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In This Volume

1 (1) In this Act:

  • “3/4 vote” means a vote in favour of a resolution by at least 3/4 of the votes cast by eligible voters who are present in person or by proxy at the time the vote is taken and who have not abstained from voting;
  • “80% vote” means a vote in favour of a resolution by at least 80% of the votes of all the eligible voters;
  • “approving officer” means an appropriate approving officer appointed under the Land Title Act;
  • “assessed value” means the value assessed under the Assessment Act;
  • “bare land strata plan” means
  • (a) a strata plan on which the boundaries of the strata lots are defined on a horizontal plane by reference to survey markers and not by reference to the floors, walls or ceilings of a building, or
  • (b) any other strata plan defined by regulation to be a bare land strata plan;
  • “bylaw” means a bylaw of a strata corporation;
  • “civil resolution tribunal” means the Civil Resolution Tribunal established under the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act;
  • “common asset” means
  • (a) personal property held by or on behalf of a strata corporation, and
  • (b) land held in the name of or on behalf of a strata corporation, that is
    • (i) not shown on the strata plan, or
    • (ii) shown as a strata lot on the strata plan;
  • “common expenses” means expenses
  • (a) that part of the land and buildings shown on a strata plan that is not part of a strata lot, and
  • (b) pipes, wires, cables, chutes, ducts and other facilities for the passage or provision of water, sewage, drainage, gas, oil, electricity, telephone, radio, television, garbage, heating and cooling systems, or other similar services, if they are located
    • (i) within a floor, wall or ceiling that forms a boundary
      • (A) between a strata lot and another strata lot,
      • (B) between a strata lot and the common property, or
      • (C) between a strata lot or common property and another parcel of land, or
    • (ii) wholly or partially within a strata lot, if they are capable of being and intended to be used in connection with the enjoyment of another strata lot or the common property;
  • “contingency reserve fund” means a fund for common expenses, as set out in section 92(b);
  • “convey” and “conveyance”, when referring to the conveyance of a strata lot to a purchaser, means any of the following in respect of which an application to the land title office has been made to register:
  • (a) a transfer of a freehold estate in the strata lot;
  • (b) an agreement for sale of the strata lot;
  • (c) an assignment of a purchaser’s interest in an agreement for sale of the strata lot;
  • (d) an assignment of a strata lot lease in a leasehold strata plan;
  • “eligible voters” means persons who may vote under sections 53 to 58;
  • “judgment” means a judgment of a court, and includes costs awarded in respect of the judgment;
  • “landlord” means an owner who rents a strata lot to a tenant and a tenant who rents a strata lot to a subtenant, but does not include a leasehold landlord in a leasehold strata plan as defined in section 199;
  • “limited common property” means common property designated for the exclusive use of the owners of one or more strata lots;
  • “majority vote” means a vote in favour of a resolution by more than 1/2 of the votes cast by eligible voters who are present in person or by proxy at the time the vote is taken and who have not abstained from voting;
  • “occupant” means a person, other than an owner or tenant, who occupies a strata lot;
  • “operating fund” means a fund for common expenses, as set out in section 92(a);
  • “owner” means a person, including an owner developer, who is
  • (a) a person shown in the register of a land title office as the owner of a freehold estate in a strata lot, whether entitled to it in the person’s own right or in a representative capacity, or
  • (b) if the strata lot is in a leasehold strata plan, as defined in section 199, a leasehold tenant as defined in that section,
  • unless there is
  • (c) a registered agreement for sale, in which case it means the registered holder of the last registered agreement for sale, or
  • (d) a registered life estate, in which case it means the tenant for life;
  • “owner developer” means
  • (a) a person
    • (i) who, on the date that application is made to the registrar for deposit of the strata plan, is registered in the land title office as
      • (A) the owner of the freehold estate in the land shown on the strata plan, or
      • (B) in the case of a leasehold strata plan as defined in section 199, the lessee of the ground lease of the land, or
    • (ii) who acquires all the strata lots in a strata plan from the person referred to in subparagraph (i), and
  • (b) a person who acquires all of the interest of a person who is an owner developer under paragraph (a) in more than 50% of the strata lots in a strata plan;
  • “phased strata plan” means a strata plan that is deposited in successive phases under Part 13;
  • “purchaser” means a person, other than an owner developer, who enters into an agreement to purchase a strata lot or to acquire a strata lot lease in a leasehold strata plan as defined in section 199, but to whom the strata lot or strata lot lease has not yet been conveyed or assigned;
  • “registrar” means a registrar of titles as defined in the Land Title Act, and includes a deputy registrar or acting registrar under that Act;
  • “regulations” means regulations made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under section 292;
  • “residential strata lot” means a strata lot designed or intended to be used primarily as a residence;
  • “rule” means a rule of a strata corporation made under section 125 or 197;
  • “section”, when used in reference to a strata corporation, means a section of the strata corporation created under section 192 or 193;
  • “Standard Bylaws” means the bylaws set out in the Schedule of Standard Bylaws;
  • “strata corporation” means a strata corporation established under section 2;
  • “strata lot” means a lot shown on a strata plan;
  • “sue” means the act of bringing any kind of court proceeding;
  • “suit” means any kind of court proceeding;
  • “superintendent” means the Superintendent of Real Estate;
  • “Supreme Court” means the Supreme Court of British Columbia;
  • “tenant” means a person who rents all or part of a strata lot, and includes a subtenant but does not include a leasehold tenant in a leasehold strata plan as defined in section 199 or a tenant for life under a registered life estate;
  • “tribunal proceeding” means a tribunal proceeding under the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act;
  • “unanimous vote” means a vote in favour of a resolution by all the votes of all the eligible voters;
  • “unit entitlement” of a strata lot means the number indicated in the Schedule of Unit Entitlement established under section 246, that is used in calculations to determine the strata lot’s share of
  • (a) the common property and common assets, and
  • (b) the common expenses and liabilities of the strata corporation.
  • “winding-up resolution” means a resolution referred to in
  • (a) section 272(1), or
  • (b) section 277(1).
  • (2) A word or expression in this Act has the meaning given to it in the Land Title Act, unless it is defined in this Act or the context requires otherwise.

