Condo / Strata
Tenants who rent a unit from a condo owner are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act. However, there may be additional responsibilities for tenants in condos, as described in Form K, "Notice of Tenant's Responsibilities," on page 21 of this document. With this form K, your landlord should attach the Strata's current bylaws and rules.
Strata councils are mini-governments responsible for the management and upkeep of the condo building. All condos must have a strata council, as set out by the Strata Property Act.
Tenants may sit on the strata council or vote in strata council elections if they have been assigned the owner’s right to vote according to any of the methods described in this document.
The Strata Property Act is administered by the BC Financial Institutions Commission (www.fic.gov.bc.ca). Their Strata Property page provides links to strata owner associations and 29 Strata Property Instruction Guides including topics related to tenants and strata rental restrictions.
For more information see these links:
Othe resources and guides for the Strata Property Act can be found here.
Condo Owners Associations
While the associations listed below do not offer legal advice, they can provide practical advice, including educational seminars, newsletters, guidebooks and telephone help lines.
Other Information: The Empty Condo
There is a popular belief that many of the downtown condos are empty with offshore owners. A 2009 study by BTAworks, which you can read about here, finds that between 5.5 to 8 percent of the condos covered in their study were unoccupied. It also claims that many of the units not occupied by their owners were rented out.
In addition to an estimate on empty condos, the study found that:
- Condo ownership is a relatively new form of housing for Vancouver. Over 88 percent of condo units in Downtown Vancouver have been built since 1990.
- Less than 40 percent of downtown condos have more than one bedroom.
- The majority of condos are not occupied by the property owner.
- The majority of non-owner occupied condos are owned by BC residents, with a scattering of foreign owners, predominately from the western US states such as California, Washington, and Arizona.
- Owner-occupied units are typically worth $30,000 to $40,000 more than non-owner occupied units, and the more bedrooms the unit has, the more likely it is to be owner occupied.
- A family with one child in the City of Vancouver earning the median income of $75,000 a year would have great difficulty in finding and paying for a condo bigger than one bedroom, even if condo prices were to fall 25 percent below 2008 assessment levels.