Introduction

The purpose of this summary consultation is to highlight three proposals from the British Columbia Law Institute’s Consultation Paper on Complex Stratas. In the interest of brevity, background information and discussion of these proposals has been kept to a bare minimum. Citations and footnotes for the text have not been provided. If you wish to read about the issues raised in this summary consultation in depth, or if you want to comment on all of this consultation’s 68 tentative recommendations (or a greater range of those tentative recommendations than is offered in this summary consultation), then you are encouraged to obtain a copy of the full Consultation Paper on Complex Stratas by downloading it for free from http://www.bcli.org or by contacting BCLI and asking us to send a hard copy to you.

This survey consists of three questions—one on sections, one on types, and one on phases
About strata-property law

When a landowner wants to develop a strata property this owner-developer must have a professional land surveyor create a strata plan. The owner-developer deposits this strata plan in the land title office. This act gives rise to the three defining characteristics of a strata property.
  1. The units in a strata property—in British Columbia these units are called strata lots—are owned outright by individual owners. Each strata lot gets a separate title in the land title office. For strata lots, think of apartments in a multi-unit residential building—though they could also be offices in an office tower, commercial spaces in a business park, or even rooms in a hotel.
  2. This individual ownership of strata lots is combined with collective ownership of the strata’s common property and assets. These common elements can include things like lobbies, hallways, pipes and other building components installed between strata lots, and elevators. All the strata-lot owners own these common elements through a form of shared ownership called tenancy in common. In addition to shared ownership of property and assets, strata-lot owners also share liability for the strata’s debts.
  3. Finally, depositing a strata plan results in the creation of a strata corporation, which is given the responsibility to manage and maintain the strata’s common property and assets for the benefit of all strata-lot owners. Each strata-lot owner is a member of the strata corporation.
In British Columbia, legislation called the Strata Property Act provides for these distinctive characteristics and sets out the rules for governance of strata properties. The Strata Property Act is largely made up of ideas, concepts, and rules drawn from older bodies of law, such as property law, contract law, and corporate law.

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