: Strata Council Experiences.....



Tengu
06-19-2007, 04:37 PM
Post up.

Heres mine....

The last stata council disregarded pretty much the entire Strata Act.

Including:
-The president being paid personally for work done in the complex.
-Vice president signing a landscaping contract without approval from the rest of council.
-Doubling some budget expenses i.e. Landscaping Budget $8000 Actual $15000 without approval of the owners.
-Spending of the contingency fund to cover general opertating budget shortfalls in non-emergency situations and without a 3/4 vote from owners. The CRF is almost empty now at $10000 or so.
-No disclosure of information specifically the current budget for approval before meetings.

I have taken over council with 3 other owners after collecting numerous proxies before the last meeting.

So my question is has anyone had experience with corrupt strata councils and holding former council members liable for violating the strata act.

I know there are specifics in the act regarding conflicts of interest. However the major mis-spending of the contingency fund is a greater concern and i'm afraid they may not be able to be held liable.

Is ignorance of the law a good enough defense?

Post up your experiences & advice.

95redrado
06-19-2007, 04:46 PM
Post up.

Heres mine....

The last stata council disregarded pretty much the entire Strata Act.

Including:
-The president being paid personally for work done in the complex.
-Vice president signing a landscaping contract without approval from the rest of council.
-Doubling some budget expenses i.e. Landscaping Budget $8000 Actual $15000 without approval of the owners.
-Spending of the contingency fund to cover general opertating budget shortfalls in non-emergency situations and without a 3/4 vote from owners. The CRF is almost empty now at $10000 or so.
-No disclosure of information specifically the current budget for approval before meetings.

I have taken over council with 3 other owners after collecting numerous proxies before the last meeting.

So my question is has anyone had experience with corrupt strata councils and holding former council members liable for violating the strata act.

I know there are specifics in the act regarding conflicts of interest. However the major mis-spending of the contingency fund is a greater concern and i'm afraid they may not be able to be held liable.

Is ignorance of the law a good enough defense?

Post up your experiences & advice.


wow, that sounds really bad. Luckily were i live i havn't heard of anything like this, but we have those nosey naighbors that used to keep account of everytime i drive in to the complex, every time i pulled out of my driveway every time i had my music on in my car while i was working on that ( dont have a bike yet) and the strata was really nice to me. Just since you have taken over my biggest suggestion is treat the people nicely and that A) would make them feel like the complex is under control and b) makes your job easier. As for legal advice no idea

dhouldsw
06-19-2007, 04:48 PM
If you get a decent property management company, a lot of this can be avoided. Everything we do as a council we do together and everyone knows what is going on. We also have an resident manager which helps.

;D

adam112
06-19-2007, 04:54 PM
stop paying strata then lol.

toomuchgsxr
06-19-2007, 04:55 PM
I want to kill all members of my Strata.

WCRSX
06-19-2007, 05:10 PM
If you get a decent property management company, a lot of this can be avoided. Everything we do as a council we do together and everyone knows what is going on. We also have an resident manager which helps.

;D

I'm VP on my council and this is the first step to avoiding the problems you have described.

Quasi
06-19-2007, 05:31 PM
No management company in place? I know our Strata was thinking of getting rid of our management company but decided against it because they were under the impression that members of the Strata Council could be held personally liable for fuckups. I'm very curious, let us know how this develops.

My experience with Strata where I live has been a good one overall.

cyclestarter
06-19-2007, 05:42 PM
My experience is that stratas are an excuse for members of the building to meet regularily, critisize everything everyone is doing and have a meeting that should take 45 minutes and make them last 2.2-3 hours.

It's a position that makes owners feel they can bitch and complain at an organized social level.

Fonix
06-19-2007, 06:04 PM
Post up.

Heres mine....

The last stata council disregarded pretty much the entire Strata Act.

Including:
-The president being paid personally for work done in the complex.
-Vice president signing a landscaping contract without approval from the rest of council.
-Doubling some budget expenses i.e. Landscaping Budget $8000 Actual $15000 without approval of the owners.
-Spending of the contingency fund to cover general opertating budget shortfalls in non-emergency situations and without a 3/4 vote from owners. The CRF is almost empty now at $10000 or so.
-No disclosure of information specifically the current budget for approval before meetings.

I have taken over council with 3 other owners after collecting numerous proxies before the last meeting.

So my question is has anyone had experience with corrupt strata councils and holding former council members liable for violating the strata act.

I know there are specifics in the act regarding conflicts of interest. However the major mis-spending of the contingency fund is a greater concern and i'm afraid they may not be able to be held liable.

Is ignorance of the law a good enough defense?

Post up your experiences & advice.



What we’ve got here is a textbook ‘Randy & Lahey’ situation; they think they run the park.

-It's a major conflict of interest for the President to be paid from the Strata fees in any shape or form.

-You technically (& legally) require 4 members to reach a quorum. One person does not have signing authority unless they are the only one on the board at that time.

I've been in a very similar situation, and my advice is this;

STAY AWAY from the Strata, the associates of it, the gossipers, and don’t get in a knot from the letters they send.

