Introduction

 

 

In June 1998, the province published the first report of former premier Dave Barrett, who chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the Quality of Condominium Construction in British Columbia. In its report, the Barrett Commission recommended many changes to the province’s condominium legislation. 1

In response to the first Barrett Commission report, the provincial government passed the Strata Property Act in July 1998, but did not immediately proclaim it into force. In June 1999, the government fine-tuned the unproclaimed Strata Property Act with about fifty changes in an amending statute called the Strata Property Amendment Act, 1999. 2

On July 1, 2000, the province proclaimed the Strata Property Act, and the Strata Property Amendment Act, 1999 into force. 3 The legislation repealed the Condominium Act and replaced it with the Strata Property Act, as amended. The government also issued comprehensive general regulations under its legislation. The regulations are found in the Strata Property Regulation. 4

Since July 1, 2000, the government has further amended the Strata Property Act and the Strata Property Regulation, mostly in minor ways. In October 2009, the province enacted the first large set of amendments to the Strata Property Act in over a decade. 5 Effective December 11, 2009, 6 the provincial government brought some, but not all, of the changes into force.

The Strata Property Act retains the same legal fundamentals found in previous legislation but adds many refinements. According to the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the purpose of the Act is to lay down clear rules for the creation, registration and transfer of strata titles, and to establish the respective rights and responsibilities of those who create strata developments and those who purchase or who may subsequently wish to transfer a strata property. 7

Unless otherwise stated, all references in this book to sections of a statute refer to the Strata Property Act, as amended. The Strata Property Regulation will be referred to as the regulations. When necessary, reference will be made to other statutes that play an important role in strata matters, such as the Land Title Act. 8

The Strata Property Act also contains a Schedule of Standard Bylaws. When considering references in this book to the Standard Bylaws, the reader should keep in mind that a strata corporation may amend its bylaws to add to and subtract from the Standard Bylaws. 9 To determine the extent to which a Standard Bylaw applies to a particular strata corporation, the reader must check whether the corporation has amended the Standard Bylaw under consideration.

The Importance of the Regulations and Forms

Unlike the Condominium Act, which had very few regulations and forms, the Strata Property Act has extensive regulations, which include over 26 forms. It is not possible to use the Act without the regulations and forms. Anyone reading the Strata Property Act must have a copy of the regulations and forms at hand.

For example, section 132 of the Strata Property Act provides that when a strata corporation amends its bylaws to set the maximum amount of a fine for breach of a bylaw, the fine must not exceed the amount set out in the regulations. To determine the maximum permissible fine, one must check section 7.1 of the regulations. At the time of this writing, $200 is the maximum permissible fine that a strata corporation may establish for breach of a bylaw, with one exception. For breach of a rental restriction bylaw, the strata corporation may establish a fine up to $500. 10

Many sections of the Strata Property Act refer to prescribed forms. For instance, prescribed forms now exist for an Information Certificate (Form B), a Mortgagee’s Request for Notification (Form C), and to give Notice Beginning Arbitration (Form L). The forms are found in the regulations.

How to Obtain a Copy of the Strata Property Act

Readers can view or download for free the Strata Property Act, as amended, together with the regulations and forms at B.C. Laws at http://www.bclaws.ca/. The electronic versions of the statute and regulations may not always be up to date so it is important in each case to check an electronic document for the date of its last consolidation. Alternatively, readers may order a consolidated version of the Strata Property Act, with the regulations and forms, for the prevailing fee from Crown Publications Inc. at 250.386.4636 or www.crownpub.bc.ca.

 

 

 

 

Notes:

  1. British Columbia, Commission of Inquiry into the Quality of Condominium Construction in British Columbia (Victoria: Queen’s Printer, June, 1998).
  2. Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43Strata Property Amendment Act, 1999, S.B.C. 1999, c. 21.
  3. B.C. Reg. 43/2000 proclaims the Strata Property Act [except s. 72(2)(b)], as amended, in force effective July 1, 2000. Effective October 12, 2001, B.C. Reg. 241/2001 brought s. 72 (2)(b) of the Strata Property Act into force.
  4. B.C. Reg. 43/2000.
  5. Strata Property Amendment Act, 2009, S.B.C. 2009, c. 17.
  6. B.C. Reg 312/2009.
  7. Strata Plan NES 97 v. Timberline Developments Ltd., 2011 BCCA 421 at para. 16.
  8. Land Title Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 250.
  9. For information about amending bylaws, see Chapter 20, Amending Bylaws.
  10. Strata Property Regulation, B.C. Reg. 43/2000, s. 7.1.