Kitsilano Condos: Building Management

22.07.2013

Share This!

What’s the difference between Strata Corporations and Strata Councils? 

Following my previous post detailing the basics of Strata (Condo) buildings, we’ll be diving into some detailed information about  building management – the groups of people that manage each condo buildings in Kits – the Strata Corporation and the Strata Council!

Responsibilities of the Strata Corporation

The Strata Corporation of [insert your Kitsilano condo building name here] consists of every owner of each “strata lot” (aka unit) in the building. Consider your condo as an investment, and owning your piece of the pie enables you to have a voice about how the building is managed, financially and otherwise (think of your Strata Corporation as lululemon, and the owners as stockholders).

As part of your building’s Strata Corporation, you are allowed to request to see the strata plan (which a map of the building outlining each strata lot), the financials, the meeting minutes, the bylaws and other documents pertaining to how the building is managed and run.

On a regular basis, the Strata Corporation maintains the building & the common property and ensures the owners are following the bylaws.

Responsibilities of the Strata Council

Condo buildings can have a few units (like Pariz on West 4th), or it can have hundreds (like the building in Kitsilano’s Arbutus Walk), so considering that each condo owner has a rightful say in how their investment is managed, there could be a lot of opinions about how to run the Kitsilano condo.

In order to manage all of these voices, a select group of people is elected to make decisions for everyone – this group is called the Strata Council (going back to the lululemon reference, think of them as the Board of Directors). This group (typically less than 10 people) has agreed to make decisions on behalf of everyone, specifically relating to the day to day tasks required to run the building (like which painter to hire to re-paint the building). The Strata Council doesn’t get paid, so the owners elected to this group must accept the role and be willing to put in extra work to keep the building in good shape.

The Strata Council works closely with the Property Management Company, an outside company hired to guide the Strata Council and manage the intricacies of building maintenance (Stratawest, Rancho, Pacifica First, are all examples of Property Management Companies).

If your unit has an issue (like a leak), if you want to do renovations on your unit, or if you want to rent out your unit, you’ll have to contact the Strata Council. Strata Council members are NOT paid, and are acting on your behalf to manage the health of their (and your) investment.

Strata Meetings

Every condo building has regular Strata Meetings (monthly or bi-monthly) to keep owners informed of the buildings happenings, to allow the owners to voice an opinion or to vote on a particular issue. These meetings can be quite dull, especially in condo buildings with a lot of units thus a lot of problems, however, it’s the best way to understand how your investment is being managed. If you’re concerned with the maintenance or management of your building, go to these meetings so your voice can be heard.

Every Strata Corporation must hold at least one yearly general meeting (AGM). This is the one meeting every year that you SHOULD go to because this is the meeting where the you elect the upcoming year’s strata council, where you vote on the yearly financial plan and where important building votes are held and decisions are made.

Strata Fees (aka Condo Fees)

Every condo unit owner is responsible to pay Strata fees as part of their contribution to the ongoing maintenance of the building including general expenses (i.e. yard work, garbage collection, etc) and the Contingency Reserve Fund (an fund to be used for bigger expenses and repairs like the roof). The amount of your Strata fee is determined by the annual building budget (voted on at the AGM!) and the percentage of the building that you own (based on the amount of square footage that you own as a portion of the entire building’s square footage).

Owners HAVE to pay Strata fees. You’ll be fined if you don’t pay them and could run into legal trouble if your avoidance of paying them continues.

Large scale building repairs (i.e. roof, rainscreen, etc) can be very costly, which is why you may also receive an assessment (aka special levy). This is a certain amount of money the strata needs to complete necessary upgrades, and would be in addition to your regular strata fees. Special Levy’s are one reason why you never want to spend every dime you have on owning a home (you should always have some money set aside for unexpected bills).

 

Keep following the blog – I’ll continue to describe everything you need to know about strata (condo or townhome) units that applies to every building in Kitsilano.

[x] close

Login for Full MLS Acess

Name* (first and last):

Email Address*:

Price Range: -

Property Type:

How many bedrooms?

How many bathrooms?

What area? (Near xxx)

I'm looking for a home that: (Allows pets, has ocean view)

Are you working with a Realtor?

Terms of Use

The term Virtual Office Website ("VOW") refers to a Participant's (REALTORS®) Internet website, or a feature of a Participant's Internet website, through which the Participant provides real estate brokerage services to Registrants (clients and prospects) with whom the Participant has first established a relationship where the Registrant has the opportunity to search for MLS® data, subject to the Participant's oversight, supervision and accountability. By agreeing to these "Terms of Use" you:

  1. acknowledge and understand that the Terms of Use do not create an agency relationship and do not impose a financial obligation on the Registrant or create any representation agreement between the Registrant and the Participant;
  2. understand that all data obtained from the VOW is intended only for your personal, non-commercial use;
  3. do have a bona fide interest in the purchase, sale, or lease of real estate of the type being offered through the VOW
  4. agree not to copy, redistribute or retransmit any of the data or information provided;
  5. acknowledge the Board/Association ownership of and the validity of the copyright in the MLS® database.
  6. agree that all information provided may be provided to the relevant Board and may be used to administer and operate the VOW and to investigate any breach of security of the data or the MLS® rules
  7. that a "mouse click" is sufficient acknowledgement and agreement to the terms
  8. must supply a user name and a password, the combination of which must be different from those of all other Registrants on the VOW, before being permitted to search and view information from the MLS® database via the VOW.
  9. must provide a valid email address. The Registrant may be permitted to access the VOW only after the Participant has verified that the email address provided is valid the Registrant's agreement to the VOW's Terms of Use is confirmed.
  10. understand the Participant must at all times maintain a record of the name, telephone number and email address supplied by the Registrant, and the username and current password of each Registrant, such records to be kept for not less than 180 days after the expiration of the validity of the Registrant's password. If the Board/Association has reason to believe that a Participant's VOW has caused or permitted a breach in the security of the data or a violation of MLS® rules related to use by one or more Registrants, the Participant shall, upon request, provide to the Board/Association a copy of the record of the name, email address, telephone number, username, current password, and audit trail, if required, of any Registrant identified by the Board/Association to be suspected of involvement in the violation.
  11. Understand that information on this site is deemed to be valid but is not guaranteed. It is the responsibility of the registrants to confirm all information on their own. Broker may not have reviewed or approved listing enhancements. All information provided by the listing agent/broker is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.
  12. Understand any agreement entered into at any time between the Participant and Registrant imposing a financial obligation on the Registrant or creating agency representation of the Registrant by the Participant must be established separately from the Terms of Use, must be prominently labelled and may not be accepted solely by mouse click
  13. have received, read and understand the brochure published by the British Columbia Real Estate Association entitled Working With a REALTOR®

Having agreed to the terms and conditions of use, I would like to have access to this VOW information.

 Terms and Conditions I agree to the Terms and Conditions

[x] close

Login for VOW Access

Remember me

Don't have an account? Register now!