I spent 18 months on a board in a new development (if anyone else here has dealt with trades for deficiencies, you know the nightmare) this board went here, there, people quit, there was drama, there was suspense, and thrilling tidbits of useless fucking information. The bottom line is that there are thousands upon thousands of condos and TH complexes out there, and they're surviving just fine. Whereas if you serve on your Strata, it always feels like your place is falling apart at the seam. I don't know why, it just does.

Sorry to write a novel, but I spent a long time stressing out as President of our condo board. It ate up 1-2 hours per day (FOR WHAT?) and a year later....you move.... and none of it matters. In my new place I try to distance myself from the fucktard 30-something moms that sit on the porch and gab for hours on end about strate fees, and landscaping contracts.....fuck em. Try to ignore it, and your place will be a much better place to live, trust me.

Drop the gloves, back up slowly, don’t listen to anything they have to say, buy a house, and burn that mutherfucker down :laughing

adamantium
06-19-2007, 06:23 PM
I think it's best to stay away too - it's not worth the headache (though *someone* has to do it).

What I would strongly recommend is getting a management company (That doesn't suck, get a few references perhaps) involved and go from there.

silverD
06-19-2007, 07:25 PM
If you have not already, contact CHOA...

http://www.choa.bc.ca/

They should be able to advise you of your rights and what to do next.

looks like they were fast and lose with the rules, BUT being paid is not neccessarily out of the question. I've been on many stratas, and being paid an honorarium for services is fine as long as it is an approved budget item.

And I third the idea of getting professional property management involved for the future. It's money well spent, they know what to do and what not to do, how to do it, and what trades to employ for regular maintenance and emergencies.

Commuter Boy
06-19-2007, 08:00 PM
I've been involved in forensic reviews on stratas that have gotten out of hand.

The short approach is this: were they actually doing work and was the money being spent on "real" things or was it just skimming? If it was done on real stuff, forget it and move on, it'll cost you an arm and a leg to prove anything and then you'll spend the rest of your life trying to recover the damages.

If they were stealing, call a lawyer and get their opinion on how to proceed.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I'm not giving you legal advice.

SizzleChest
06-19-2007, 09:55 PM
is there such a thing as townhouses/condos that aren't under strata rules? i'm renting a room in a townhouse and from what i've heard from this strata alone, i'm never going to buy into any property that involves a strata

Tengu
06-19-2007, 10:49 PM
Unfortunately as per the comments I cannot simply ignore the current finances of our strata. There was such a large deficit in the budget and no contingency left somebody had to step in.

Interestingly both the President and Vice President stepped down from their positions and have their homes up for sale.

I do agree that it could become a headache and is not a stress I am looking to take on. I will be suggesting to the owners that a management company takeover soon.

Fotura
06-19-2007, 11:28 PM
I agree with your move. If the situation is way to hard to tackle, getting a management company to take over will show you are dealing with the problem.

Once they have a plan worked out it'll be easier for you or the next strata to take over and keep it under control. Doing damage control at this point may be way out of your skills.

Good for you to jump in but it's not a job I would envy. Agreed that there is a lot of politics with strata because you can't make everyone happy but try to keep it in perspective.

Good luck

WCRSX
06-20-2007, 01:02 AM
I do agree that it could become a headache and is not a stress I am looking to take on. I will be suggesting to the owners that a management company takeover soon.

Better sooner than later

integra298
06-20-2007, 01:24 AM
1) No strata? You can have 'bare land strata' in which there aren't any regular 'rules' per say but you have to have minimums regarding shared roadways and landscaping, garbage and recycling. Or you can have self-managed strata meaning just owners take care of everything without a property management company

2) Many people join strata to relive their high school popularity contest or maybe they never got the chance then so they do it now. Or to snoop and be nosey and get into everything.

4) Any large group will have varying degrees of money mismanagement and general misappropriation and a lot of abuse of the bylaws by strata council members.

4) Join your strata if you want to know what's going on. As an owner you have the right to have access to Any and ALL details in regards to your strata property, including knowing who made complaints against you as of January 1st, 2007's new strata bylaws.

5) And my personal strata story ... currently a client of mine is going through arbitration with my strata to fight a $7000+ fine which the strata bitches arbitrarily placed onto his lot, long story. And there's 2 other units doing the same arbitration for the same reason. But there's 2 bitches in my strata, basically two single fat ladies with teenage kids and they hate everyone and everything ... tried to place over $1000 fines onto me but i fought them all off, towed my car, complained about the noise of my stock fzr400, etc etc.

I joined the strata to keep an eye on these bitches and it seems to be working. Join your strata and be active, don't just bitch.

greenboy
06-20-2007, 09:15 AM
I live in a townhouse complex. Basically I pay my monthly fees, don't join any groups or attend any meetings, and don't vote or park in the visitors' spots. And dream of the day I can afford to purchase a single detached home with a triple garage on a 1/2 acre in Panorama Ridge.

