#6 – Common Property

Common Property is the “commonality” between Strata Plans and, in comparing lists of the common areas and systems of any two properties, there are many similarities. Every Strata Plan, with the exception of a Bare Land Strata, will have a roof and exterior walls, parking areas and landscaping, all of which are a part of the Common Property and the Strata Corporation is responsible for their maintenance and upkeep.

However, each Strata will have its own list of common property systems that, although not entirely unique, certainly makes the property different from its neighbouring Strata. The most obvious difference comes in the form of the building structure and style that we know as either semi-detached Townhouse, or apartment style Condominium. Of these two, the Condominium building will generally have a longer list of Common Property items than that of a Townhouse complex. (See Strata Strategies #5 – Strata Types)
As a Strata Council works to develop both annual and long term Maintenance Plans, it is very important to generate a list of the Strata Corporation’s Common Property and the many systems that make it up.

A Townhouse complex will have the aforementioned roofs and exterior walls, etc. but the Council cannot forget the sometimes extensive network of underground services such as storm, sewer and water systems.

A Condominium building will have common hallways and stairwells, mandatory Life Safety systems such as Fire Alarms and Sprinklers and perhaps, common heating and hot water systems. All these and many others must be included in each Strata property’s unique list in order for the Council to fully appreciate their Maintenance Planning responsibilities.

This list of the Strata’s Common Property and Building Systems and the supporting Maintenance Plans ensures that each newly elected Council understands the entire scope of their duties, and continues with the annual and long term Maintenance Program that has been approved by the owners.

John Grubb is a Property Maintenance Consultant serving Strata Corporations and building owners on Vancouver Island.

To Next Article: Strata Strategies #7 – Building Systems