They may no longer be suitable for your strata. We can help to revise and update bylaws for individual stratas.


At Railtown Law we can help you with your legal matters in a variety of areas and also help you to take a pro-active approach to various legal issues you may face.

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