Statutory Bylaws and the Effect of the Strata Property Act

 

A strata corporation automatically receives a set of statutory bylaws. These bylaws are contained in the statute under which the strata corporation is created.

Prior to January 1, 2002, to assemble a complete set of a strata corporation’s bylaws, the strata corporation combined that corporation’s particular statutory bylaws with any amended bylaws filed at the Land Title Office. This method for identifying a strata corporation’s statutory bylaws, however, changed effective January 1, 2002.

Identifying the Statutory Bylaws Before January 1, 2002

Over the years, the statutory bylaws have changed from time to time with amendments to the legislation.

Until December 31, 2001, to determine which set of statutory bylaws applied at a specific time, one had to know when the strata corporation’s strata plan was deposited at the Land Title Office. Using the date the strata plan was filed, the following table identifies which statute prevailed at the relevant time and where to find the statutory bylaws in the statute.

Identifying the Statutory Bylaws Before January 1, 2002

Date in Force

Statute

Location of Statutory Bylaws

September 1,1966

Strata Titles Act, S.B.C. 1966, c. 46

The 1st and 2nd schedule contained the statutory bylaws.

August 15,1974

Strata Titles Act, S.B.C. 1974, c. 89

The 1st and 2nd schedule contained the statutory bylaws.

September 1, 1975

Strata Titles Amendment Act, S.B.C. 1975, c. 74

Among other things, this statute made some amendments to the prevailing statutory bylaws.

February 16, 1978

Strata Titles Amendment Act, (No. 2), S.B.C. 1977, c. 64

Among other things, this statute made some amendments to the prevailing statutory bylaws.

May 17,1980

Condominium Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 61

This statute consolidated in one document all the changes from 1974 to 1979. This Act also changed the name of the statute to the Condominium Act. The statutory bylaws were in Part 5 of the Act.

April 21,1997

Condominium Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 64

This statute consolidated in one document all the changes from 1979 to 1996. The statutory bylaws remained in Part 5 of the Act.

July 1,2000

Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43

The statutory bylaws are in the Schedule of Standard Bylaws.

For example, a strata corporation created under the former Condominium Act acquired the set of statutory bylaws found in Part 5 of that Act. 1 On the other hand, a strata corporation created on or after July 1, 2000, automatically inherits the statutory bylaws found in the Schedule of Standard Bylaws at the back of the Strata Property Act. 2

Identifying the Standard Bylaws On or After January 1, 2002

Effective January 1, 2002, the Standard Bylaws in the Strata Property Act are deemed to be the statutory bylaws for every strata corporation, no matter when the strata corporation was created. 3

For example, consider a strata plan that was deposited while the former Condominium Act was in force. Until December 31, 2001, the statutory bylaws found in Part 5 of the Condominium Act served as the corporation’s statutory bylaws. As of January 1, 2002, the statutory bylaws of the strata corporation changed. On that date, the bylaws found in the Schedule of Standard Bylaws at the back of the Strata Property Act became the strata corporation’s statutory bylaws. The statutory bylaws found in Part 5 of the Condominium Act are no longer the corporation’s statutory bylaws.

Restriction for Pets

The statutory bylaws in the former Condominium Act were silent on the subject of pets. By contrast, section 3(4) of the Standard Bylaws in the Strata Property Act contains the following pet restriction:

Effective January 1, 2002, every strata corporation inherited the pet restriction in section 3(4) of the Standard Bylaws, except to the extent that a corporation has already dealt with the subject of pets in an amended bylaw filed at the Land Title Office. Note, however, that the transition provisions in the regulations provide that the pet restriction does not apply to a pet living with an owner, tenant or occupant on January 2, 2002 and which continues to live there after that date. 4

Impact of the Strata Property Act

The Strata Property Act may limit the enforceability of some bylaws and rules made before the Act came into force. 5

Although the Strata Property Act came into force on July 1, 2000, there was a grace period for all statutory and amended bylaws that were already in existence on that date. During the grace period, bylaws already in existence continued to operate, even if they conflicted with the Act or the regulations. That grace period ended on the last day of 2001.

Effective January 1, 2002, the following provisions govern bylaws that already existed when the Strata Property Act came into force.

Statutory Bylaws

On January 1, 2002 the Standard Bylaws in the Strata Property Act became the statutory bylaws for every strata corporation in the province, regardless of the date the corporation was created. 6 These Standard Bylaws prevail, except to the extent that a strata corporation has already dealt with the same subject matter by previously passing an amended bylaw that is filed in the Land Title Office.

Where a strata corporation was already in existence on July 1, 2000, when the Strata Property Act came into force, the grace period for statutory bylaws did not apply to Section 1 of the Standard Bylaws, in the following circumstances. If a strata corporation created under previous legislation lacked a bylaw that established a schedule for the payment of strata fees, then effective July 1, 2000 that corporation automatically acquired section 1 of the Standard Bylaws in the Strata Property Act. 7 That standard bylaw requires an owner to pay strata fees on or before the first day of the month to which the strata fees relate.

Amended Bylaws

An amended bylaw that was already filed at the Land Title Office when the Strata Property Act came into force will continue to prevail over the Standard Bylaws, so long as that bylaw is consistent with the Strata Property Act, with one exception.

Subject to one exception described below, in any case where such an amended bylaw conflicts with Parts 1 through 17 of the Strata Property Act (in other words, everything in the Strata Property Act, except the Schedule of Standard Bylaws at the back of the statute), or the regulations, the amended bylaw ceases to have any effect to the extent of the conflict. For example, a strata corporation may have filed a bylaw that requires the corporation to approve an owner’s tenant before the owner rents a residential strata lot to the tenant. The Strata Property Act does not permit such a bylaw. Since January 1, 2002, a strata corporation cannot enforce that bylaw. 8

There is a narrow exception, however, for a previously amended bylaw that apportions contributions to the contingency reserve fund (CRF), if the bylaw meets certain criteria. First, the strata corporation must have filed the amended bylaw in the Land Title Office before July 1, 2000, when the Strata Property Act came into force. Second, the bylaw must apportion CRF contributions according to type of strata lot. Last, the specific type of strata lot must be identified as a type of strata lot in the bylaws of the strata corporation or a section. If the amended bylaw meets these requirements, the bylaw will continue to operate beyond January 1, 2001, even if it conflicts with the Act and regulations. 9


 

Notes:

  1. Condominium Act, s. 26(2).
  2. Strata Property Act, s. 120(1).
  3. Strata Property Regulation, s. 17.11(3).
  4. Strata Property Regulation, s. 17.12.
  5. For information about the impact of the Strata Property Act on previously existing rules, see Chapter 21, Rules.
  6. Strata Property Regulation, s. 17.11(3).
  7. Strata Property Regulation, ss. 17.1 and 17.9.
  8. Strata Property Act, s. 141(1) and Strata Property Regulation, s. 17.11.
  9. Strata Property Regulation, s. 17.11(6). For information about a type of strata lot, see Chapter 26, Paying for Repairs.