I get the occasional letter or note about misusing parking spots, or riding my motorcycle on the grass (rightly or wrongly, I could care less) which I just basically ignore. My next door neighbour is a strata council member and I always just sort stuff out with her directly and courteously. I also talk to my immediate neighbours regularly to get to know them, for security reasons, and so they'll be less likely to bitch when I warm up my bike for 5:30/6:00 a.m. weekend departures.

Everything seems to be working fine.

BTW I like having busy body neighbours always looking out their windows. They're retirees, night shift workers, parents-at-home-with-young-kids, adult children living at home, and they notice everything - especially when something is amiss. Basically someone is always home, resulting in around the clock 24 hour security.

My complex has a professional company running things. If I suspected any wrongdoing on the part of my strata council, I would put my place up for sale and move on. Yes, I do read all the minutes.

Spike
06-20-2007, 12:27 PM
For what it's worth... Seven years in a Strata, six years on Council, five as Vice President, one as President.

As Commuter Boy points out, if the pay to the President was for actual work performed, you'll have a hard time proving that he/she was skimming, gouging, or anything like that. It's not a good idea, and it's in a conflict of interest, but all it takes is a senile judge and a plea of "nobody else would do the work, so I stepped up and billed time/expenses" for the former Pres to walk free. Again, as Commuter Boy points out, IANAL and this should not be construed as sound legal advice.

With regards to budget items changing without approval... Councils are allowed to re-allocate funds within a budget without general strata approval so long as the overall budget remains within limits. The budget itself can be over or under by a small percentage as long as covering the shortfall from the CRF is approved by the owners (yes, after the fact).

Stratas are for people who want to live in an apartment building, but don't want to feel like they are pissing away their money every month to a landlord. 99.99999% of people in any strata haven't got a clue that they still need to get involved on council from time to time and help maintain it. They figure "someone will take care of it", and won't even show themselves until there's a problem with their unit (at which point they'll raise hell) or a special assessment (at which point they'll try to vote it down). Apart from Council, nobody cares what work needs to be done. They just want their maintenance fees lowered, and their services increased.

Whoever mentioned "waiting for the day when...", well, my day has come. Just bought a house in Langley with a two-car garage on a 1/4 acre lot. The Strata can go hang itself.

KatRider
06-22-2007, 05:35 PM
If you want the name of a decent strata management company (the one that manages the complex I just moved out of) shoot me a PM.

Tengu
06-22-2007, 06:34 PM
If you want the name of a decent strata management company (the one that manages the complex I just moved out of) shoot me a PM.

That would be appreciated. I have 2 companies offers right now to present to council, i'd like at least one more.

Madman
06-22-2007, 07:38 PM
Unfortunately as per the comments I cannot simply ignore the current finances of our strata. There was such a large deficit in the budget and no contingency left somebody had to step in.

Interestingly both the President and Vice President stepped down from their positions and have their homes up for sale.

I do agree that it could become a headache and is not a stress I am looking to take on. I will be suggesting to the owners that a management company takeover soon.

Hey I've been on Strata for almost as long as I've been there and it can be a thankless job.

That said, yah you have way too much invested in the place you live to have someone facking it up for you.

Good on YA for taking it on! I'd definetly get some legal opinions and audit the books to make certain you know where your $$$ went. Cuz things sound a little screwed up and hopefully the past members weren't stealing everyones $$$. I imagine they controlled the bank accounts too. There is recourse but you need legal advice on that.

You may also want to look at having a qualified Property Manager step in. They can really assist you and keep you on track with what you can and cannot due and help you steer clear of legalities that could haunt you as a council member.

Madman
06-22-2007, 07:41 PM
1) ....
.......

I joined the strata to keep an eye on these bitches and it seems to be working. Join your strata and be active, don't just bitch.

Ditto that!

bl1tz
06-23-2007, 12:54 AM
load up on your condo insurance, if you sit on the condo board you will need a condominium D&O policy - which indemnifies you for the decisions you make acting as a board member on your strata council (you're no longer personally liable)

Harps
06-25-2007, 09:16 AM
Chuck, where the fuck did you learn a word like "indemnify"?

SkipTkt
06-25-2007, 12:57 PM
I've only *just* bought my first place, so I really appreciate all of your comments.

As for my own strata/building, so far I've just been listening *closely* to my neighbors' comments (as I meet these folks one-by-one.) I also had an engineer do a full inspection of the suite/building (VS a regular home inspector), read through 4 years (vs 2 years) of strata meeting minutes... to get a sense of these folks, their approach to building managament & maintenance... so when it comes time to get things done, I'll have a better understanding of the culture of the building.

Despite the above, I confess to a small degree of 'fear' of my strata... knowing how much control they have over the peaceful co-existence of everyone there, not mention how their decisions directly impact the value of my place.

Thanks again for this thread and the info. I'll know who to sue.

Continue...
:coffee

Saturnin
06-25-2007, 01:09 PM
indemnify this buddy....

