What Does Strata Property Mean in British Columbia?

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If you are looking to buy a property in British Columbia, Canada, you might have come across the term "strata property." Strata property has become an increasingly popular form of ownership in British Columbia, offering a unique and affordable housing option for residents in a high-priced real estate market.

But what is strata property, and how does it work?

Asset Class
March 1, 2023
Klein Commercial
Landlord Representation, Real Estate Management, Property Appraisal & Tax Services, Consulting, Asset Advisory Services

What is a Strata Property?

A strata property is a type of ownership model for multi-unit buildings, such as condominiums or townhouses. In a strata property, each individual unit is owned by a separate owner, who also owns a share of the common property, such as the land, parking lot, hallways, or amenities.

The owners of the units are members of a strata corporation, which is a legal entity that manages and governs the common property on behalf of the owners. The strata corporation is typically managed by a strata council, which is elected by the owners, usually called an HOA (Homeowners Association).

Strata housing isn't the only option when it comes to strata developments - there are also commercial, industrial, and mixed-use units too. These range from restaurants and retail spaces to hotels, parking lots, offices, stables, and marinas...the possibilities are endless!

How Does a Strata Work?

The strata model works by dividing the ownership of a building into two parts: the individual units and the common property.

The individual units are owned by the unit owners, who have exclusive rights to their unit and shared rights to the common property. The common property is owned by the strata corporation, which is made up of all the unit owners while the strata corporation is responsible for managing and maintaining the common property, and for making decisions that affect the building as a whole.

The strata corporation is governed by a set of bylaws, which outline the rules and regulations that the owners must follow, such as noise restrictions, pet policies, or parking regulations. The bylaws can be changed by a vote of the owners, but they must comply with the Strata Property Act and Regulations, which are the legal framework for strata properties in British Columbia.

The strata council is the elected body that oversees the day-to-day management of the strata corporation.

The council is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the owners, such as hiring contractors for repairs or upgrades, setting the budget and strata fees, enforcing the bylaws, and resolving disputes between owners. The council members are volunteers who the owners elect at the Annual General Meeting, and they serve for a term of one year.

What Does Strata Mean for Property Owners?

If you own a strata property, you are responsible for paying monthly fees, which cover the cost of maintaining and repairing the common property. The strata fees are determined by the strata council and can vary depending on the size and amenities of the building.

In addition to the fees, you may also be responsible for paying for special assessments, which are one-time fees to cover unexpected expenses, such as a major repair or replacement.

For example, if there is a major earthquake that destroys parts of the property (even if it's not your specific property), expect that you'll have to come up with a few thousand dollars to pay for repairs, as will your neighbors.

As a strata property owner, you also have certain rights and responsibilities. You have the right to use and enjoy your unit, subject to the bylaws and rules of the strata corporation.

Strata in Vancouver: A Growing Trend

In Vancouver, strata properties have become a popular choice for both buyers and developers. This is due in part to the high cost of single-family homes in Vancouver, which has led many buyers to look for more affordable options, such as condos or townhouses.

The strata model also appeals to developers, as it allows for higher density and more efficient use of land. In recent years, there has been a trend towards building taller and more complex strata properties, with amenities such as rooftop gardens, fitness centers, or shared workspaces. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, as more people choose to live in urban areas and demand for multi-unit housing remains high.

With its shared ownership and responsibilities for the common areas, strata property offers a sense of community and cooperation that appeals to many people.

Strata Wind Up

In 2016, Bill 40 Strata Windup revolutionized property law by allowing a strata corporation to terminate its plan through court approval as long as at least 80% of owners involved agree to it in a resolution.

Property owners who wish to realize the economic potential of their multi-unit residential property are in luck. This option allows them to leverage the value of each strata unit in the strata to a developer who wants to develop the property.

However, the process can be complex, involving real estate law, condominium law, and restructuring law. Before proceeding with a strata wind-up, it is important for all parties involved to have a clear understanding of the process and its potential effects.

Lease vs Buy Commercial Real Estate

While strata properties are a popular choice for residential buyers, commercial real estate owners have to consider different factors when choosing between lease and buy options.

Leasing a commercial property can provide more flexibility, as the tenant can choose the location, size, and type of property that best suits their business needs. Leasing can also be less expensive upfront, as the tenant does not have to pay for the property's full value.

However, leasing also has some downsides, such as limited control over the property, uncertainty about future rent increases, and the possibility of having to relocate at the end of the lease term.

Buying a commercial property, on the other hand, can provide more stability and control over the property, as the owner can customize the space to their needs, and benefit from potential appreciation in value.

But buying also requires a significant upfront investment and can be a long-term commitment. Owners must also be prepared to take on the responsibility for maintenance, repairs, and insurance for the property.

Commercial Real Estate Industry Trends

The commercial real estate industry in British Columbia has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some sectors experiencing a downturn while others have seen increased demand.

The retail sector has been hit hard by the closures and restrictions, with many businesses struggling to pay rent and facing uncertain futures. The office sector has also been impacted, with many companies adopting remote work policies and reducing their space requirements. On the other hand, the industrial sector, including warehouses and distribution centers, has seen increased demand due to the growth of e-commerce and online shopping.

If you're searching for the latest and most complete commercial real estate industry trend data, look no further than Klein Group. We provide comprehensive market reports to ensure that you are always up to date with current trends in the industry.


Strata property is a popular ownership model for multi-unit buildings in British Columbia, providing shared ownership and responsibilities for the individual unit owners.

If you're on the hunt for commercial real estate in British Columbia, look no further than Klein Commercial! With our knowledgeable team and wide-ranging portfolio of offerings, we are your one-stop shop for all things related to acquiring property. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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