Big change to strata rules
Significant changes have been recently made to the strata rules. The Vrecko Real Estate Group explains what they are and how they will affect you when buying and selling a strata title property.
On November 21, 2022, Bill 44 was introduced and took immediate effect to change certain key by-laws to all strata properties in the province of BC. These changes to strata rules affect rental rules, age restrictions, and electronic meetings.
No Rental Restrictions Allowed
- There shall be no rental restrictions authorized in any strata corporations in BC.
- A developer will no longer be forced to issue Rental Disclosure Statements and strata will not need to keep those records.
- The strata corporation will not be allowed to screen tenants, authorize screening criteria, get the approval of tenants, require the insertion of terms in tenancy agreements or restrict the rental of a strata lot.
The most significant change to the strata rules here is lifting rental restrictions on those strata buildings that currently do not allow rentals.
As a buyer of a strata property, you no longer need to limit your search if you plan to use the property as a rental. This will give the buyer more options in buildings that were restricted prior to the new change in the strata rule.
If you are a property owner and considering selling your condo in Kelowna or area, this change in the strata rule will benefit you if you are currently in a building with restrictions.
This change could provide more rental options for those looking for rental units and attract investors to purchase rental units in buildings they previously could not.
While the change could provide more rental options, some property owners prefer when buildings are mainly owner-occupied. Furthermore, strata councils now does not have right to be involved in the screening process which may be risky if a homeowner is not familiar with the process.
- Age restriction bylaws will only be allowed for buildings that are designated for ages 55 and up.
- The age restriction would not apply to a caregiver who resides in the strata lot, providing care to another person who lives in the strata lot and is dependent on caregivers for disabilities, illness, or frailty.
Before the change to the rule, condos and townhouses in Kelowna had the right to have age restrictions under 55+. Aside from the well-known 55+ communities, other common age restrictions were 19+ and 45+.
All strata corporations will be allowed to hold yearly and special general meetings by phone or other electronics (no bylaw required)
Issues using voting cards and secret ballots at electronic general meetings will be decided by:
The electronic means must enable the chair of the meeting to identify whether a person attending by electronic means is an eligible voter.
There will be no requirement to issue a voting card to an eligible voter in a yearly or special general meeting by electronic means.
An eligible voter attending a yearly or special general meeting by electronic means will not be required to vote by secret ballot.
The section about limits to pets is being reworded for clarification.
Strata may continue to have bylaws that prevent or diminish short-term rentals such as Airbnb and VRBOs.
Residential Tenancy Branch policy guidelines have been updated to show that strata can grant a notice to terminate a tenancy and apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for conflict settlement in place of the landlord. Visit the BCFSA website here to learn more.