In a recent ruling of the Real Estate Council a Realtor in Vancouver was suspend for failing to adequately describe to his client that his property was bare land strata. In this issue of the BC Real Estate Law Blog we discuss the nature of Bare Land Strata and what Realtors should be explaining to clients when they market this type of property.
Bare Land Strata often looks to an uninformed client as if it is free hold property and is defined by the Strata Property Act as a strata plan is shown as horizontal measurements to survey markers (similar to a subdivision plan) and not by reference to walls or floors. Developers have recently favored this style of development as it may allow for variance of lot sizes (and thereby increased density).
Unlike a stratified apartment style condominium, the common property elements may not me immediately apparent to the Buyer. Even though a Bare Land Strata subdivision may look like any other normal subdivision, it strata fees, rules, regulations, and strata council like other types of strata property. Note, the fees and the services provided by a bare land strata council will vary greatly between developments.
Realtors should ensure they obtain all the required information so their clients can make informed decisions to purchase. By obtaining the Land Title from BC Online to any property, the Realtor will be able to quickly tell whether they are dealing with strata property. The legal description of property will state the the property is a STRATA LOT. The Realtor can then contact the Strata Council to obtain the bylaws, the minutes, the Form B and Form F, which will disclose to the client those services which are provide by the strata council and the strata fees charged to the property. Some examples of bare land strata communities in the Okanagan include Horizon Drive and Canyon Ridge.