Ministry of Finance
and Corporate Relations


The Strata Property Act: Overview


Owner Developers' Responsibilities | Strata Corporation Governance | Property Issues | Financial Matters | Bylaws and Rules | Rentals | Insurance | Dispute Resolution Issues | Schedule of Standard Bylaws


In July 1998, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia passed a new Strata Property Act. This modern and flexible framework for strata ownership is the result of extensive consultation with condominium homeowners' associations, strata owners, and other stakeholders. This act will replace the existing Condominium Act without changing the fundamental nature of strata property ownership.

The Strata Property Act has not been brought into force yet, in order to allow for the preparation of new Forms and Regulations (which will set out more detailed procedures for some matters), and to enable the correction of any technical errors. It is hoped that the act will be in force by mid-1999. In the meantime, strata corporations will continue to be governed by the Condominium Act.

Existing strata corporations may find that some of their bylaws deal with matters that are now included in the body of the new act. Even though these bylaws may conflict with the new legislation, they will continue to be valid for a transitional period, until December 31st of the year following the year the Strata Property Act comes into force.

Major changes in the new act include the following:

Owner Developers' Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the owner developer in the initial stages of the strata corporation have been expanded and clarified. New provisions include the following:

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Strata Corporation Governance

Fundamental rules of governance and procedure for the strata corporation have been enhanced and clarified. Many of these provisions have been moved from the bylaws to the body of the act to ensure that they will not be changed. Noteworthy provisions include the following:

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Property Issues

Rules of common property ownership and management are fundamentally the same. New provisions include the following:

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Financial Matters

The Strata Property Act maintains the principle of sharing common expenses based on lot size for existing condominiums. Changes to the expense-sharing rules are allowed, but only by unanimous agreement (section 100). Further refinements to expense-sharing rules (for example, to "cap" or limit the recognizable difference in lot sizes) may be set out in the regulations. Other significant changes include the following:

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Bylaws and Rules

Rules and procedures for bylaw (and rule) creation and enforcement are substantially the same. Significant provisions include the following:

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Rentals

The new act maintains and clarifies the strata corporation's ability to pass bylaws limiting or prohibiting the rental of lots. However, it contains the following new provisions:

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Insurance

Enhanced insurance provisions include the following:

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Dispute Resolution Issues

The dispute resolution provisions of the Condominium Act have been significantly expanded. The Strata Property Act contains detailed arbitration rules and procedures, including a new method of appointing an arbitrator and a requirement to consider mediation (sections 175 to 189), as well as a provision that allows strata corporations to adopt a voluntary dispute resolution bylaw (section 124).

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Schedule of Standard Bylaws

The Strata Property Act includes a new set of Standard Bylaws for new strata corporations. It is now proposed that the Standard Bylaws will replace the bylaws of existing strata corporations on Dec. 31 of the year after the new act comes into force. However, if a strata corporation has filed any bylaws at the land title office, these filed bylaws will continue unless they conflict with the new act. Significant provisions include the following:

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The Strata Property Act is available at the following British Columbia Government web site:

http://www.legis.gov.bc.c a/bills/3rd_read/gov47-3.htm

Official copies of the act may be purchased from Crown Publications in Victoria, phone (250) 386-4636, or Queen's Printer in Vancouver, phone (604) 660-0981.

Printed copies of this pamphlet are available from:

Financial and Corporate Sector Policy Branch
Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations
PO Box 9418 Stn Prov Gov't
Victoria BC V8W 9V1

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Financial and Corporate Sector Policy Branch

 BC Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations


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