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In This Volume

244 (1) A strata plan must

  • (a) show the boundaries of the land included in the strata plan and, except in the case of a strata lot in a bare land strata plan, show the location of the buildings,
  • (b) contain a description sufficient for the registrar to identify the title to the land included in the strata plan,
  • (c) show the boundaries of the strata lots in accordance with section 68, and distinguish the strata lots by numbers or letters in consecutive order,
  • (d) show the area in square metres of each strata lot, including the areas and spaces referred to in subsection (2), if they are part of a strata lot,
  • (e) comply with rules, if any, made under section 75 of the Land Surveyors Act for the purposes of this section,
  • (f) be endorsed by a British Columbia land surveyor with an endorsement that
    • (i) buildings shown on the strata plan are within the external boundaries of the land that is the subject of the strata plan, or
    • (ii) appropriate and necessary easements or other interests exist to provide for access to any parts of the building that are not within the boundaries,
  • (g) be signed by
    • (i) the person applying to deposit the plan under section 240, and
    • (ii) each holder of a registered charge on all or part of the land included in the strata plan,
  • unless, in the registrar’s opinion, the interests of persons who have not signed are not adversely affected by the deposit of the plan,
  • (h) be endorsed by an approving officer
    • (i) if it is a phased strata plan, under sections 224 and 225,
    • (ii) if it is a bare land strata plan, under section 243, or
    • (iii) if it is both a phased strata plan and a bare land strata plan, under sections 224, 225 and 243.
  • (i) in the case of a strata plan that includes a building,
    • (i) be endorsed by a British Columbia land surveyor under section 241 if the building has not been previously occupied, or
    • (ii) be endorsed by an authorized signatory of an approving authority under section 242 if the building has been previously occupied, and
  • (j) contain anything that is required by the regulations.
  • (2) Parking stalls, garage areas, storage areas and similar areas or spaces intended to be used in conjunction with a residential strata lot must not be designated as separate strata lots but must be included as part of a strata lot or as part of the common property.

1998-43-244, effective July 1, 2000 (B.C. Reg. 43/2000); 1999-21-41, effective July 1, 2000 (B.C. Reg. 43/2000); 2000-26-66; 2004-21-74.

REGULATIONS AND FORMS

The Strata Property Regulation, B.C. Reg. 43/2000, and Bare Land Strata Regulations, B.C. Reg. 75/78, are included at chapter 57 (Strata Property Regulations) in this Manual. The Land Title Act Regulation, B.C. Reg. 334/79, is included at chapter 32 (Land Title Act—Regulations and Director’s Directions) in this Manual. The forms prescribed by the Strata Property Regulation are included at chapter 58 (Strata Property Forms) in this Manual.

Submissions

Electronic plan applications and electronic plans submitted under s. 168.2 of the Land Title Act must be in the forms designated by the director, contain the information required by the director, and be completed in the manner established by the director. The director’s directions for electronic plans and the required forms are set out in the Electronic Land Title Plan and Plan Application Requirements at ltsa.ca.

Strata Plan Preparation

See generally ss. 14.3, 14.4, 14.5, 14.7, 14.9, and 14.10 of the Strata Property Regulation; Division 1 of Part 7 of the Survey and Plan Rules; and the director’s directions for electronic plans regarding the preparation of strata plans. For the preparation of bare land strata plans, see the Bare Land Strata Regulations and Division 2 of Part 7 of the Survey and Plan Rules. See also Division 3 of Part 7 of the Survey and Plan Rules for additional requirements for phased strata plans. The rules are available at www.abcls.ca. Note that these rules are revised frequently and readers should refer to the ABCLS website for the most up-to-date version.

Sheet Sizes of Strata Plan

The regular sheet sizes may be too small to adequately show full survey information. Accordingly, s. 14.3 of the Strata Property Regulation permits the registrar to authorize sizes of 432 mm × 560 mm and 560 mm × 864 mm. The registrar will exercise this discretion liberally to permit all the necessary information to be shown on the plan. Section 14.3 does not apply to a strata plan in electronic format.

