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Understanding strata terminology in B.C.

Understanding strata terminology in B.C. | Houses for Sale Nanaimo

There is no doubt that Strata corporations can be complicated. Many clients that I work with are new to purchasing a strata unit and all that it entails. In order to make the process of buying a strata property smoother its important to understand some terms.

I have compiled a glossary of basic strata terms to make the purchase process a little easier for Buyer’s.

Strata Plans 

Building strata plans show buildings in which walls ceilings and floors usually define the boundaries of the strata lot. Unless the strata plan shows something to the contrary, the boundary of a strata lot in a building is the midway point inside each wall, floor or ceiling that separates that strata lot from the rest of the development. 1

Common property 

Owned by all strata lot owners in proportion to their unit entitlement. For example, in a condominium, common property typically includes hallways, elevators, recreational amenities and building exteriors such as the roof. 

Reviewing the strata plan for the complex will provide information on whether parking stalls and storage areas are designated as a separate strata lot or part of a strata lot, limited common property or common property.

Limited common property

This is common property that is owned by all strata lot owner’s, but it is restricted in use to only one or a few Strata lot owners. For example, balconies and parking spaces may be designated as limited common property. The Strata plan will identify limited common property on the plan as LCP.


Depreciation report 

Depreciation reports are used to establish long-term planning for repairs and replacements of common property and common assets. It will tell you what assets the Strata owns and the condition of the assets, when things need to be replaced, how much money you currently have in a contingency reserve fund, what it's likely to cost for future replacement and how you ( the Strata) are going to pay for the cost.

Strata bylaws

Are the strata corporations governing laws.

Strata Corporation 

A legal entity created by the deposit of a strata plan in the Land Title Office.

Strata Council 

A group of strata lot owners typically elected during an annual general meeting who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the strata Corporation.

Strata manager 

Is a manager that the strata Council hired to perform some or most of the functions of the strata Council.

Unit entitlement 

Is the proportion of common property that each strata lot owner owns as a tenant-in-common with other owners

Strata rules 

Strata rules may only regulate the use, safety and condition of the common property or a common asset. Strata rules cannot regulate the use of a strata lot for that a bylaw is necessary.

Engineering report 

An engineering report will contain an analysis of one or more of the strata corporations building components including the envelope, the structure of the mechanical electrical systems, improvements and equipment

Form B the Form B is a snapshot of the strata corporation’s information at a certain point in time. It includes the following information for the strata unit: the monthly strata fees, any amount owing by the owner, any agreements for the owner to pay expenses for alterations, any future assessment the owner must pay and its due date, the contingency reserve fund balance, any amendments to the bylaws, any court or arbitration proceedings, any outstanding work orders for the strata lot, number of units in the strata plan which are rented out, rules of the strata Corporation, the current budget of the strata Corporation, the owner developers rental disclosure statement, the depreciation report and parking and storage locker allocation.

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