1998-43-1, effective July 1, 2000 (B.C. Reg. 43/2000); 1999-21-1, effective July 1, 2000 (B.C. Reg. 43/2000); 2014-10-39; 2012-25-95, effective July 13, 2016 (B.C. Reg. 171/2016); 2015-40-37, effective July 28, 2016 (B.C. Reg. 206/2016).

REGULATIONS AND FORMS

The Strata Property Regulation, B.C. Reg. 43/2000, is included at chapter 57 (Strata Property Regulations) in this Manual.

Definitions

See s. 1.1(1) of the Strata Property Regulation regarding the definition of “Act” and s. 17.1 of the regulation for definitions of “Amended Schedule of Interest on Destruction”, “Condominium Act”, and “schedule of interest on destruction”.

Schedule of Unit Entitlement, Form V

The Strata Property Regulation prescribes Form V, Schedule of Unit Entitlement, for the purpose of s. 1 of the Act. Form V is included at chapter 58 (Strata Property Forms).

Submissions

On the Strata Property Act filing form, select Form V, Schedule of Unit Entitlement, and attach an image of the original Form V.

Fees

See s. 14.8 of the Strata Property Regulation regarding the fees payable to the Superintendent for examination of the Schedule of Unit Entitlement or Schedule of Voting Rights under ss. 246 and 248 of the Act, respectively.

CROSS REFERENCES AND OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

Interpretation of Words and Phrases

Definitions of the words and phrases in this section apply generally to the Act and to the regulations made under it. However, there may be different definitions of the same words for interpretation of specific parts or sections of the Act. For example, the definition of “tenant” under s. 1 states that “tenant” does not include a “leasehold tenant” in a leasehold strata plan as “leasehold tenant” is defined in s. 199 of Part 12, Leasehold Strata Plans. Other sections of the Act and regulations may define words not interpreted in s. 1. For example, s. 217 of Part 13, Phased Strata Plans, defines “common facility” for the purposes of that Part as “a major facility in a phased strata plan, including a laundry room, playground, swimming pool, recreation centre, clubhouse or tennis court, if the facility is available for the use of the owners”.