Consecutive Order of Strata Lots: Section 244(1)(c)

See s. 14.4(1)(d) of the Strata Property Regulation regarding the requirement that each strata lot must be consecutively numbered or lettered on the strata plan.

Strata Plan to Show Area or Spaces Referred to in Section 244(2)

See s. 14.4(1)(e) of the Strata Property Regulation regarding strata plan requirements for different parts of a building that together constitute a single strata lot.

Strata Corporation Name

See s. 17.2(1) of the Strata Property Regulation, which states that, despite any other provision of the Act, a strata corporation created under the Condominium Act has as its name, and may continue to use, the name given to it under the Condominium Act. Despite s. 17.2(1) or any provision of the Act, s. 17.2(2) states that the omission or inclusion of the word “No.” in a strata corporation’s name does not affect the validity of that name.

Survey Requirements

Location of Buildings on Strata Plan: Section 244(1)(a)

See s. 14.4(1)(b) of the Strata Property Regulation regarding the location of buildings on the strata plan. The surveyor “ties” any building to the boundaries of the single parcel by showing the distance of the building from the outside boundary or bearings. On a bare land strata plan, the surveyor may only show those buildings located on the common property. Rule 7-11 of the Survey and Plan Rules states that any other buildings must be shown on a separate sketch, which must be submitted to the approving officer.

Bare Land Strata Monumentation: Section 244(1)(c)

See Rule 7-10 Survey and Plan Rules regarding bare land strata monumentation.

Parts of Building Project Beyond Boundaries: Section 244(1)(f)(ii)

The reference to “appropriate and necessary easements” in s. 244(1)(f)(ii) of the Act is for encroachments over other parcels of land for which a title exists. These easements must be registered, and the surveyor must complete Item 2 of Form U, Endorsement of Surveyor, prescribed by the Strata Property Regulation. Where an encroachment intrudes on a highway, the best solution is for the road to be closed and title vested with appropriate easements.

Deposit and Registration

Registrar’s Endorsement

To effect deposit and registration, the registrar endorses the strata plan as required by ss. 14.10, 14.11, and 14.14 of the Strata Property Regulation.

Submissions

An electronic strata plan tendered for deposit in a land title office must be accompanied by the electronic Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office. The signatures of the owners and holders of registered charges and plan approvals are located within the appropriate schedules to the electronic application.

Correction of Errors

See s. 14.12 of the Strata Property Regulation regarding the correction of errors in registered strata plans.

Approvals and Endorsements

Endorsement of Surveyor, Form U: Section 244(1)(f)

Submissions

For an electronic strata plan, an endorsement by a British Columbia land surveyor is required under s. 244(1)(f) of the Strata Property Act and s. 14.5(5) of the Strata Property Regulation and must be in Form U. The Form U must be contained in the electronic Survey Plan Certification with an attached image of the plan to which the land surveyor applies their electronic signature. The director’s directions for electronic strata plans are set out in the Electronic Land Title Plan and Plan Application Requirements at ltsa.ca.

Required Notation on Plan

The first sheet must contain the following information:

The buildings shown hereon are within the external boundaries of the land that is the subject of the strata plan.
Requirement for Portions of Buildings That Extend Beyond the Limits of the Parent Parcel

The Director of Land Titles has issued Practice Note 01-18, “Requirements for Portions of Buildings that Extend Beyond the Limits of the Parent Parcel”, in effect February 1, 2018. The land title office has noted variations in the way strata plans that include parts of buildings that extend beyond the limits of the parent parcel upon which the strata plan is based depict and characterize these encroachments. On different strata plans, the encroaching parts of building have been characterized as any of: a common asset; common property; limited common property; part of a strata lot; or, sometimes, they are not depicted on the strata plan at all.

