Strata Law: Rental Restrictions

In a booming market the vacancy rates get lower and lower and people find it harder to get affordable rentable space. Even unaffordable space gets scarce. There are laws and bylaws within strata corporations which may limit or prohibit residential rentals in a complex. These are very important to understand. It is up to the owner of a strata lot to know these limitations and what can be done if the need should arise.

When a development comes into the marketplace, it may have a rental disclosure form the developer who intends to rent one or more of the strata units(lots). This is important for it may superceed all other limitations or restrictions put on the entire building by way of a strata resolution being passed.

When a strata law is passed, it is mandatory that all of the owners abide by the new rules or face penalties. When a rental restriction is passed, the rules take effect one year after or the units that are rentals will be able to stay as rentals as long as they have the same tenants as when the bylaw was passed. Then they will have a one year grace period after that tenant moves out. Otherwise the unit is in violation of the rules. There have been many owners who "get away" with the usage of the Grandfather Rule. This is an assumption that they are exempt because they were owners prior to the new regulations being passed. Only in cases where a Rental Disclosure Statement was filed on or after January 1, 2010. If your development is older than that, then it is likely that there is no Grandfather Rule. Be on top of who is renting out their units and who they are renting them to. If there is a wait-list, then it is unfair to the other owners who have been waiting.

If a Rental Disclosure Statement is filled after on or after January 1, 2010, then there are possibilities that the first from the developer(and the developer) will be exempt form any rental restriction or prohibition. This law was implemented to be able to keep some rentals available in the marketplace without the threat of strata taking them away. It is good for a healthy economy to have a certain amount of rentals available.

Some notable exceptions are for family members and hardship. The owners may rent their places out to immediate family members without penalty. The owners may, as well, apply for hardship to the strata council and be allowed to rent their units for a period of time which is determined by the council. For more information, please go to The Strata Property Act for BC. Ask questions and get answers. It is to your benefit.


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