#1 – Introduction

The growth of residential strata properties is continuing at a remarkable pace on the West Coast, even after the major body blow to the market due to the leaky condo fiasco of the 1990’s. Although there are some buildings still undergoing major envelope remediation, most of those that have been repaired have regained their values and changes to both Building Codes and design methods have to a great extent, restored the level of trust in the industry.

As more Baby Boomers look to this area to retire and downsize, the purchase of a strata property is seen as a convenient and carefree way of having a home, while offering the freedom to travel and take up other long anticipated retirement activities. The rapid rise of property values in the last five years has also forced many first time buyers to look to the strata market as a more affordable option than the purchase of a single-family home.

What many buyers fail to appreciate is that, far from having less responsibility for the care and keeping of their new home, they actually have more. Each owner becomes a “shareholder” of the Strata Corporation, which is charged with the maintenance of all the common property and management of the interaction between individual owners. To our knowledge, this is the only form of real estate ownership that has an entire Act of the Legislature, the Strata Property Act, dedicated to the governance and operation of the property and the interaction of its owners.

In this ongoing series, we will address aspects of the operations and maintenance of strata properties that can benefit not only these owners and their Strata Corporations, but owners of any property interested in maintaining its value and market appeal.

To Next Article: Strata Strategies #2 – The Democratic Process