These strata plans often relate to previously occupied “heritage conversions” for which a structural element of the building may have always extended beyond the property boundary, but is only addressed in the land title register when the parcel is subdivided by a strata plan. However, these encroachments can also occur with newly constructed buildings for which registration of a strata plan is intended from the outset. Examples of the types of encroachments seen include balconies, building cornices and other decorative fenestration, bay windows, and foundations or footings that extend past the limits of the parent parcel (e.g., over and onto a road or other adjacent private titled property).

Section 244(1)(f)(ii) of the Strata Property Act requires that where any part of a building shown on a strata plan is not within the external boundaries of the plan, the plan must be endorsed by a British Columbia land surveyor to confirm that appropriate and necessary easements or other interests exist to provide for access to those parts. Section 14.5(5) of the Strata Property Regulation requires that the endorsement referred to in s. 244(1)(f)(ii) be in Form U, the wording of which in turn requires that the easements or other interests be registered against the affected titles. Together, these sections typically necessitate the registration of an easement covering the area of the encroachment against the servient tenement (i.e., the neighbouring property or adjacent road), with the dominant tenement being the parent parcel. Compliance with s. 244(1) gives certainty of title to strata lot owners and to lenders who take security in the strata lots.

Practice Requirement

The correct label to describe parts of a building that encroach beyond the external boundaries of the parent parcel that is the subject of the strata plan (i.e., to which s. 244(1)(f)(ii) applies) is as a common asset of the strata corporation, and not as common property, limited common property, or strata lot. The distinction, and correctness, of this characterization arises from the definitions of these terms in the Act and from principles of property ownership. The terms “common property” and “strata lot” are both defined in the Act with reference to the strata plan such that the limits of the parent parcel impose a limit on the boundary of any common property or strata lot.

A portion of a building that is outside the external boundaries of the strata plan does not meet the criteria of either definition (the term “limited common property” is not separately defined in the Strata Property Act and constitutes a subclass or specific type of common property). Therefore, no encroaching portion of building may be characterized as a strata lot or common property on the strata plan. The rights created by an easement are limited to ensuring necessary use and access to the encroaching portion of a building by the strata corporation or some subset of strata lot owners. By incorrectly including the encroachment area within a strata lot, the strata plan would purport to go beyond this and extend ownership rights in that space. The result is an untenable duplication in title, which brings into question good safeholding and marketable title of that strata lot. (A strata lot owner’s right to exclusive use of the encroachment area must be addressed elsewhere, such as in an encroachment agreement, the bylaws of the strata corporation, or a separate agreement with the strata corporation.) In contrast, a “common asset” is defined in the Strata Property Act to permit ownership of property that is located outside the parent parcel upon which the strata plan’s boundaries are based.

Conclusion

Strata plans must depict clearly the boundaries of each strata lot and the building’s common property as is necessary to establish good safeholding and marketable title. Where parts of building(s) extend beyond the external boundaries of the parent parcel, such parts must be shown with sufficient detail so as to be understandable to reviewers of the plan and to clearly delineate the boundaries of the strata lots and common property within the parent parcel. For the reasons discussed above, the correct label for encroaching parts of a building is as a common asset of the strata corporation. Words such as “balcony”, “cornice”, “bay window”, or “foundation” are appropriate descriptors.

Endorsement of Approval for Phased Strata Plan, Form Q: Section 244(1)(h)

Submissions

On the Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office, click the Schedule of Approving Officers and Provincial Approvers and select Form Q from the Approval Type drop down menu.

Required Notation on Plan

Include the following information on sheet 1:

This Plan is Phase [number of phase] of a [total number of phases] phase strata plan under section 244 of the Strata Property Act lying within the jurisdiction of the Approving Officer for [insert jurisdiction].

Endorsement for Common Facilities in Phased Strata Plan, Form R: Section 244(1)(h)

Submissions

On the Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office, click the Schedule of Approving Officers and Provincial Approvers and select Form R from the Approval Type drop down menu.

