Condo Living: Your Owner Responsibilities
Condo living is its own lifestyle. When you purchase your condo, you become a member of a larger community. You live collectively in the building in your individual strata lots, with the strata corporation looking after the day-to-day management of the strata, including the contingency reserve fund, annual general meetings, and bylaws.
Condo living is its own lifestyle, so what responsibilities do you have as an owner?
Did you know that ensuring you, as a strata lot owner, maintain and repair your strata lot as required is enforceable? It’s true. The bylaws make sure of it. The Times Colonist published a column recently with a question from a strata council to Tony Gioventu, the executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association, seeking advice about a strata lot owner who refused to fix his or her damaged unit.
The third-floor unit had replaced their faucets improperly, resulting in the flooding of the two units below it. Because the damage was thought to be below the strata’s insurance deductible, the strata council advised the three units to file claims through their individual homeowner’s insurance. However, the one unit didn’t have insurance and has since left the damage. Neighbours complain of the smell of mold, and the carpets are confirmed to be moldy and wrecked.
So, what can the strata council do?
Enforce the bylaws, says Gioventu. The strata can impose fines and may also “use the Civil Resolution Tribunal to obtain a decision ordering the owner to repair the strata lot.” Further to that, the strata can seek an enforcement order to ensure the repairs are made.
The strata council has a responsibility to its owners to ensure that, collectively, the owners are living within the confines of the bylaws set for that particular strata corporation. If owners don’t abide by those bylaws, then the strata council can seek remedies, both financially and legally.
Best advice? When you’re reviewing your strata documents, make sure you are aware of what your bylaws require of you as a new strata lot owner.
Do you have questions about your building’s bylaws? Send us an email at [email protected] and we can help you understand them.
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