Definitions of words and phrases may also be found in the Strata Property Regulation, B.C. Reg. 43/2000, at chapter 57 (Strata Property Regulations). For example, the definition of “habitable area” set out in s. 14.2 of the regulation for the purpose of s. 246 of the Act means “the area of a residential strata lot which can be lived in, but does not include patios, balconies, garages, parking stalls or storage areas other than closet space”.

CASE LAW

Common Property Boundary

The petitioner owned a strata lot that included an outdoor patio. The upper boundary of the patio was defined in the strata plan as the height level with the indoor ceiling of the petitioner’s suite. A large cedar tree was allowed to grow on the patio and blocked views from the suites above. In accordance with its bylaws, the strata corporation ordered the petitioner to cut the tree so that it did not extend beyond the boundaries of the strata lot. In upholding the bylaw, the court found that the air space above the patio was common property belonging to the strata corporation and that the strata corporation was entitled to enforce the bylaw limiting the height of the petitioner’s tree (Chan v. Strata Plan VR-151, 2010 BCSC 1725).

Strata Plan and “Bare Land Strata Plan”

The Strata Property Act and the Condominium Act both address deposit and registration of bare land strata plans and building strata plans. The following case, decided under the Condominium Act, distinguishes between these types of plans.

The Condominium Act contemplates two types of strata developments: a bare land strata plan and a building strata plan. In each type of strata plan, the legislature clearly intended that the areas designated as “strata lots” would be the primary use areas, while the common property or limited common property areas would be intended for uses ancillary to primary use. In a development scheme where proposed strata lots were created in a community mailbox and assigned recreational vehicle sites were designated as limited common property, the scheme contemplated by the Condominium Act was inverted. The owners’ use of the designated recreational vehicle sites would not be ancillary to their primary use of the development, the mailbox. Viewed from a functional perspective, the proposed development was clearly a bare land strata rather than a building strata and the mailbox was not a building within the meaning of the Act. As such, the development proposal should be subject to the Condominium Act’s more onerous requirements for bare land strata plans (Swan Lake Recreation Resort Ltd. v. Registrar (Kamloops Land Title Office), 1999 CanLII 6678 (BC SC)).

Case Commentary: By concluding that the development was a bare land strata, the approval of the approving office was required. While such approval was not given in this case, it is doubtful whether such approval would have made a difference. Arguably, the legal policy implicit in the decision relating to size and primary use of a strata lot in relation to the common property would still apply.

Recognizing that considerations of relative size may not be conclusive, the court reviewed the objectives of the Condominium Act. Looking at the Act as a whole, the court concluded that strata lots are intended as primary use areas and that the use of common property and limited common property is intended to be ancillary to the primary use areas.

The decision in Swan Lake clearly recognizes that the registrar, acting reasonably, is entitled to consider such issues. This finding is consistent with Re Land Registry Act and Shaw, 1915 CanLII 360 (BC CA), where the court recognized that the registrar was “not deemed to be a mere machine for making registration, even though the strict literal construction of the statute … would appear if strictly construed to make him such”. Further, in Prince Rupert (City) v. British Columbia (Registrar of Land Titles), 1993 CanLII 2467 (BC CA), the Court of Appeal held that the registrar was not precluded from looking into matters of access that fell within the scope of the approving officer’s duties.

Whether or not an approving officer is required to consider questions of primary and ancillary use and questions of relative size, it seems clear that the registrar is not precluded from doing so. The making of appropriate inquiries is consistent with the duty of the registrar to examine the plans tendered to the land title office for deposit and to administer the Act in accordance with the law.

See also the discussion of this case under s. 244 of this Act in the commentary to “244 Strata plan requirements” in this chapter.

“Transfer” and “Transmission”

The sale of strata property in foreclosure proceedings made under a court order is a transmission of ownership as defined in s. 1 of the Land Title Act. It is not a transfer and therefore not a conveyance. As such, s. 256 of the Strata Property Act is inapplicable and no Form F is required. There is no inconsistency between the Acts in this context and accordingly the distinction between transfer and transmission applies to the Strata Property Act (Peoples Trust Co. v. Meadowlark Estates Ltd., 2003 BCSC 1321 (Master), applications allowed 2005 BCSC 51, citing CIBC Mortgage Corp. v. Spreeuw, 2001 BCSC 1729 (Master); see also the annotation for these decisions under s. 1 of the Land Title Act and ss. 116 and 256 of the Strata Property Act).