Required Notation on Plan

Include the following information on sheet 1:

The common facility [name the common facility] in this phase is subject to the conditions set out in the Form P filed for this strata plan.

Fees for Endorsement: Section 244(1)(h)

Rural Phased Developments

See s. 13.1 of the Strata Property Regulation regarding the fees payable to an approving officer for issuance of an endorsement of approval for a phased strata plan where the land included in a phased development is in a rural area.

Bare Land Strata Developments

See s. 19(2) of the Bare Land Strata Regulations, regarding fees payable to an approving officer for issuance of a certificate of approval where the approving officer is a district highway manager.

Endorsement of Nonoccupancy, Form S: Section 244(1)(i)(i)

Submissions

For an electronic strata plan, an endorsement by a British Columbia land surveyor as required under s. 241(1) of the Strata Property Act and s. 14.5(3) of the Strata Property Regulation must be in Form S. Form S must be contained in the electronic Survey Plan Certification form with an attached image of the plan to which the land surveyor applies their electronic signature. The director’s directions for electronic strata plans are set out in the Electronic Land Title Plan and Plan Application Requirements at ltsa.ca.

Required Notation on Plan

Include the following information on sheet 1:

The buildings included in this strata plan have not been previously occupied.

Endorsement by Approving Authority, Form T: Section 244(1)(i)(ii)

Submissions

On the Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office, click the Schedule of Approving Officers and Provincial Approvers and select Form T from the Approval Type drop down menu.

Section 14.5(4) of the Strata Property Regulation states that the approval of the approving authority referred to in s. 244(1)(i)(ii) of the Act must be in Form T, Endorsement by Approving Authority.

Required Notation on Plan

Include the following information on sheet 1:

The buildings included in this strata plan have not been previously occupied.

Cross Sections: Section 244(1)(j)

Section 14.4(1)(i) of the Strata Property Regulation, B.C. Reg. 43/2000, provides that:

  • (1) Every strata plan tendered for deposit in a land title office … must comply with the following requirements:
  • […]
  • (i) the strata plan must include any representations, including an elevation or sectional drawing of the building, that the registrar may consider necessary to identify and locate the strata lots and floors within the building;

Rule 7-8 of the Survey and Plan Rules provides that:

  • (1) Strata plans that show floor plans must also show cross sections.

PRACTICE

Strata Plans (Non Bare Land) Resurvey and Monumentation: Section 244(1)(e)

Under Rule 7-3 of the Survey and Plan Rules, strata plans must be fully surveyed and monumented.

Surveyors must retrace the boundaries and show the monuments found or re-established. In those instances where the survey evidence is far afield or complex, surveyors may choose to precede the strata plan with a reference plan under s. 100(1)(a) of the Land Title Act, at their discretion. In this instance, the strata plan immediately following the reference plan need only show the survey evidence of the base parcel.

The requirements of strata monumentation raise the following issues:

  1. Ground information does not match registered plan

    A strata plan must be surveyed and re-established in the same manner as any other plan. The general rules that apply to the examination of a subdivision plan apply equally to a strata plan. Part 7 of the Land Title Act and Part 10 of the Surveyor General’s Regulations do not, however, apply to strata plans, and are not strata requirements.

    Differences from the base plan are permitted when the registrar is satisfied as to substantial compliance within allowable error limits, proration, evaluation of evidence, and general survey law.

    In most instances, the survey of the base parcel will result in changes to the bearings, angles, and dimensions. These changes will only be a concern if the strata plan is destroyed and the title reverts to the original parcel. In those instances, the registrar will routinely request that a s. 100(1)(a) Land Title Act plan accompany each strata plan cancellation to re-establish the information that has been shown and monumented by that strata plan.

    However, should large discrepancies occur between the base parcel and the strata plan survey, the registrar may require a s. 100(1)(a) reference plan of the base parcel before accepting the strata plan.

  2. Monumentation in phased strata plans

    The first phase must re-establish the entire base parcel. Internal phase lines, however, need not be monumented, because they will dissolve on future phases. Subsequent phases restating the dimensions and bearings shown on the first phase are sufficient.

