Strata Property Regulation amendments address insurance, general meetings during a state of emergency
June 1, 2020
BY Kevin Zakreski
Recent amendments (PDF) to the Strata Property Regulation are intended to address two pressing concerns for strata corporations: (1) paying for insurance in the face of a sharp rise in insurance premiums and (2) dealing with general meetings during a state of emergency.
The first amendment sets out a definition of “prevent significant loss” for the purposes of section 98 of the Strata Property Act. Section 98 deals with “unapproved expenditures,” which are expenditures that haven’t “been put forward for approval in the budget or at an annual or special general meeting.” Section 98 sets out a procedure that governs how and in what circumstances a strata corporation may make an unapproved expenditure.
This amendment to the Strata Property Regulation is intended to clarify section 98 (3), which provides “[t]he expenditure may be made out of the operating fund or contingency reserve fund if there are reasonable grounds to believe that an immediate expenditure is necessary to ensure safety or prevent significant loss or damage, whether physical or otherwise.” The amendment makes it clear that paying the premium for a mandated insurance policy meets this condition, by defining “prevent significant loss” to “[include], without limitation, the obtaining and maintaining by the strata corporation of insurance that is required under section 149 or 150 of the Act or the strata corporation’s bylaws.”
The second amendment deals with the challenges of trying to hold a general meeting during a declaration of a state of emergency or a declaration of a state of local emergency. It allows for a two-month delay in holding the general meeting.
The amendment provides that “[i]f a declaration of a state of emergency or a declaration of a state of local emergency is in effect where the land in a strata plan is located and at any time during the period of one month that ends on the last day on which a general meeting of the strata corporation must be held under any of the following provisions of the Act, the meeting may be held up to 2 months after the last day on which the meeting must be held under the provision”:
- section 16 (1) [first annual general meeting to be held by owner developer];
- section 40 (2) [annual general meeting];
- section 43 (3) [special general meeting called by voters];
- section 43 (3.1) [special general meeting to consider winding-up resolution];
- section 51 (6) [special general meeting to reconsider resolution passed by 3/4 vote];
- section 159 (1) [general meeting to decide not to repair or replace damaged property];
- section 230 [annual general meeting after deposit of subsequent phase].
While these two changes are intended to help strata corporations during the COVID-19 pandemic, they aren’t limited to this specific state of emergency. Unlike the recent ministerial order on electronic meetings, these amendments won’t expire when the current state of emergency ends.