SizzleChest
08-31-2007, 06:30 PM
here's my story from today.

i've been renting a basement in a townhouse since febuary. i have two vehicles which i pay extra to park here. the one that i am not using has storage insurance. i drive by it everyday looking for a note or something in the window in case the strata doesn't like a non-insured vehicle parked there. well, today my truck is just gone. i find out it's been towed 10km away and the bill is $140 + $30 per day for storage. i talked to the head of the council and was told that it clearly states in the council rules (which i was not given by my landlord) that a vehicle cannot be parked uninsured. the blue ford escort that is in the next spot over with the flat tire that has been there for damn near six months is fine because there are plates on the car, but mine gets towed without a warning.

i am fucking pissed.

Motorcycle Man
08-31-2007, 11:18 PM
Uhh, if you had storage insurance, then it was insured. Right?

If the stata council screwed up, then get your vehicle towed back to your place and get them to pay for it all.

Quasi
09-01-2007, 06:17 AM
I can see them towing it if they had approached you about it and let you know either insure it or it's gone. Towing it without any warning is a dick move to the Nth degree.

SpideRider
09-01-2007, 08:23 AM
Despite all the good stories about stratas, experiences like Chris' continually prove to me that buying a rundown shack of a house is vastly preferable to owning a nicer condo/TH.
Strata councils, like unions, have dramatically outlived their usefulness in many, many situations.

Tengu
09-01-2007, 08:37 AM
Despite all the good stories about stratas, experiences like Chris' continually prove to me that buying a rundown shack of a house is vastly preferable to owning a nicer condo/TH.
Strata councils, like unions, have dramatically outlived their usefulness in many, many situations.

Well said. I'm currently looking at moving.

slowzuki
09-01-2007, 09:21 AM
+1^ that is why I bought a house...it took ten years of saving, 20 flipped cars, and one flipped condo, and the help of a like minded women to afford a down payment on a house but we did it 3 years ago, and i told my old strata to lick the sweat off my big juicy balls.

Black Sunshine
09-01-2007, 11:00 AM
Despite all the good stories about stratas, experiences like Chris' continually prove to me that buying a rundown shack of a house is vastly preferable to owning a nicer condo/TH.
Strata councils, like unions, have dramatically outlived their usefulness in many, many situations.

Absolutely -

+10 ^ It takes some serious sacrifice to get your own place. The feeling of accomplishment and freedom to do as you please is unmatched, and you won't have to learn what the word 'indemnify' means...

oldgixxer
09-01-2007, 01:28 PM
My bros-in-law bought a place in a stata community and all he ever did was complain. He's a "take charge" type of guy and soon got discouraged.

We had a strata community(not condos - homes on lots) close to our neighbourhood. We had to quit using it as an alternate route to and from our place. They went and put up huge speed bumps every 50 feet. I'm sure most of the residents must have been p*ssed.

Never had the pleasure myself and this thread only reinforces my desire to avoid strata.

SizzleChest
09-01-2007, 05:59 PM
Uhh, if you had storage insurance, then it was insured. Right?

If the stata council screwed up, then get your vehicle towed back to your place and get them to pay for it all.

i read the strata regulations today and the wording says it must be "fully licensed and insured" which is pretty clear. i hold my landlady partly responsible for not showing me the rules when i moved in. when i asked her to see them today, she had to get a copy from the president. at the same time though, i could have asked to see them when i first moved in, but i thought common sense would work.

Commuter Boy
09-02-2007, 11:00 AM
Common sense would usually involve a quick word with the head of the strata to show him the bike had full coverage storage insurance and ask if that would that be suitable for them, meeting the "spirit" of the strata regs in comparison to the junker with the flat tire that was bringing down property value even though it's plated.

You didn't even talk with your neighbours first, did you?

cosworth
09-02-2007, 11:25 AM
I recently bought. I demanded all minutes ever as a subject and got them. Read them. Read them again. I researched the building. The history of the site. What had been built there for 100 years. I actually sat outside the building and watched who came and went. I cruised the neighbourhood for days before signing any paper.

My building is on rock. Built of granite and concrete in 1952. It was post office. It was a federal building. It has a police station on the first two floors. It has insane seismic upgrading. The building has a sprinkler system etc.

The strata has no landscaping. The cops on the first two floors heavily subsidize the strata. In the last 4 years since it was renovated for lofts/condos the biggest issues have been dust from construction and the need to clean north windows. They chose the cheaper option. Garage door got whacked. They painted it and said if it gets whacked again they'll replace it. 10 requests for satellite dishes all turned down - the outside is granite, try and install one without screwin' shit up.

Rock solid building. Minimal issues with strata. No leaking, no lame assesments. Cops downstaris keepin' crime and damage low.

Do your homework when you buy, don't buy some wooden condo in Langley where people are bored to death and want to complain about everything. I'll build some equity in this place, pay it down faster than the mortgage and score a small house later on.

Caveat emptor.

SizzleChest
09-02-2007, 01:42 PM
Common sense would usually involve a quick word with the head of the strata to show him the bike had full coverage storage insurance and ask if that would that be suitable for them, meeting the "spirit" of the strata regs in comparison to the junker with the flat tire that was bringing down property value even though it's plated.

