Strata Property Act and Regulations Update

Since 2009, the BC government has introduced amendments to the Strata Property Act and Regulations at varying intervals.

Amendments address issues and concerns identified in a province-wide consultation with strata owners, associations, legal experts and professionals including REALTORS®.

Five important amendments

1 Depreciation Reports
Depreciation reports will be mandatory as of December 13, 2013 for all strata corporations and must be prepared by a qualified person and updated every three years, unless the strata has:

  • four or fewer units; or
  • five or more units where the strata exempts itself through an annual 3/4 vote. Strata corporations formed after December 14, 2011, must file a depreciation report within six months of their second AGM.

2 Form B (Information Certificate)
Form B is revised. Copies of the strata corporation rules, the current budget, the most recent depreciation report and Form J (the Rental Disclosure Statement) must now be attached to Form B. As of January 1, 2014 strata corporations must identify the allocation of parking and storage lockers on a new Form B.

Learn more by reading the Condominium Home Owners Association of B.C.’s (CHOA) bulletin What you need to know about: Parking Spaces and Storage Lockers January 1, 2014 at

3 Contingency Reserve Funds
By a majority vote, strata corporations can approve additional contributions to the contingency reserve fund even if the amount in the fund exceeds 25% of the operating budget. Previously, a 3/4 vote was required.

4 Dispute Resolution
Strata corporations, owners and tenants will be able to settle disputes that arise in strata corporations through a Civil Resolution Tribunal system which is currently being developed.

5 Form J (Rental Disclosure Statement)
Owner Developers must provide prospective buyers with Form J – the Rental Disclosure Statement – which is filed with the Superintendent of Real Estate if the Owner Developer plans to rent or preserve the right to rent any residential unit, regardless of any subsequent rental restriction bylaw. The effect of the Form J depends on when it was filed.

  • For Rental Disclosure Statements filed on or before December 31, 2009 a lot that has been designated as a rental lot by the Owner Developer on Form J remains eligible as a rental lot (regardless of rental restriction bylaws) until the lot is either conveyed by the first purchaser or the date the rental period expires on the Rental Disclosure Statement, whichever comes first. This means a purchaser who buys the strata lot from someone other than the Owner Developer does not have the right to rent the strata lot if there are rental restriction bylaws.
  • For Rental Disclosure Statements filed on or after January 1, 2010 the ability to rent a strata lot will be established at the time of the filing by the Owner Developer. A strata lot eligible as a rental remains designated as a rental until the date the rental period expires on the Rental Disclosure Statement and is not affected by any subsequent rental restriction bylaws. This means the right to rent a strata lot continues from one purchaser to the next, so long as the rental period on Form J has not expired.
  • Learn more by reading Guide 15: Rentals Permitted within Strata Corporations at

A closer look at depreciation reports

The depreciation report is the magic key to opening information about the strata corporation, according to Tony Gioventu, Executive Director, Condominium Home Owners Association of B.C.

“The depreciation report identifies future costs from the buyers’ perspective that can’t be discovered in a typical building inspection,” explains Gioventu.

Here are four valuable sources of detailed information about strata depreciation reports:

Seven sources for strata property information

1 BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Office of Housing and Construction Standards 
Includes 29 valuable guides which include information on:

  • roles and responsibilities – strata corporations and council guides, tenants and landlords;
  • annual general meetings and voting;
  • financial information – budgeting, apportioning expenses, depreciation reports;
  • bylaws – creating and enforcing, including rental, age and pet restriction bylaws;
  • general administration – common property, altering unit entitlements, responsibility for repairs, record keeping, contracting with a strata manager, parking and storage lockers; and
  • disputes – resolving complaints, arbitration, courts.

2 Condominium Home Owners Association of B.C. (CHOA)
Includes comprehensive articles, information bulletins and strata education seminars on all aspects of strata property developed by CHOA as well as Tony Gioventu’s Condo Smarts column.

3 Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association (VISOA)
Includes links to legislation and regulations, management company information, privacy guidelines, depreciation reports and a one-of-a-kind useful index to the Strata Property Act organized by subject.

4 Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM)
Includes Strata Property Act overview, the Act, regulations, forms and bylaws, related contacts, information bulletins, instruction guides, privacy guidelines, comprehensive FAQs, and fee information.

5 Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
The Board regularly provides updates for home buyers, sellers and owners on its website.

6 Real Estate Council of BC
Includes newsletters and special reports on a range of technical topics, including strata corporations.

7 Law firms
Throughout the province some law firms also offer free resources. For example:

Protecting personal privacy

Under the Strata Property Act, owners and anyone authorized by owners can obtain copies of strata corporation records.

Posting records to a website makes for easy access. But documents posted must require a secure login procedure. This is because strata corporation records are not public records, according to the Real Estate Council, and should be accessible only to authorized individuals.

For further information see Report from Council Newsletter, April 2013 available at Go to Licensee Information and then Publications.

10 questions to ask a strata corporation

1 What bylaws and restrictions govern the property? Are there grandfathered clauses?

2 What is the date of the last depreciation report? Is a copy available?

3 Have engineering reports been done on the strata and are reports available?

4 How much is in the contingency reserve fund? How are funds invested?

5 How much are the monthly strata fees and what do they cover, for example, common area maintenance, recreational facilities, garbage collection, hot water, heat, cable?

6 What repairs have been made in the last decade, for example, major plumbing, roof, windows?

7 Have there been special assessments in the past five years? What did they cover and what was the cost per unit?

8 What percentage of units are owner occupied? What percentage are rental units?

9 Is there pending litigation, for example, for leaky condominium repairs?

10 What is the deductible on an individual unit?

Speak Your Mind