What is Strata Law?
Strata law relates to the statutes, regulations, bylaws and rules that regulate the legal relationships between the strata corporation, strata council, owners and third parties. This is an involved and intricate area of our law that is often subject to emotions and personal views. Having legal backup for strata corporations and owners alike is extremely important.
If you have a strata corporation or questions about strata law, our legal representative would be happy to assist with any of your question, by contacting us.
- Independent Legal Advice
- Representation at strata and council meetings
- Internal governance documents such as resolutions, authorizations, agreements, etc.
- Legal letters to owners
Frequently Asked Questions on Strata Law
Amendments to the Strata Property Act (“SPA”) now regulates that strata corporations may only create a bylaw that restricts persons residing in the strata lot to those age 55 and older, with exemptions for some caregivers and residents previously residing in a strata lot.
Effective May 1, 2023, additional exemptions have been made for children (including adult children), and younger spouses or partners.
- A strata bylaw which restricts age to 55 and older is valid
- A strata bylaw that sets a minimum age less than 55 years old is invalid.
As of November 24, 2022, no strata corporation or section is allowed to have a residential rental-restriction bylaw. All strata rental-restriction bylaws are invalid.
Short-term rental strata bylaws are allowed and a strata corporation or section may have, or create, a bylaw banning or limiting short-term rentals.
Voting at General Meetings
When the following is in place:
- The Strata Corporation has a bylaw in place pursuant to s. 53(2) of the SPA, which section stipulates that the strata may make a bylaw that prohibits an owner from voting at a general meeting;
- The Owner is in arrears with s. 116 fees;
- a s. 112(2) notice has been given; and
- 14 days (plus 5) have elapsed from the date of the notice.
- strata fees;
- a special levy;
- a reimbursement of the cost of work referred to in section 85;
- the strata lot’s share of a judgment against the strata corporation [s. 116(1)]
- or interest thereon.
Dealing with Smoking
Yes. Strata corporations are able to amend their bylaws from time to time, and those amendments generally apply to all residents in the complex (unless a ‘grandfather’ clause is included). While section 123 of the Strata Property Act recognizes pre-existing rights in relation to pet and age bylaws, it does not deal with pre-existing rights for a behaviour such as smoking. We are not aware of any case law to support the premise that an owner who purchases a strata lot is not subject to a bylaw that governs behaviour after the purchase. Otherwise, bylaws governing behaviour would only apply to those individuals that take up residence after the bylaw is passed, which would create a situation where not all residents would be treated the same
All tenants have the following rights under the Act:
- to obtain a copy of the strata’s bylaws and rules and a Notice of Tenant’s Responsibilities (Form K) from the landlord;
- to inspect and obtain copies of the bylaws and rules from the strata corporation at no charge;
- to request that the strata council grant them short term exclusive use of common property;
- to the same access to any dispute resolution methods as an owner;
All tenants have the following rights under the standard bylaws:
- to attend annual and special general meetings, unless a majority vote is passed to exclude them from the meeting; and
- to participate in discussions at annual and special general meetings if permitted by the chair.
Long term tenants are residential tenants with leases of three years or longer. With some exceptions, long term tenants have the same rights and obligations as landlords under the act, regulations, bylaws and rules for the duration of the lease. Before exercising any rights of the landlord, long term tenants must provide the strata corporation with written notice of the term of the lease and their name. This is most effectively achieved by supplying a copy of the lease to the strata council/ Long term tenants may not take any action that will affect the owner’s interest in the strata lot, common property or land that is a common asset. Long term tenants must pay strata fees, pay special levies that are due within the term of the lease; and maintain and repair parts of the strata lot and limited common property that the bylaws make the owner responsible for. Long term tenants have the right to access and obtain strata corporation records, attend and vote at general meetings, receive strata corporation notices; and to be eligible for election to the strata council.
Yes, provided that they give written notice of the assignment to the strata corporation stating what rights and obligations are assigned to the tenant; the name of the tenant; and the time period that the assignment is effective.
The owner’s (landlord) responsibility to pay the cost of remedying contraventions or fines on behalf of the tenant cannot be assigned to the tenant.
If the Owner has a valid license, yes!
However… Under the new marihuana regulations in force as of June 19, 2013, Health Canada will phase out all marihuana production in residential areas, including residential strata lots. The intent is to phase out private producers and to make medical marihuana available to users through reputable, licensed and controlled producers. Production will take place in secure and highly regulated commercial facilities by licensed professionals. Under the current scheme, there are no specific Health Canada policies dealing directly with medical marihuana being grown in a strata lot. Therefore, it is possible that an owner who lives in a strata lot may have been issued a valid production licence.
Growing marihuana illegally is against the law. Call the RCMP and have them deal with it.
In the Supreme Court
- Matters relating to the interpretation of the Act;
- Matters relating to the duties and obligations of various parties in a strata development;
- Collection of arrears strata fees and interest thereon, special levies and interest thereon (s. 116); and reasonable legal fees (s. 118)
- Filing an Arbitrator’s decision where the award is over $25,000.
- Order for eviction. injunction or other relief against an owner or tenant.
- Where the amount claimed is less than $25,000;
- Filing an Arbitrator’s decision where the award is over $25,000 for:
- debt or damages;
- recovery of personal property;
- specific performance of an agreement relating to personal property or services;
- relief from opposing claims to personal property.
- As representative of all the strata lot owners;
- On behalf of one or more owners about matters affecting their strata lots;
- The strata corporation may sue an Owner
- As a representative of the owners with respect wot matters relating to common property, common assets, bylaws or rules, and an act or omission of the strata corporation;
- By the owner of a strata lot;
- By any third party with a valid claim.
- Action or threatened action of the strata corporation;
- Decision of the strata corporation or strata council;
- Exercise of voting rights by a person who holds 50% or more of the votes, including proxies, at a general meeting.
- per its duty under the Act, Regulations Bylaws and Rules; or
- stop contravening the Act, Regulations Bylaws and Rules
- Personally serving a strata council member; or
- Sending the notice by registered mail to the strata corporation at its most recent mailing address on file at the land title office (LTO)