You didn't even talk with your neighbours first, did you?

first off, it was a truck, not a bike. second, i pay extra to use that parking spot so should it really matter if it is fully licensed or not? third, my landlady now doesn't want to tell me who the strata head is because she knows i'm going to plead my case and inform them that i was never shown the strata rules.

bottom line is, i'm looking for a new place to live and will not be considering anywhere involving a strata.

psyclone
09-02-2007, 01:52 PM
If you have storage insurance the thing is insured.

Booger
09-02-2007, 02:04 PM
strata council members are nobodies who think they are somebodies and like to throw around their shit to other people to make themselves look powerful.

Motorcycle Man
09-02-2007, 02:05 PM
Check your insurance papers and see if your vehicle is licensed. I don't recall if a storage policy includes a vehicle license, but it may indeed.

NB: whether or not you have number plates (aka license plates) is irrelevant.

bcrider
09-02-2007, 04:53 PM
my landlady now doesn't want to tell me who the strata head is because she knows i'm going to plead my case and inform them that i was never shown the strata rules.


you are a tenant to your landlady, hence she is responsible to forward any notices or warnings from the strata to you. it is possible that she got a notice regarding your vehicle. also iirc strata can't take action unless they send you a letter first, in this case your landlady should have received one. any beef you have should be directed to her.

SizzleChest
09-02-2007, 09:15 PM
i know that my landlady is at least partially at fault, but i'm sympathetic for her situation in life right now. raising two kids and paying a mortgage on $14/hr working 30 hours a week. still though, it's not very fair that i should have to pay the whole bill myself either.

also, the strata rules are very clearly written. only vehicles kept in garages or carports are allowed to have storage insurance. all other vehicles must be "fully licensed and insured". doesn't seem fair though that blue escort that hasn't moved in months with the flat tire doesn't get towed because it has tags.

i will find out who the strata cheif is and i will update as things pan out.

DAMEOW
09-02-2007, 10:28 PM
Good to know that my fellow riders share my....pain.

Long story short. My and my girl, we dun rent, we OWN our apartment.
On one clear summer morning, while me and my girl were out working, the management DECIDED for us that in order to get fireplace inspection completed to save the management company $1000 for a revisit, they asked a locksmith to come in, drilled a hole on our door, and made an unauthorized entry into our properity.

Their lame excuse: "We made a several phone calls to your home numbers and nobody answered"

Are you for friggin' real? There is a reason we left our cell phone numbers to you!

Now there is a big ugly metal patch left on our door to cover the hole they drilled.

My question is.....Is this illegal? Can I take it to the court and win? I am very, very upset. My consitutional rights are clearly violated. Even police can not enter my home without a warrent.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

mondocycle
09-03-2007, 12:22 AM
I recently bought. I demanded all minutes ever as a subject and got them. Read them. Read them again. I researched the building. The history of the site. What had been built there for 100 years. I actually sat outside the building and watched who came and went. I cruised the neighbourhood for days before signing any paper.

My building is on rock. Built of granite and concrete in 1952. It was post office. It was a federal building. It has a police station on the first two floors. It has insane seismic upgrading. The building has a sprinkler system etc.

The strata has no landscaping. The cops on the first two floors heavily subsidize the strata. In the last 4 years since it was renovated for lofts/condos the biggest issues have been dust from construction and the need to clean north windows. They chose the cheaper option. Garage door got whacked. They painted it and said if it gets whacked again they'll replace it. 10 requests for satellite dishes all turned down - the outside is granite, try and install one without screwin' shit up.

Rock solid building. Minimal issues with strata. No leaking, no lame assesments. Cops downstaris keepin' crime and damage low.

Do your homework when you buy, don't buy some wooden condo in Langley where people are bored to death and want to complain about everything. I'll build some equity in this place, pay it down faster than the mortgage and score a small house later on.

Caveat emptor.

New West huh?

psyclone
09-03-2007, 11:46 AM
Rock solid building. Minimal issues with strata. No leaking, no lame assesments. Cops downstaris keepin' crime and damage low.


Sweet, they'd never think of looking upstairs for a grow op.

bcrider
09-03-2007, 11:48 AM
i know that my landlady is at least partially at fault, but i'm sympathetic for her situation in life right now. raising two kids and paying a mortgage on $14/hr working 30 hours a week. still though, it's not very fair that i should have to pay the whole bill myself either.

also, the strata rules are very clearly written. only vehicles kept in garages or carports are allowed to have storage insurance. all other vehicles must be "fully licensed and insured". doesn't seem fair though that blue escort that hasn't moved in months with the flat tire doesn't get towed because it has tags.

i will find out who the strata cheif is and i will update as things pan out.

This is where the strata went wrong regardless of what the bylaw said. The way you recoup is that your go after your landlady and she goes after the strata as you have no contract with the strata.

http://www.cwilson.com/cgi/faq/smartfaq.cgi?answer=1155667122

Q:
The council wants to levy a fine for contravention of a bylaw. What are the
procedures to follow?

