New Owners and Bylaws

Every Strata Corporation has bylaws and rules and the bylaws and rules in every Strata Corporation are different as they are developed to meet the needs of the Owners in relation to the nature of the building(s).

These bylaws and rules set out the “rules” of each Strata Corporation and Owners must be aware and abide by them to be a positive member of their community. Given this it is essential that each potential Owner carefully review the bylaws and rules documents prior to purchasing as it may result in them owning a unit in a community that does not meet their needs. For example, many Strata Corporations have bylaws prohibiting pets and a potential Owner may have a cat or dog, others do not permit rentals and a potential Owner may be looking for an investment property. Bylaws contain a variety of items of which some include: whether BBQ’s are permitted, Visitor parking guidelines, move in/out procedures and noise times.

All bylaws are presented to the Owners at either the Annual General Meeting (AGM) or a Special General Meeting (SGM) and approved by a ¾ Vote; which means that ¾ of Owners (your potential neighbours) at the meeting (once quorum is established), want and approved these bylaws. In other words, these bylaws suit the needs and desires of the community and prior to purchasing it is essential that you determine whether they suit the needs and desires of your lifestyle.

Once these bylaws are approved, the elected strata council must enforce them, which can result in fines being levied, these fines can be as high as $200 for each infraction and levied every seven days for a continued infraction; a costly mistake for not reviewing the bylaws prior to purchasing.

Far too often, the refrain of “I didn’t know that bylaws existed” occurs, despite it typically being an item during subject removal when purchasing and also provided to each Owner in their welcome package. Additionally, Purchasers end up being frustrated with their new home. Given this, it is essential that each prospective Purchaser read, understand and seek clarification concerning the bylaws and rules that set forth the expectations present in their new community.

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