Forsstrom: As annoying as they may be to some, strata bylaws are important

Beleaguered strata councils are often the subject of scorn for enforcing the corporation’s bylaws.

Beleaguered strata councils are often the subject of scorn for enforcing the corporation’s bylaws.

Bylaws are the constitution of the condominium and should not be taken lightly, when either drafting them or enforcing their implications.

Bylaws reflect the culture of the community and require the support of  eligible electors to come into force.

The bylaws govern virtually every aspect of living in a strata, including how owners and tenants may use their strata lots, the common property and common assets.

They also determine the administration of the corporation.

While most stratas amend the standard bylaws to suit the needs of its members, the amendments cannot violate the Strata Property Act, or other legislation such the Human Rights Code.

Although democratically adopted with good intention by a vote resolution, they would still be unenforceable.

It is a good practise to have the drafted bylaws reviewed by a lawyer prior to registering them.

Enforcing bylaws can be very stressful and harmful to relationships if proper procedures are not followed.

Although councils are responsible for enforcement, they must first receive a complaint that a person has contravened a bylaw or rule.

Prior to proceeding with a complaint, the council may give the alleged offender a warning, or an opportunity to comply with the bylaw or rule. If the council wishes to proceed with the complaint, it must give particulars of the complaint to the other party in writing.

If the complaint is against a tenant the owner must also be notified about the allegations.

The council must then give the alleged offender a reasonable opportunity to respond to the complaint.

The Act requires the council to hold a hearing if one is requested, defined as an opportunity to be heard in person at a council meeting.

Following a hearing, the council must promptly provide its written decision in the matter to the person affected.

Once council has complied with these requirements, it can enforce the bylaw or rule.

Enforcement is generally restricted to fines and councils need to be careful not to overreach their authority or they could be on the receiving end of justice.

For example, if a landlord breaches a bylaw, council cannot automatically remove the owner’s right to continue to rent their unit.

Just the same as a person caught jaywalking couldn’t have his legs removed.

With some exceptions, amendments are not enforceable if they impinge on the right of an owner to freely sell, lease or dispose of their condominium.

In addition, bylaws cannot require the screening of tenants, nor require the approval of tenants. As always, common sense and mutual respect are the hallmarks of a well functioning strata corporation.

StrataScene is intended for general information purposes only.

Gunnar Forsstrom is a licensed Strata Manager with Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty.

250-860-1411

gforsstrom@coldwellbanker.ca

 

Just Posted

Kelowna council puts brakes on second airport hotel proposal

Council defers discussion pending a new report from planning staff

UPDATED: Body found in burnt Kelowna home

“Firefighters later updated police that a body had been discovered inside the home. “

Shock hits Okanagan flagging company

Experienced employee battling serious injuries after being hit by a car

Kelowna facing serious housing challenge

Report to city council shows major issues with the city’s housing situation

Angler fined for over-fishing on Gardom Lake

It was an expensive fishing trip for an Okanagan man this weekend.… Continue reading

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

BC Hydro issues storm safety tips

Bulletin indicates “electrical contact incidents resulting in serious injury are on the rise.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee visits B.C.

Premier John Horgan talks trains, pipelines with southern neighbour

Viral video shows deer killed on Snapchat in Campbell River

RCMP say they have identified those involved and are working with conservation officers

A second robbery of a Penticton business involving a weapon

Police say a male pulled a knife on a Wal-Mart security guard Monday

UPDATE: Police investigate violent Kamloops home invasion

Two people are in hospital with serious injuries following a home invasion

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million: auditor general

Michael Ferguson’s review hints the entire system should be scrapped

B.C. government poverty strategy tour set to begin

Victoria first for B.C. committee, province-wide until next March

UPDATE: CBS fires Charlie Rose following allegations

Charlie Rose is the latest public figure to be accused with sexual misconduct allegations

Most Read