Letter: Think before buying an apartment in Kelowna

One owner gives advice on the matter

To the editor:

We have lived in a strata complex in B.C. for almost four years.

Although we Canadians purport the majority rule doctrine, it certainly does not apply in stratas.

Here are a few thoughts for you to ponder before purchasing this form of housing.

Read very carefully the minutes from annual and special general meetings to determine the larger issues that have arisen and the resultant resolution outcomes.

Your education will lead to one important realization—most changes/resolutions require a 3/4 vote of owners.

For example, this means that an 11/41 vote against a resolution can trump a 27/41 (or 65 per cent) vote which does not meet the 75 per cent threshold required to determine an outcome.

Recapping, the minority 11 votes defeat the majority 27. Still, theorizing that the 3/41 absent votes are added to the 27/41, this would only be 73 per cent in favour, and not the 3/4 vote necessary. The resolution is defeated by the minority.

While doing your homework and reading the minutes, look carefully at how many legal cases are now being decided by lawyer’s money. Go online and read the multitudinous cases now before the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

Some of these then proceed to Supreme Court, which is also clogged with strata-related cases.

Defence lawyers are quick to quote tyranny of the majority, but if you read carefully between the lines, it is more often at the will of the minority.

Familiarize yourself with the Strata Property Act, which is the formal authority, or rule of law utilized in the running of strata complexes.

The act’s ruling (3/4 vote rule) therefore results in unpaid council members struggling to act on behalf of the majority in managing issues that arise within individual complexes.

So, if you have an expectation of fairness (majority rule) in community living, take a moment and think again, and maybe again.

All that being said, we are generally happy with our decision to purchase here.

The vast majority of people are wonderful, the location is perfect, and the weather (at the moment) is lovely.

Sheila Kish

Kelowna

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