By Laws and Rules

Strata Bylaws and Rules

 A strata corporation must have bylaws that govern the administration, control, management, maintenance and use of the strata lots and common property in the strata corporation.  A strata corporation operates under the Standard Bylaws, as per the Strata Property Act, unless it has adopted its own bylaws or amended the Standard Bylaws.

If a strata corporation has sections, the strata corporation’s bylaws apply to the sections unless the sections have amended the bylaws.  Sections can only amend bylaws that solely relate to the section(s).

Bylaws may be amended by the strata corporation (or a section) with a resolution passed by a ¾ vote at either an annual or special general meeting.  At least two weeks notice must have been given of the resolution, including the proposed wording of the bylaw(s).  Wording of the proposed bylaw(s) may be changed at the meeting as long as it does not ‘substantially’ change the meaning of the bylaw.  Any proposed amendment must be approved by ¾ vote at the meeting.

Bylaws or rules are deemed unenforceable if they contravene the Strata Property Act, Regulations to the Act, Human Rights Code, or any other enactment or law.  Bylaws cannot modify or destroy an easement created under section 69 of the Act, or prohibit the right of an owner to sell, lease, or mortgage the strata lot.

Age restriction bylaws are also acceptable, as are rental restriction bylaws, as long as they do not contravene the ‘Rental Disclosure Statement’ filed by the developer (if applicable), or restrict rental to a family member or a rental in the case of hardship.  Typically rental restriction bylaws restrict the number of units allowed to be rented and the length of time of the rental.

Maximum fines are set out in the regulations to the Act and are presently $200.00 for a bylaw offence, $500.00 for a rental restriction bylaw and $50.00 for a rule offence.

A strata corporation may create bylaws that stipulate the frequency of a fine being imposed for a continuing contravention of a bylaw.

Rules can be made at anytime by the strata council, as long as they are in a written document that can be photocopied, and owners and tenants are notified of the rules as soon as is feasible.  A rule must be ratified at a general meeting by a majority vote.  If not ratified it ceases to have effect following the first annual general meeting after the rule was made.

When creating new bylaws strata councils are encouraged to seek professional legal advice.

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Depreciation Reports

Depreciation Reports/Reserve Fund Studies As of December 14th, 2011, an amendment to the Strata Property Act (SPA) was passed, requiring strata corporations to obtain deprecation reports by no later then December 14th, 2013, unless the owners of the corporation waive … Continue reading

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Strata Insurance

Strata Insurance

In this post we will discuss both strata insurance and homeowners insurance.

Many strata lot owners believe that they do not require individual homeowners insurance for their strata lot.  They think that they are insured through the strata insurance program, as they pay for it through strata fees.  This is not the case.

What does the strata corporation insure?

Under section 149 of the Strata Property Act, the strata corporation has the duty to insure common property and assets.  The policy of the strata corporation must cover the full replacement value of these assets which include:  the building structure, doors, windows, building infrastructure such as sprinkler systems, elevators, and original fixtures installed by the developer including flooring, walls, cabinets, built in appliances, lighting, and plumbing fixtures.  Strata lot owners are therefore covered for the replacement value of their structure.

What does the homeowner need to insure?

Section 161 of the Act specifically contemplates that an owner may obtain their own insurance to cover risks that are not covered under the strata policy.

These include:

  • Losses to property due to perils not insured by the strata corporation and in amounts in excess of amounts insured by the strata corporation.
  • Fixtures in a strata lot other then fixtures insured by the strata under section 149.
  • Any improvements to fixtures referred to section 149
  • Loss of rental revenue for the strata lot owner
  • Liability for property damage and bodily injury, whether occurring on strata lot or common property.

In addition to the above, it is often advised by insurers that owners obtain a policy which includes deductible coverage in the amount of the strata corporation’s deductible.   Under section 158 (2) of the Act, the strata corporation may sue an owner to recover the deductible if the owner is deemed to have been responsible for the claim.  Many strata corporations have also adopted bylaws allowing the strata to bill the cost of the deductible back to the responsible strata lot without having to sue.

It is noted that many home owner policies, especially for vacation homes require that the home (strata lot) is inspected on a regular basis – failure to provide record of inspections could deem the home owners policy void.  For more information on home inspections read visit or “Home care” section.

WRM strongly advises all strata lot owners to contact an insurance representative for advice on homeowners policies.

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strata news

We will be updating this page with strata industry notes on a monthly basis, so check back often.
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