    Due to the lack of interior monumentation, should owner developers elect not to proceed with the next phase, the common boundary between the last phase and the remainder parcel would be unmonumented. Therefore, as in the case of cancellation, the registrar will routinely request that a s. 100(1)(a) reference plan of the remainder parcel accompany every “election not to proceed”.

Other than in the case of a reference plan required upon election not to proceed, phased strata plans commenced before October 1, 1991, need not comply with these monumentation rules.

Signatures on Strata Plans: Section 244(1)(g)

Practice Conforms with Subdivision Plans

Submissions

The director has approved the use of the electronic Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office. This form is reproduced in the Green Book and is available at ltsa.ca.

The signature blocks that are required normally on a hardcopy plan are available in one of three schedules in the electronic Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office. Each signature block is accessed and created by clicking on Add Owner/Charge Signatures, Add Approver Signatures, or Add SG Signatures buttons at the bottom of the form. Selection from the drop-down menu in each of the signature schedules automatically populates the signature or witness field with the appropriate editable text for the schedule selected. For assistance in completing the form, see the Land Title Electronic Plan Application Help Guide at ltsa.ca.

Dispensing with Signatures on Strata Plan

The discretion of the registrar to dispense with signatures referred to in s. 244(1)(g) of the Strata Property Act is similar to the registrar’s discretion under s. 97 of the Land Title Act.

Strata Plan Tendered by Holder of a Right to Purchase

If the holder of a right to purchase tenders a strata plan for deposit, the registrar requires the signature of the vendor on the strata plan.

Endorsement of Approval: Section 244(1)(h) and (i)

Submissions

On the Application to Deposit Plan at Land Title Office, click the Schedule of Approving Officers and Provincial Approvers and select Form Q from the Approval Type drop down menu.

For an electronic plan, the endorsement by the British Columbia land surveyor required under s. 241(1) of the Strata Property Act and s. 14.5(3) of the Strata Property Regulation must be in Form S. Form S must be contained in the electronic Survey Plan Certification form with an attached image of the plan to which the land surveyor applies their electronic signature. The director’s directions for electronic strata plans are set out in the Electronic Land Title Plan and Plan Application Requirements at ltsa.ca.

CASE LAW

"Building"

The following case, decided under the Condominium Act, considered the meaning of “building” for the purposes of that Act.

Under the Condominium Act, a developer appealed a registrar’s refusal to register a strata plan. The development scheme created 200 strata lots in what the registrar characterized as a community mailbox. The scheme assigned to each strata lot as limited common property one of 200 recreational vehicle sites for the exclusive use of the owner of the strata lot to which it was assigned. The court found that the registrar had acted reasonably in determining that a community mailbox is not a “building” for the purposes of the Act, and that it was reasonable for the registrar to conclude that a “building” under the Condominium Act must have floors, walls, and a ceiling, and must be capable of occupation (Swan Lake Recreation Resort Ltd. v. Registrar (Kamloops Land Title Office), 1999 CanLII 6678 (BC SC)).

Case Commentary: The Court devoted a significant portion of this judgment to the question of whether a structure the size of a community mailbox is a building within the meaning of the Act. The court found that a mailbox is not a building because the word “building” ordinarily means a structure which is designed for use as a habitation or other purpose of occupation, or for the storage of commodities. Further, a building ordinarily is relatively permanent, and relatively large in size.

From a broader perspective, the court confirmed that the Condominium Act contemplated two types of strata plan: one a bare land strata plan where the lots are described much in the same way as they are in a conventional subdivision plan; the other a building strata plan where the strata lots are described by reference to floors, walls, and ceilings. In a building strata plan, the area not covered by strata lots is characterized as common property and parts of the common property can be designated as limited common property and assigned to a specific strata lot for the exclusive use of the strata lot owner.

See also the discussion of this case under s. 1 of the Act.