A:
Before the strata corporation imposes a fine against a person for
contravening a bylaw or rule, it must (1) receive a complaint; (2) give the
owner (or tenant) details of the complaint in writing; and (3) provide a
reasonable opportunity for the owner (or tenant) to answer the complaint. A
reasonable opportunity to answer the complaint may include a hearing in
front of the council, if the owner (or tenant) requests a hearing. If the
person complained of is a tenant, the strata corporation must give notice of
the complaint to the landlord and to the owner, if the landlord and the
owner are not the same. Once the strata corporation has complied with (1),
(2) and (3), it makes its decision and gives notice in writing of its
decision to the person complained of. Then the strata corporation may impose
a fine.

SizzleChest
09-03-2007, 12:54 PM
^ good info, thanks. it looks like i may have some leverage now :)

does a parking infraction fall under the same category as a bylaw fine?

this is word for word from the strata rules and regulations

Division 4 - Enforcement of Bylaws and Rules
(29)Fines
(29.1)An owner and/or tenant will be issued a written warning for a first contravention of a Bylaw or Rule

bcrider
09-03-2007, 08:36 PM
^ good info, thanks. it looks like i may have some leverage now :)

does a parking infraction fall under the same category as a bylaw fine?

this is word for word from the strata rules and regulations

Division 4 - Enforcement of Bylaws and Rules
(29)Fines
(29.1)An owner and/or tenant will be issued a written warning for a first contravention of a Bylaw or Rule

I'm not a lawyer, but if it is in the bylaw they need to follow the same process. Also regardless of what the bylaws states the Strata Property Act, Chapter 43, Part 7 "Bylaws and Rules" has the final say. here is the link
http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/S/98043_07.htm#part7

Thumper 8
09-03-2007, 09:31 PM
i know that my landlady is at least partially at fault, but i'm sympathetic for her situation in life right now. raising two kids and paying a mortgage on $14/hr working 30 hours a week. still though, it's not very fair that i should have to pay the whole bill myself either.

also, the strata rules are very clearly written. only vehicles kept in garages or carports are allowed to have storage insurance. all other vehicles must be "fully licensed and insured". doesn't seem fair though that blue escort that hasn't moved in months with the flat tire doesn't get towed because it has tags.

i will find out who the strata cheif is and i will update as things pan out.

Before you moved in, you should have signed a Form K - Notice of Tenant's Responsibilites (below is taken from the Act):

---------------------------------------------------------

Form K

NOTICE OF TENANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES

(Section 146)

Re: Strata Lot .......................[strata lot number as shown on strata plan] of Strata Plan ...........................................[the registration number of the strata plan]

Street Address of Strata Lot .................................................. .....................................
.................................................. .....................................
Name(s) of tenant(s) .................................................. .....................................
.................................................. .....................................
Tenancy commencing .................................................. ..........[month day, year].

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO TENANTS:

1 Under the Strata Property Act, a tenant in a strata corporation must comply with the bylaws and rules of the strata corporation that are in force from time to time (current bylaws and rules attached).

2 The current bylaws and rules may be changed by the strata corporation, and if they are changed, the tenant must comply with the changed bylaws and rules.

3 If a tenant or occupant of the strata lot, or a person visiting the tenant or admitted by the tenant for any reason, contravenes a bylaw or rule, the tenant is responsible and may be subject to penalties, including fines, denial of access to recreational facilities, and if the strata corporation incurs costs for remedying a contravention, payment of those costs.

Date: .................................................. .........[month day, year].

.................................................. ..................... Address of landlord, or agent of landlord:
Signature of Landlord, or Agent of Landlord .................................................. ..................
.................................................. ..................
.................................................. ..................

.................................................. ....................
Signature of Tenant

.................................................. .....................
Signature of Tenant

---------------------------------------------------------------

Most stratas that I have dealt with have bylaws that require the tenant to sign a Form K before moving in - but the tenant should/must have a copy of the bylaws/rules before signing the Form K.

If your landlord didn't give you a copy, shame on her. If you signed a Form K without reviewing the bylaws/rules, shame on you. Bylaws may not be fair (or seem to be fair) but if the 75% majority of owners vote for a bylaw that they are happy with, then you as a tenant have agreed to comply with the bylaw - no matter how silly or unfair it seems to you.





Long story short. My and my girl, we dun rent, we OWN our apartment.
On one clear summer morning, while me and my girl were out working, the management DECIDED for us that in order to get fireplace inspection completed to save the management company $1000 for a revisit, they asked a locksmith to come in, drilled a hole on our door, and made an unauthorized entry into our properity.


My question is.....Is this illegal? .

My understanding is that the property manager can only enter in case of an emergency (flood emenating from the suite or fire etc) but otherwise, the owner should be present when they enter the suite (or give permission for them to enter). I would be consulting a lawyer, or at least be writing a nasty letter threatening legal action. Remember that for a complaint to be taken seriously, it must be put in writing, and you should get a written response as well.

