Two new reports the highlight of the first quarter of 2019 for the Strata Property Law Project
3 April 2019
By Kevin Zakreski
2019 got off to a busy start for the Strata Property Law Project—Phase Two. January saw the publication of the Report on Governance Issues for Stratas. In March a second report was published, the Report on Insurance Issues for Stratas. Between these two publications, the project’s last public consultation, on common property, land titles, and fundamental changes for stratas, closed at the end of February.
Report on Governance Issues for Stratas
The Report on Governance Issues for Stratas is the third report published in the project. It represents over two years of work by the Strata Property Law (Phase Two) Project Committee at 23 committee meetings and consideration of 290 responses to the Consultation Paper on Governance Issues for Stratas.
The report examines five topics relating to strata-corporation governance: (1) bylaws and rules; (2) statutory definitions; (3) general meetings and strata-council meetings; (4) finances; and (5) notices and communications.
The report contains 81 recommendations for reform. Among these recommendations are proposals to:
- relocate 12 standard bylaws (or parts of standard bylaws) to the body of the Strata Property Act;
- create statutory definitions for the often-contested terms rent and continuing contravention;
- establish a mandatory form of proxy appointment;
- set in place criteria that must be met by those who want to serve on a strata council;
- create a special limitation period of four years for claims that may be the subject of a strata corporation’s lien; and
- update a host of fines and fees in light of current circumstances.
The report also contains draft legislation and regulations, which illustrates how its recommendations could be implemented by amendments to the Strata Property Act, Strata Property Regulation, and Schedule of Standard Bylaws.
Report on Insurance Issues for Stratas
In the Report on Insurance Issues for Stratas, the Strata Property Law (Phase Two) Project Committee recommended amendments to the Strata Property Act, the Strata Property Regulation, and the Schedule of Standard Bylaws to enhance the legal framework that governs insurance in a strata property.
Insurance is a concern for all homeowners. It is no less important for people whose homes are located within a strata property. But insurance generates some complex legal issues within strata properties that don’t arise within a single-family home. This report studies the existing laws that address these issues and recommends reforms to improve them.
The report contains 11 recommendations for reform. Its principal recommendations include proposals to:
- require strata corporations to have directors-and officers insurance;
- create a new and more certain approach to dealing with liability to pay a strata corporation’s insurance deductible in cases where an owner is responsible for a claim;
- enhance reporting and information sharing; and
- give more study to adopting the standard-unit concept, a legislative device used in other provinces to determine the limits of a strata corporation’s property-insurance mandate.
The report also contains draft legislation and regulations, illustrating how the committee’s recommendations could be implemented.
This report is the fourth report issued in the project. It is the product of extensive research, committee meetings, and public consultation.
Consultation on common property, land titles, and fundamental changes for stratas
This consultation kicked off in December 2018 with the publication of the Strata Property Law (Phase Two) Project Committee’s Consultation Paper on Common Property, Land Titles, and Fundamental Changes for Stratas. The full consultation paper contained 25 tentative recommendations for reform, which addressed these topics:
- common property: defining common property, long-term leases of common property, and parking stalls and storage lockers;
- land titles: emerging issues in subdivision control, depicting common property and the vertical limits of limited common property, and certificates of payment; and
- fundamental changes: voting thresholds for amending a strata plan, amending a schedule to a strata plan, and amalgamating strata corporations.
Respondents were also given the option to reply to a summary consultation, which highlighted three proposals (one proposal addressing each of the consultation paper’s three subjects: common property, land titles, and fundamental changes). Together, the full consultation and the summary consultation had received 51 responses by the date on which the consultation closed (28 February 2019).
Statistics on project publications, meetings, and website engagement
One of the goals of the project is to make its research and conclusions widely known to interested readers. Here are some statistics, tracking how that information is made available to and accessed by the public, during the first quarter of 2019:
- number of publications: 2, the Report on Governance Issues for Stratas and the Report on Insurance Issues for Stratas
- number of supporting documents issued: 6, a media release and two backgrounders for each of the Report on Governance Issues for Stratas and the Report on Insurance Issues for Stratas
- number of project-committee meetings held: one
- number of pageviews of project page: 1195
- number of blog posts on strata-property topics: 13
A look ahead to the next quarter
The project committee’s attention in the upcoming quarter will be on reviewing the responses it received to the Consultation Paper on Common Property, Land Titles, and Fundamental Changes for Stratas and considering drafts of the upcoming report on common property, land titles, and fundamental changes for stratas. This report will be the project’s last publication. The plan is to publish it in late spring 2019.
Thanks to project funders
The Strata Property Law Project—Phase Two has been made possible by support from nine funding organizations. Support from the bulk of these organizations is reviewed from year-to-year. BCLI thanks the following organizations for continuing to support the project.