CONDO Q: Questions answered on condo and strata living

New column graces pages of Victoria News, Goldstream News Gazette and Real Estate Review

What is Condo Q?

This is a new feature exclusively available in Black Press community newspapers.  It is written by volunteers familiar with the Strata Property Act and strata living, from the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association.

VISOA provides services to all stratas in B.C. It is an independent, non-profit organization that was formed in 1973 and is supported solely by membership fees. Membership is open to all residential strata corporations that have registered with the B.C. Land Title Office.

• Provides information to assist strata lot owners and strata councils in the management of their strata corporations.

• Advances the interests of strata corporations and strata lot owners to provincial, regional and municipal governments.

• Provides information and offers educational seminars on all aspects of strata management.

If you have a question on strata living, send an email to condoQ@visoa.bc.ca and you may see your question answered in the column, although not every question can be answered due to space limitations.

•••

Dear Condo Q: My condo building has a 55-plus age restriction. The strata council is proposing to change our bylaw to a 45-plus age restriction. Is that allowed? I thought human rights legislation said the only age restriction a strata could have is “seniors only.”

P. Walters, Sidney

Condo Q answers: The Strata Property Act was amended in 2009 to permit strata corporations to apply any age restriction to all owners, tenants, residents and occupants. The relevant section of the SPA is section 123, subsection (1.1).  Section 123 of the Act is copied below for your reference.

Limits to pet and age bylaws

123  (1) A bylaw that prohibits a pet does not apply to a pet living with an owner, tenant or occupant at the time the bylaw is passed and which continues to live there after the bylaw is passed.

(1.1) Without limiting a strata corporation’s power to pass any other bylaws, a strata corporation may pass a bylaw that restricts the age of persons who may reside in a strata lot.

(2) A bylaw that restricts the age of persons who may reside in a strata lot does not apply to a person who resides in the strata lot at the time the bylaw is passed and who continues to reside there after the bylaw is passed.

Therefore, your strata corporation can amend your age restriction bylaw by a 3/4 vote in favour of the amendment at an annual or special general meeting.

DISCLAIMER: This column is written by volunteers who are familiar with the Strata Property Act and experienced in dealing with strata issues. The information provided is their best judgment and should not be construed as either legal or technical advice. For legal or technical advice, you should contact a lawyer or persons legally qualified to give advice within their field of expertise.

•••

Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing information and education to strata property owners. Go online to visoa.bc.ca for further information.