Condominium Law

This is “Dripping Tap”: A discussion of the limited circumstances in which Strata Corporations may be responsible for repairing and maintaining Strata Lot Property

A strata corporation generally has no legal duty to repair or maintain, or to pay for repairs and maintenance, to a strata lot, except to the extent required under its bylaws, in cases of negligence by the strata corporation, or in cases where a strata corporation has had to damage strata lot property in order to undertake repairs.

Tips For Preparing For Your Claim Against Your Nightmare Strata Neighbour

A dreaded scenario of condo home ownership is the nightmare neighbour. This is a neighbour that causes a severe nuisance by creating excessive noise, vandalizing common property or harassing others. They make living in peace impossible. Strata corporations struggle with such owners because the process for enforcing the bylaws through the courts is lengthy and expensive.

A Helpful Guide for Responding to Bylaw Infraction Complaints

Lesperance Mendes is frequently asked how a strata corporation should respond to complaints that residents have breached a bylaw.  In general, we recommend that a strata council follow the following “three step process” when a complaint is received to ensure compliance with section 135 of the Strata Property Act.

Insurance for Crane and Shoring Easement Agreements: A Cautionary Tale

Developers requesting crane or shoring easements over a neighbouring properties will typically offer an insurance policy. However, sometime not enough attention is paid to whether the insurance will provide the owner of the property granting the easement the kind of coverage and peace of mind they should expect. Such policies should assure the owner of the property granting the easement that they will not have to go through the trouble of having to bring a claim against the developer for damage arising from its construction project.

Crane Swing and Shoring Easements

Having a construction project start next door can fill some strata owners with a sense of dread. Nobody likes living or working next to a construction site. However, if the developer next door needs an easement to complete its construction, your strata corporation may have an opportunity to financially benefit, and even lessen the inconvenience of the construction for its owners.


Rental Restriction Bylaws and Hardship Exemptions

The rational for rental restrictions is generally that owner occupants may be more likely to be personally invested in the building compared to owners that lives elsewhere.  This can lead to a more proactive and engaged strata community.

Strata Alert:  There is no such thing as “Free Parking”

In the classic board game of Monopoly™ there are the official rules, and there are the “house rules”.  House rules are for people who cannot follow the official game rules, or who believe the rules do not apply to them. The most widely known house rule is the one where all the fines amassed during the game are paid into a pot in the middle of the game board. Whoever lands on the “Free Parking” square during the game wins the pot. Not many people know that the Free Parking Rule is a “house rule” and not part of the official game rules.

Strata Alert: Section 36 of the Strata Property Act and legal opinions

Section 35(2)(h) of the Strata Property Act requires a strata corporation to keep legal opinions obtained by the strata corporation, and s. 36 requires the strata to produce copies of those opinions to owners upon request.  When a strata corporation is involved in legal proceedings it may receive requests for copies of legal opinions and legal invoices it has received during the dispute.

Determining the Boundaries of Common Property: Implications for Repairs, Maintenance and Alterations

Determining what constitutes common property, limited common property and strata lot property has significant implications for both the repair and maintenance of your condominium, as well as the permissions that must be obtained before alterations can occur.

Approving Alterations to Common Property: Implications and Considerations

Factors for strata councils to consider when owners request permission to make alterations to the common property or limited common property bordering their strata lot

Bylaw Enforcement
This paper was prepared for the April 2012 conference on real estate law hosted by the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia. The paper reviews the basics condominium bylaw enforcement ranging from fines to injunctions and evicting troublesome owners and tenants.

An Overview of Strata Lot Types and Sections
A review of how common expenses and special levies are allocated to different strata lot types and sections.

Bylaw Veto for Non-owners
This is a case comment that has made a number of sweeping changes to strata law in British Columbia. It has much to say about condominium governance, especially when there are sharp divisions between competing factions of owners (residential and non-residential).

Canceling Caretaker Contracts
This paper examines legal considerations arising on the termination of caretaker contracts.

Ontario Court Evicts Unruly Owner
This is a case comment on an Ontario court decision that has ordered a condominium owner to sell her suite and leave the building after years of unruly behaviour. We take a further look at how this decision has important implications for strata corporation in British Columbia.

Privacy Legislation for Strata Corporations and Property Managers
The author reviews the duties of strata corporations and property managers under thePersonal Information and Privacy Act.

Strata Alert: D & O Insurer Denies Coverage for Strata Council, December 23, 2010
The Strata Property Act (SPA) s. 149 puts an obligation on the strata corporation to obtain property insurance and liability insurance. The SPA also empowers a strata corporation to take out optional forms of coverage, such as directors’ and officers’ errors and omissions insurance also known as “D&O” coverage.

Strata Alert: Disclosure of Draft Building Envelope Reports to Prospective Purchasers
Strata agents will occasionally be at odds with their strata councils over what information needs to be disclosed to prospective purchasers. Some councils, for example, are reluctant to disclose draft building envelope reports or reports that have not yet been circulated to the owners.

Strata Alert: HPO Residential Construction Performance Guide, March 24, 2011
Strata agents should be aware that BC Housing and the Homeowner Protection Office have recently issued the “Residential Construction Performance Guide” (the “Guide”).

Strata Alert: Proxy Battles at General Meetings
The Strata Property Act allows owners to attend general meetings in person or by proxy. When a controversial issue is on the agenda, proxies will usually determine the outcome of the meeting. Proxies can also play an important role in establishing a quorum where owner interest in the business of the strata corporation is low.

Strata Alert: The Duty to Repair and Maintain, December 17, 2010
Strata Property Act
 s. 72(1) provides that, subject to certain exceptions, the strata corporation is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the common property and the common assets of the strata corporation.

The Bluffer’s Guide to Resolution Writing
This article provides practical tips on preparing effective resolutions.

The Law of Tendering: A Hidden Trap for Strata Corporations?
The author examines legal issues arising from invitations to tender and recommends precautions to reduce the risk of liability to disappointed bidders.

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