If I cannot attend an Annual General Meeting, how do I fulfill my obligations as an owner?

If you are unable to attend an Annual or Special General Meeting, the notice of the meeting will include a proxy form that can be completed and returned to your Strata Manager.  The proxy must be assigned to someone who will be in attendance at the meeting and cannot be assigned to the strata manager or anyone employed by the strata corporation.

What is a depreciation report and why do we need one?

As per section 6.2 of the Strata Property Act, a depreciation report must satisfy the following:

  1. A physical component inventory and evaluation
  2. A summary of repairs and maintenance work for common expenses respecting the items that usually occur less often than once a year or that do not usually occur;
  3. A financial forecasting section
  4. The name of the person from whom the depreciation report was obtained by
  5. The date of the report;
  6. Any other information or analysis that the strata corporation or the person providing the depreciation report considers appropriate.

Strata corporations are required to obtain a detailed depreciation report to outline in the detail the condition of the building and the maintenance it will need over the next 30 years. The purpose of doing so is to outline how strata councils will deal with the problems and ensure that adequate funds are put aside each fiscal year in order for renewal work to be carried out at the appropriate time before asset failure occurs and with minimal financial hardship for the owners. The Act requires that the depreciation report be updated every three years.

What is a Special Assessment?

This is an assessment approved by a ¾ vote of the owners present  at a Special or Annual General Meeting and is in addition to the monthly maintenance fees.  The Special Assessment would be to cover the cost of expenditures (such as roof replacement or major repairs) when there are not sufficient funds in the Contingency Reserve Fund to complete the required work.

What is a Contingency Reserve Fund?

The Contingency Reserve Fund is a fund for common expenses that usually occur less often than once a year or that do not occur, as set out in Section 92 (b) of the Strata Property Act.

The strata corporation must account for the money in the Contingency Reserve Fund separately from the other money of the strata corporation.
The Annual contribution to the Contingency Reserve Fund for the fiscal year following the first annual general meeting must be determined as follows:

If the amount of money in the Contingency Reserve Fund at the time of the first annual general meeting is less that 25% of the total amount budgeted for the contribution to the operating fund for the fiscal year that just ended, the annual contribution to the Contingency Reserve Fund for the current fiscal year must be at least the lesser of:
(1)    10% of the total amount budgeted for the Contribution to the operating fund for the current fiscal year, and
(2)    The amount required to bring the Contingency Reserve Fund to at least 25% of the total amount budgeted for the contribution to the operating fund for the current fiscal year.

Additional contributions may be made as part of the annual budget giving consideration to upcoming major expenditures or as the result of findings contained in a depreciation report.

Does a strata corporation’s insurance provide protection for all strata lots within a strata complex?

As per the Section 149 (1) of the Strata Property Act the strata corporation must obtain and maintain property insurance on:

(a)    Common property,
(b)    Common assets,
(c)    Buildings shown on the strata plan, and
(d)    Fixtures built or installed on a strata lot
         a.    Only if the fixtures are built or installed by the owner developer as part of the original construction on the strata lot.

Section 149 (4) of the Strata Property Act states that the Property Insurance must be on the basis of full replacement value and insure against major perils, as set out in the regulations, and any other perils specified in the bylaws.

As a Strata Lot owner it is recommended that you purchase “Condominium Home Owners Insurance” to insure your personal belongings within your strata lot.   As the strata corporation’s insurance has deductibles for all insured perils; and under certain circumstances these deductible can be charged to the homeowner.  It is therefore recommended that you have coverage for all deductibles listed on the strata corporation’s insurance policy.  This coverage is available on your Homeowners Policy.  It is also recommended that owners carry a minimum of $ 2,000,000.00 in comprehensive general liability as well as coverage for betterments to your strata lot as betterments (changes made after the original construction) are not be covered by the Strata Corporation’s insurance.

We recommend contacting a qualified insurance professional for all of your insurance inquiries so that they may provide you with the correct information and assist you in determining the appropriate coverage for your strata lot.

If you wish to review a copy of the Strata Corporations insurance policy you may retrieve it from your most recent Notice of your Annual General Meeting or call our office for a copy.

What is the Strata Property Act?

The Strata Property Act contains the legislation that governs Strata Title Properties in the Province of BC.  The Strata Property Act came into effect on July 1, 2000 replacing the Condominium Act.

Under the Act, the strata lot owners must elect a strata council to manage the affairs of the strata corporation. Many strata corporations hire a management company to assist the strata council with this task. The Act gives a strata corporation the ability to pass its own bylaws to provide for the control, management, maintenance, use and enjoyment of the strata lots, common property and common assets of the strata corporation.

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Abbotsford: 306 - 2777 Gladwin Road, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 4V1 
Phone: 604.864.0380     Fax: 604.864.0480

Surrey: 17651 57th Avenue, Surrey, B.C. V3S 1H1 
Phone: 778.574.3454     Fax: 778.574.3448