New regulation poses a challenge to strata owners

It requires 14,000 strata corporations with five or more strata lots to complete a “depreciation report”

Strata owners will be challenged to comply with a new regulation recently announced by the provincial government, says the non-profit Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association.

The new regulation affects one in four properties in the province — almost 500,000 strata properties – and fully half of the properties in Victoria and the Lower Mainland.

It requires 14,000 strata corporations with five or more strata lots to complete a “depreciation report” that discloses the estimated cost and timing of major repairs to common property.

The strata corporation must either complete the required report within two years or hold a vote of owners that passes a resolution to opt out.

VISOA supports the direction of the new regulation as it:

* encourages better planning for major repairs to common property,

* supports greater disclosure of the condition of common property that will reduce financially devastating “surprises” for buyers of strata properties, and

* empowers a strata corporation to waive the new requirement by passing a resolution supported by a three-quarters vote of owners.

“A strata corporation must evaluate the requirements of a depreciation report and decide how it wishes to proceed,” said Sandy Wagner, VISOA president.

VISOA will provide information to assist strata corporations in making this important decision, she said.

“Although the new regulation is an important improvement in consumer protection, VISOA continues to advocate for a comprehensive review of strata legislation and improved accountability for developers and strata managers.”

VISOA is a non-profit organization that has provided information and education services to strata homeowners and strata councils on Vancouver Island since 1973. It is independent of both government and the real estate industry.

For more information visit www.visoa.bc.ca.