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Strata Collections

Maintaining a Viable Strata

Ensure the owners are treated fairly

Collecting Strata Fees and Special Levies

The obligation of a strata council is to ensure owners are treated fairly.  This includes ensuring that each owner pays their share of strata fees and special levies.

The collection of these fees (often called “lienable sums”) require strict compliance with the Strata Property Act.  Additionally, they should be filed in the BC Supreme Court, rather than through the  Civil Resolution Tribunal, to ensure that certain costs and other amounts incurred in the collection can be reclaimed by the Strata Corporation.  Formal issues like service are very important in these proceedings.

By getting legal counsel these issues can often be addressed quickly and cost-efficiently to everyone involved.  Other circumstances will require that the matter be addressed by the courts.  We will work with the strata council to find an appropriate resolution while ensuring the best interests of the owners are protected.

Stratum Law Corporation

Bylaw Infractions and Fines

Fines are an important mechanism within the Strata Property Act to ensure that the bylaws are followed and damage to or nuisance in the strata corporation can be discouraged.  However, having a clear set of bylaws can provide clarity to all parties of the expectations of the owners.  Well drafted bylaws can also increase the likelihood of the strata to recover its costs of enforcement and will help to avoid misunderstandings.

Fines and charge backs are treated differently than “lienable sums.”  However, they still require care and attention by the council to ensure the Strata Property Act is followed.  Failure to do so may result in the fines being set aside.

We can prepare bylaws tailored to the strata and assist the strata council with any enforcement obligations.

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Tenancy Dispute Scenarios

Common fines, chargeback and strata fee issues:

Can an owner be fined $1000.00 per day for using their strata as temporary tourist accommodation?

Does the strata corporation have a bylaw permitting these fines?  Like all bylaw issues, this question needs to be put to the owners.  We can assist in revising existing bylaws or creating a new set of bylaws for the strata.

The strata corporation had to hire a company to investigate a nuisance claim. Can the strata charge this back to the owner?

This will depend on a number of issues which may include the bylaws, the facts giving rise to the nuisance claim and the outcome of the report.  We can provide advice on this or similar questions facing the strata corporation.

Some owners are refusing to pay for a special levy because they voted against the resolution.

The council does not have discretion to decide who pays for a levy and who does not.  A letter setting out the law will sometimes be sufficient to address the problem.  Other times, court proceedings should be commenced.

Tenants are causing serious issues in the strata corporation and the owner is not addressing the problem

The strata corporation has the ability to address issues with tenants.  This issue involves complex, overlapping legislation and jurisdiction and the council will likely want to get advice on this issue.

The strata corporation needs a special levy approved to raise funds for badly needed repair and maintenance but the council cannot get approval from the owners

Sometimes mechanisms like a town hall meeting can provide information to owners about the importance of repair and maintenance of the common property.  Sometimes, owners want to ensure that proper due diligence has been done and multiple quotes have been obtained on a project.  There are also court remedies which may be available.  We will discuss a number of options to try to find the best resolution for the strata.

How We Can Help

Please feel free to contact us for a consultation if you need assistance with bylaw infractions, collection of strata fees or special levies or other strata-related issues.