Strata Alert: Bill 44 To Prohibit Rental Restrictions, Limit Age Restrictions and Allow Electronic General Meetings


Alex J. Chang, JD
P:  604-685-1255

Bill 44 To Prohibit Rental Restrictions, Limit Age Restrictions, and Allow Electronic General Meetings

Rental Restriction Bylaw Prohibition

Bill 44 will prohibit all rental restriction bylaws in strata corporations. Under Bill 44, strata corporations will still not be allowed to “screen tenants, establish screening criteria, require the approval of tenants, require the insertion of terms in tenancy agreements or otherwise restrict the rental of a strata lot.” This is currently the case under the Strata Property Act but under the new legislation, no exceptions would be permitted for a strata corporation to regulate the number or length of tenancies in their bylaws.

The amendments exclude vacation, travel or temporary accommodation rental restrictions which could still be banned under an applicable bylaw if Bill 44 passes. However, the legislation does not set a clear definition of what kind of regular rentals cannot be prohibited and what kind of rentals are considered temporary, leaving that issue to be sorted out by the Civil Resolution Tribunal and the Court.

Age Restriction Bylaw Limitations

Bill 44 will limit age restriction bylaws. Under the proposed legislation, strata corporations may only “pass a bylaw that requires one or more persons residing in a strata lot to have reached a specified age that is not less than 55 years.”

This wording suggests that a 55+ year old could live in a strata lot with their younger roommate, partner or children. Arguably, the wording of the statute would not preclude the required 55+ year old from living with a younger resident under the age restriction bylaw.  However, younger residents might be indirectly excluded by a bylaw that restricts the number of occupants generally.

Curiously, caregivers are exempt from the bylaw under Bill 44. If the caregiver is there to care for a resident that meets the minimum 55+ age requirement, then the strata could not restrict them from living there anyway. That exemption, while well intended, appears to be redundant. A caregiver may also be exempted under the Human Rights Code.

Age restriction bylaws would still be subject to grandfathering provisions when passed by the strata corporation.

Electronic General Meetings

Under the current legislation, strata corporations must have a bylaw to allow for electronic general meetings. However, virtual meeting have been permitted for all strata corporations under COVID-19 provisions that are set to expire on December 31, 2022.

Bill 44 would make virtual general meetings a permanent tool available to strata corporations moving forward.

The proposed legislation would also clarify that a voter who attends a general meeting virtually does not need to be issued a voting card and is not entitled or required to vote by secret ballot.

Please note that this article is about the draft legislation. Readers should seek legal advice about the final legislation and their particular circumstances.

Lesperance Mendes has been representing and advising British Columbia strata corporations, strata owners, and strata managers since 1997. To find out more about our strata property law practice, contact any member of our strata property law practice group: Paul G. Mendes, Sat Harwood, Alex Chang, or Amanda Magee.


THIS ARTICLE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE:  This article provides general information and should not be relied upon without independent legal advice with respect to the specific facts of your case.