If the circumstances are as you say, then at least your door should be properly repaired at the expense of the management company or strata, and you should get a letter of apology and assurances that it will never happen again to anyone in your strata.

SizzleChest
09-03-2007, 09:37 PM
i signed no paperwork of any sort when i moved in nor was i asked to do so.

Thumper 8
09-03-2007, 09:44 PM
i signed no paperwork of any sort when i moved in nor was i asked to do so.

As I said, most stratas require a Form K - were you at least given a copy of the bylaws/rules before you moved in?

How are you supposed to comply with the bylaws/rules as required by the Act if you have never seen a copy of the bylaws/rules?

I may have missed this in an earlier post, but does this strata have a property manager or is it self-managed?

DAMEOW
09-03-2007, 10:50 PM
My understanding is that the property manager can only enter in case of an emergency (flood emenating from the suite or fire etc) but otherwise, the owner should be present when they enter the suite (or give permission for them to enter). I would be consulting a lawyer, or at least be writing a nasty letter threatening legal action. Remember that for a complaint to be taken seriously, it must be put in writing, and you should get a written response as well.

If the circumstances are as you say, then at least your door should be properly repaired at the expense of the management company or strata, and you should get a letter of apology and assurances that it will never happen again to anyone in your strata.

*Writing down notes*
This happened three weeks ago, and of course I convinced my girl that it was NOT our fault (she is the type who always did not want to raise voice), and got her to give a NICE phone call to the property manager. He apologized and got our door patched up (they destroyed the lock and drilled a hole. When we got home that day we stood in front of our home for 30 minutes not being able to get in).

But the same thing happened to one of my elderly neighbor who is obviously not capable of being as aggressive as I was in defending our rights. So it just bothered me a lot. WHO GAVE THEM THE RIGHT TO DO SUCH THINGS????
:(

SizzleChest
09-04-2007, 11:02 AM
As I said, most stratas require a Form K - were you at least given a copy of the bylaws/rules before you moved in?

How are you supposed to comply with the bylaws/rules as required by the Act if you have never seen a copy of the bylaws/rules?

I may have missed this in an earlier post, but does this strata have a property manager or is it self-managed?

no i wasn't given anything showing the rules. in fact, when i asked to see the rules after the truck was taken, she had to get a copy from a neighbor. i'm not sure about the the property manger question. i'll look into it.

Spike
09-04-2007, 11:12 AM
Strata councils, like unions, have dramatically outlived their usefulness in many, many situations.
Unfortunately, their presence is guaranteed and even more so their numbers are increasing exponentially. Without a Strata system, how do you manage a townhouse complex, or a condo(apartment-style flats) building? Who would own the landscaping?

Stratas are headed for a serious crash, however. The management companies that handle most of the stratas in the lower mainland are snapping up the new strata developments left right and center. Unfortunately they can't train new property managers fast enough to handle the workload. The senior property managers with the most experience are taking on more of the new stratas while still trying to manage their older, more established stratas. Since they're all paid based on the number of units they manage, they're incented to take on whatever they can get away with.

Unfortunately, with the large number of management companies, existing stratas can shop around when they want to make a change and that drives prices down. That leads to management companies wanting to take on more stratas, managers wanting to take on more stratas, and the whole system starts to spiral further into a situation where any given strata property manager is only devoting 2-3 days a month to managing your particular strata. This is exactly what was happening at my strata when I left.

We were paying about $30K/year to a management company, and getting about 2-3 days a month out of our strata manager. He was excellent, but he only had a couple of days a month to devote to us, and there was a lot more that needed to be done that was just getting pushed aside. Our strata was "Phase I", 130 units. Right next door was "Phase II" with an additional 80 units, managed by the same company, but a different manager, for about the same rate ($30K).

What our strata should have done is partnered with Phase II and hired an independent manager, exclusive to our stratas. We could have offered $90K (50% increase for each strata) to one guy to run both stratas, full time. The manager makes a lot more money, has a lot more time to devote to us, and has a lot less stress because there's only the two stratas to manage.

Until a lot of stratas realize that this needs to happen, the management companies will continue to charge more and more, give less and less service, and milk the flock for all they can get. At some point the bottom will fall out of the whole property management market, and everything will get a huge reset. But until then, you're all screwed.

dhouldsw
09-04-2007, 11:32 AM
first off, it was a truck, not a bike. second, i pay extra to use that parking spot so should it really matter if it is fully licensed or not? third,

From my previous experience living in a rental apartment, I had to have collision on the car while in storage. If for some reason it rolled back and hit another car or damaged part of the building you wouldn't be covered if you didn't have collision (apartment rules). Having a car in storage with collision, liability and comprehensive is almost like having it fully insured. The strata may have put the "fully insured" clause in there as a catch all, it makes their life easier.

I live in a strata now, but like Cosworth, I researched first... no problems at all.

;D

Thumper 8
09-04-2007, 11:37 AM
The management companies that handle most of the stratas in the lower mainland are snapping up the new strata developments left right and center. Unfortunately they can't train new property managers fast enough to handle the workload. The senior property managers with the most experience are taking on more of the new stratas while still trying to manage their older, more established stratas. Since they're all paid based on the number of units they manage, they're incented to take on whatever they can get away with.


