Strata Property: Special Levies

Where there is an outstanding or, contemplated special levy (as found in the minutes), Buyers and Sellers need to clearly state WHO is responsible for paying the levy. Ideally, a sharp realtor has considered the issue and stuck in a clause in the contract but, in the event it is forgotten:
1) ensure you get a copy of the resolution authorizing the special levy to see if it contains an acceleration clause; and,
2) look to s.109 of the Strata Property Act: the SELLER owes if the special levy is payable prior to the CLOSING DATE, whereas the BUYER owes if the special levy is payable on or after the CLOSING DATE.

Strata Property

Most people think of condos when they think of strata property, however in British Columbia, strata property can include detached and semi-detached homes, apartments, and even bare land. The Strata Property Act imposes rules on the home owner which regulates the home owners use of the lands. The rules can include pet restrictions, tenancy restriction (ie; no rentals), and age restrictions. Buyers should very carefully review the rules, known as Strata Bylaws, prior to the entering into a binding contract of purchase and sale for strata property. Some key questions to ask:

1) If I have a pet, does the strata corporation allow pets?

2) If there is an age restriction, how does the effect my ability to pass on my unit or have my grandkids stay with me?

3) If I am an investor, are rentals allowed or are they capped at a certain maximum?

4) How old is the building, will there be major repairs upcoming?

5) Does the style of building management mesh with my personality (ie; are you a stickler for the rules or are you lenient)?

6) What do the minutes of the strata meeting disclose about the personality of my neighbours?

At the end of the day, in strata property, “You’re All in This Together”, which means you are signing up for a community living, to varying degrees depending on how the strata is managed. Prior to buying, introduce yourself to the strata council members and find out more about them to see if this strata is right for you.