On November 24, 2022, The Building and Strata Statutes Amendment Act, 2022 was passed in the BC Legislature and received Royal Assent. This means the following changes to the Strata Property Act about age restriction bylaws, and rentals are now in effect. Certain requirements for electronic meetings come into effect in 4 months.
No Rental Restrictions
- No rental restriction bylaws are allowed in any strata corporation in BC. See landlords and strata corporations for more information.
- Any current rental restriction bylaws are unenforceable.
- (s. 141) The strata corporation cannot screen tenants, establish screening criteria, require the approval of tenants, require the insertion of terms in tenancy agreements or otherwise restrict the rental of a strata lot. (This also means that the strata cannot charge a landlord or tenant “extra” deposits or fees such as surcharges, administration or management fees, or increased strata fees. Fees that apply to all owners and residents such as a move-in or move-out fee are permitted as long as they have been set out in a valid bylaw or rule.)
- (s. 146) A Form K is still required under the Act “Within 2 weeks of renting all or part of a residential strata lot, the landlord must give the strata corporation a copy of the notice [Form K] signed by the tenant.”
- The strata may still have a bylaw like Standard Bylaw 4 which says “On request by the strata corporation, a tenant must inform the strata corporation of the tenant’s name.”
- (s. 139 & 140 repealed) A developer is no longer required to issue Rental Disclosure Statements [Form J] and a strata is no longer required to keep those records.
- (s. 142 repealed) The effect of this is that a rental of a strata lot to a family member no longer creates an assignment of the owner’s powers and duties under section 148.
- (s. 144 repealed) Since any owner can now rent their strata lot, there is no longer a need for owners to request an exemption due to hardship. Current requests for hardship are now moot. The owner can simply rent their unit.
- Stratas may continue to have bylaws or pass a new bylaw that prohibits or restricts short-term rentals such as AirBnBs. There is some tricky case law about these bylaws. Have a strata lawyer write this bylaw for you, or to review your current bylaw, to ensure that it will achieve your goal of banning or restricting “short-term accommodations”.
- Per Strata Property Act s. 138 Eviction by Strata Corporation, the Residential Tenancy Branch Policy Guideline 27 has been updated to state that a strata corporation can issue a Notice to End Tenancy and apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for dispute resolution in place of the landlord.
- (s. 123.1) Age restriction bylaws are allowed for any ages 55 or greater (e.g. 55+, 60+).
- No other age restriction bylaws are allowed (e.g. 19+, 45+).
- Any current age restriction bylaws under the age of 55 are invalid (e.g. 19+, 45+).
- Age restriction bylaws can require all persons, or one or more persons residing in the strata lot to have reached the minimum age.
Age restriction bylaws (s 123.2) do not apply to:
- A person of who resided in the strata lot immediately before the bylaw was passed
- Age restriction bylaws do not apply to a caregiver who resides in the strata lot for the purpose of providing care to another person who resides in the strata lot and is dependent on caregivers for continuing assistance or direction because of disability, illness, or frailty.
- (s. 49) Effective immediately all strata corporations can hold annual and special general meetings by telephone or other electronic means (no bylaw required).
These requirements take effect after a 4-month transition period ending on March 24, 2023:
- (s. 45(3)) The Notice must include the date, time, and place of the meeting (if there will be in-person attendance), and if being held electronically, instructions for how to attend by electronic means. (The strata council chooses the format of the meeting: in-person, electronic, or combination of methods, often called a hybrid meeting.)
- (s. 49) The electronic means must enable the chair of the meeting to identify whether a person attending by electronic means is an eligible voter.
- The method must allow all persons attending the meeting to communicate with each other.
- Voting cards are not required for eligible voters attending an annual or special general meeting by electronic means.
- An eligible voter attending an annual or special general meeting by electronic means is not entitled or required to vote by secret ballot. (This allows greater flexibility to use online voting platforms, polling features etc. The strata corporation may conduct a secret ballot physically and/or electronically, but is not required for those attending electronically. There may be more than one method used to vote for a resolution to accommodate all eligible voters.)
- (s. 123) The section about limits to pets has been reworded for clarification.
Watch the video of our webinar held on December 3, 2022, featuring a panel of four strata lawyers: The Strata Property Act: What changed?
See updates on the BC Strata Housing website.
If you are a VISOA member you can submit your questions to the Strata Support Team.