This is mostly true - some property managers get a flat salary (not based on the number of units or strata corps they manage).

This is the first year that property managers must be licensed by the Real Estate Council, and a lot of experienced managers have retired and left the business rather than go through the process of getting licensed. There is a drastic shortage of good managers - it is a thankless job with relatively low pay and few rewards. Judging by some of the posts in this thread, some people are suffering the consequences of incompetent management, and sadly, it will only get worse in the future.

cosworth
09-04-2007, 12:02 PM
New West huh?

Yep, C2C Lofts.

Spike
09-05-2007, 05:13 PM
This is mostly true - some property managers get a flat salary (not based on the number of units or strata corps they manage).
Which is fine if they only have one or two stratas to manage, in fact that's what I was suggesting for the strata I just left... Flat comfortable salary, that gives them an incentive to stay with the strata rather than take more on.

If they're working for a management company for a flat salary though, they're doubly screwed. Not only will the management companies be demanding that they take on more and more stratas because they don't have enough property managers, they won't get paid more to compensate for the increased workload. Shitty deal all around.


Judging by some of the posts in this thread, some people are suffering the consequences of incompetent management, and sadly, it will only get worse in the future.
Exactly.

mondocycle
09-05-2007, 05:16 PM
Yep, C2C Lofts.

Very nice choice.

SizzleChest
09-21-2007, 05:02 PM
i talked to the woman at the property management place today. she said a letter was sent to me on monday which i haven't received yet (why a letter when i live less than 10km away?) anyways, she summed it up that there was a council meeting and that parking infractions do not fall under the regular infractions & rules category. also, they assumed that because there was a block behind my rear tire (which was there to lessen the strain on the parking brake) meant that my truck was not mobile. i corrected her and told her that the same day i recovered my truck, i drove it from kamloops to surrey, but this meant very little to her. she says that strata will not be paying for any of the bill and that it is left between me and the landlady. the landlady has no intentions of giving me any money either. am i surprised? no. am i pissed off? hell ya.

i didn't pay to get my truck back right away because it is an admittance of fault in my opinion - if you get a speeding ticket and you feel that you were not speeding, you don't pay the ticket until your protest is heard. i used this mind set and all it got me was an extra 6 day, $100 storage fee. bullshit.

bcrider
09-21-2007, 06:08 PM
Send them a nice letter with the opportunity to reimburse you for this expense. If they fail to act take them to small claims court. Parking infraction or not they still have to provide you with notice in order to rectify the situation.

SizzleChest
10-20-2007, 04:49 PM
i sent a written letter requesting an appeal on their decision. a week or so went by and i hadn't heard back from them so i called. Fran, the lady i was dealing with wasn't in so i left a message. 3-4 more days go by and still no communication back. i go in to see her and again, she's not available. again, i leave my name and number and again, another week goes by without hearing from her. i go in again and walk straight for her office, bypassing the secretaries desk and sit down in front of her.

she says i cannot appeal the decision because i am not an owner and therefore they have no contract with me. if i wish to appeal, i have to get my landlady to submit it. i have asked her and she will not do this because she thinks it will hurt her chances of getting on with the strata council, which she is hoping to do. when i asked why she had been ignoring me, she said that she was simply to busy. sure...

short of contacting a lawyer, i don't know what else i can do.

Silent Scream
10-20-2007, 08:49 PM
Why not write a letter to your landlady stating that if she does not submit an appeal on her behalf, you will be forced to contact a lawyer. Somehow I think she'd rather take her chances with not getting on the strata council rather than be taken to court (as it seems most of this mess is because of her.)


i sent a written letter requesting an appeal on their decision. a week or so went by and i hadn't heard back from them so i called. Fran, the lady i was dealing with wasn't in so i left a message. 3-4 more days go by and still no communication back. i go in to see her and again, she's not available. again, i leave my name and number and again, another week goes by without hearing from her. i go in again and walk straight for her office, bypassing the secretaries desk and sit down in front of her.

she says i cannot appeal the decision because i am not an owner and therefore they have no contract with me. if i wish to appeal, i have to get my landlady to submit it. i have asked her and she will not do this because she thinks it will hurt her chances of getting on with the strata council, which she is hoping to do. when i asked why she had been ignoring me, she said that she was simply to busy. sure...

short of contacting a lawyer, i don't know what else i can do.

juicy
11-16-2009, 08:55 PM
I justed moved into a strata.
Turns out the realtor is also the developer.
The realtor sold more than half of the units to his relatives and friends who then rented them out.
The realtor/developer now holds proxy votes for 1/2 the complex.
The realtor/developer owns a unit in here, I think they rent it out.
The realtor/developer is also on the strata council.

Isn't this a conflict of interest?

BMR
11-16-2009, 09:21 PM
In most developments, if you purchase from the original developer, you are exempt from any rental bylaw changes that are approved at an AGM. The standard default bylaws currently allow unrestricted rentals.