I received a press release from Deryk Norton of the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association (VISOA) claiming that BC lags behind the rest of Canada when it comes to legal protections for strata owners – below is the text of that release:
STRATA OWNERSHIP NEEDS BETTER LEGISLATION
According to strata owners on Vancouver Island there are major deficiencies in BC’s strata legislation. Over 458,000 condominiums and other strata properties, or one in four taxable properties in BC are affected by strata legislation. 67,000 of these properties are located on Vancouver Island.
A series of public meetings hosted by the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association (VISOA) was completed on March 30. At these meetings, participants reacted to a discussion paper based on numerous complaints VISOA had received about inadequate legal protection for strata owners. Based on the public meetings, written submissions from owners and consultation with homeowner associations on the mainland, VISOA is now developing a report on issues and alternatives for improving BC’s strata legislation. The report will be available later this spring.
Most concerns expressed by strata owners focused on transparency and accountability deficiencies, including:
- Lack of an accessible and authoritative source of legislation interpretation to support the operation of strata corporations according to law,
- Lack of a requirement for a depreciation report or reserve fund study to inform owners and purchasers of the financial implications of the condition of common property,
- Lack of a requirement for an audit of strata finances even where the strata corporation has hundreds of thousands of dollars in a reserve fund, and
- Lack of prosecution of developers operating contrary to strata legislation.
“Furthermore, VISOA research has found that BC lags behind other jurisdictions in requiring transparency and accountability for key areas of strata or condominium operations”, said Felicia Oliver, VISOA President.
VISOA is a non-profit organization that has provided information and education services to strata owners and strata councils on Vancouver Island since 1973.
BC’s strata legislation includes the Strata Property Act, the Real Estate Development Marketing Act and the Real Estate Services Act.
The VISOA website can be found at http://visoa.bc.ca/whatsnew