[Updated May 14, 2023]
On May 1, 2023 Strata Property Regulation 7.01 become effective by Order in Council. See OIC No. 276. Spouses, partners, and many children are now prescribed classes of persons who are exempt from a strata age restriction bylaw.
See the BC Government’s news release and the updated BC Strata Housing age-restriction bylaws web page.
As of November 24, 2022 the Strata Property Act only allows strata corporations to have age restriction bylaws that set a minimum age of 55 or greater.
Section 123.2 of the Strata Property Act sets out certain exemptions to age restriction bylaws.
- A person who resided in a strata lot immediately before an age restriction bylaw was passed (a “legacy exemption”)
- A caregiver who resides in the strata lot for the purpose of providing care to another resident
- A person in a prescribed class of persons
What is a prescribed class of persons?
On May 1, 2023 Strata Property Regulation 7.01 become effective by Order in Council No. 276. This regulation sets out the prescribed classes of persons who are also exempt from an age restriction bylaw.
The determination of whether a person is exempt from the bylaw depends on their relationship to the “specified resident” (SR). These persons are exempt:
- A spouse or person living in a marriage-like relationship with a SR
- Children if their caregiver is a SR
What is a specified resident?
A specified resident (SR) is a resident such as an owner, tenant, or occupant who:
- Has reached the age specified in the bylaw, or
- Is exempt because they resided in a strata lot immediately before an age restriction bylaw was passed (a “legacy exemption”)
Examples of the new exemptions
How do the new exemptions for spouses, partners, and children apply in common situations? In the examples below, the strata corporation has an age restriction bylaw that requires at least one person to be 55 years of age or older. The bylaw was properly passed by 3/4 vote at an annual or special general meeting and was filed at the Land Title Office in 2019.
- Liang is 56 and Mei is 35. They are looking to purchase (or rent) a unit in this strata and are worried about the age restriction bylaw. Mei could reside with Liang because he would be a “specified resident” (SR). They are planning to have children in the next few years. Their future children would be exempt since Liang is a SR. When Mei reaches 55, she would also be a SR.
- In February 2023, Therese and their partner Jamie moved into a strata unit as tenants. They are 27 and 32 respectively. The age restriction bylaw can be enforced as neither of them is 55 or older.
- Karl is 57 and decides to rent out his second bedroom to Paul who is 51. They are not living in a marriage-like relationship. The age restriction bylaw can be enforced as Paul is not 55 or older.
- Theo is 59. He falls in love with Petra who is 45 and asks her and her 9-year-old son to move in with him. Petra is exempt if she lives with Theo in a marriage-like relationship. The regulation does not require them to live together for any length of time to be considered living in a marriage-like relationship. Whether Petra’s son is exempt depends on whether Theo is considered to be his caregiver.
- Cheryl is 35. She has a legacy exemption which makes her a SR. A few years later she marries Kris who is 42. Kris is exempt from the age restriction bylaw. Cheryl and Kris adopt Jasmin who is 3 years old. Jasmin is exempt because Cheryl is one of her caregivers. Cheryl and Kris divorce and Cheryl moves away. Kris is still under 55, so Kris and Jasmin are no longer exempt. However, Bobbie moves in and, at age 56, is a SR. If Bobbie and Kris marry or live together in a marriage-like relationship, then Kris is exempt. Jasmin is exempt if Bobbie is considered to be one of her caregivers.
- Anika and Kamal are 58 and 62 respectively. Their adult son Rohan has fallen on hard times and needs a place to live. Rohan can reside with his parents since they were his caregivers when he was under 19. However, Rohan’s wife isn’t exempt because his parents weren’t her caregivers when she was a minor. Depending on the circumstances, Anika and Kamal might be considered caregivers of Rohan’s children.
[Updated May 14, 2023]
Several lawyers in BC have reviewed Strata Property Regulation 7.01 and section 123.2 of the Strata Property Act.
- Shawn M. Smith, Cleveland Doan LLP: Age Restriction Bylaw Exemptions
- Franco/Kowalewski/Messakh/Payette, Clark Wilson LLP: Additional Exemptions Created
Strata councils that have questions about when they can enforce an age restriction bylaw are advised to contact a strata lawyer.