Kits Condos: Ownership of Parking and Storage Spaces

27.08.2013

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Why is Confirmation of Parking and Storage a Subject Clause when Buying a Kitsilano Condo?

If you had to guess what the biggest issue is when it comes to buying a Kits condo, what would you say? Probably not parking spots and storage lockers, but they often end up being a contentious issue with Buyers. I’ve already gone through the importance of buying a condo with a parking spot, so here we will talking about the strata aspects of parking & storage.

It is very important to confirm the location of your parking spot and storage locker when you’re purchasing a condo in Kitsilano, or any strata unit in Vancouver.

Importance of Condo Ownership

Imagine you buy a condo that has one parking spot and a storage locker, then down the road someone hands you a document saying that it isn’t your property. Upon some research you realize that your strata unit wasn’t assigned a parking spot, so now what? You have to park on the street and the value of your condo just went down. I’ve seen Buyers get upset when they realize the storage locker they though they were getting, ended up being a different storage locker in a different part of the building. Imagine you buy a Kits condo thinking you have a normal parking spot (but not confirming this information), then moving in to realize that you own a “Small Car” spot that won’t fit your pick-up truck.

The parking and storage locker that come with the condo (if applicable) can be easily verified through the Property Management Company who maintains an updated list of ownership.

Not all parking and storage areas are assigned the same for every Condo Building in Kitsilano (or Vancouver for that matter). The different kinds of allocation could affect your use and ownership:

1. A Strata Lot (SL) or Part of a Strata Lot

A strata lot indicates areas of the building owned solely by you (as owner of Strata Lot #). These areas are described on the strata plan. If you see someone else using your property, you have rights to stop it. Note: Since you’re in a condo building, you still have to abide by the Rules and Bylaws set out by the Strata Corporation. A parking and storage area that is part of a strata lot will always be owned by the strata lot owner, and this ownership transfers to the purchaser upon sale of the property.

2. Limited Common Property (LCP)

Limited common property is designated for the exclusive use of one or more particular strata lots. This information is labelled on the Strata Plan. The owner of the strata lot wouldn’t own the parking space (it’s still technically common property owned by everyone), but they would have exclusive use of it so no one else is allowed to use it. The right to use this space automatically transfers to the new owner upon sale of the strata lot (condo).

 3. Common Property (CP)

Common Property is areas of the building that are not designated to any particular strata lot, so each owner has a share in the area and is allowed to use it (typically, hallways, elevators, common rooftop gardens, etc). There are three types of common property:

a. A Grant of Exclusive Use

Similar to LCP, but it’s an owner granted temporary privilege (the term has to be less than 1 year), may be subject to conditions and can be cancelled with reasonable notice (therefore is not as secure as it being designated LCP). This exclusive use is granted by the condo’s strata corporation to the owner, so when the owner sells the unit, that privilege is not longer intact (the new owner will have to ask the strata corporation for permission to exclusively use the area).

b. An Assignment of Rights Under a Lease or License

Leases and licenses to parking and storage areas are assigned to new owners by the developers when strata lots are purchased. It’s very important to find out how parking is assigned when you’re buying a new condo development.

c. Common Use of Parking Spaces

Parking can be used on a first come, first serve basis (here’s hoping there are enough spots for every owner!). This is rare, and usually seen in older condos and rental apartments.

 Can you see the difference in your parking space being designated a strata lot vs. common property? It definitely makes a difference which is why the confirmation of how parking and storage is assigned is a common subject clause for condo Buyers. This information can be learned from the Strata Plan and from the Property Management company, which is something your Realtor will do on your behalf.

For any more questions about Kitsilano condos and strata property, let us know. We’ll keep posting more information, so stay tuned.

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