On December 12, 2013, amendments to section 173 of B.C.'s
Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c 43, came into force that allow
strata corporations with majority support to apply to the BC
Supreme Court to require strata owners to pay for certain
Prior to the amendment, strata corporations required a ¾
vote in favour to impose a special levy to raise money for needed
repairs to common property. This could result in deadlock and delay
when owner opinion was divided, exacerbating damage and unsafe
On application by a strata corporation within 90 days of it
receiving at least 50% support for such a levy, a court can now
issue an order to proceed with maintenance or repair of common
property or assets that is "necessary to ensure safety or to
prevent significant loss or damage, whether physical or
otherwise" (s. 173(2)). The strata corporation may then
proceed with the special levy as if the resolution had been passed
under section 108(2)(a).
The amended provision, which previously provided only for the
remedies listed under subsection (1), now reads as follows:
Other court remedies
173(1) On application by the strata
corporation, the Supreme Court may do one or more of the
(a) order an owner, tenant or other person to
perform a duty he or she is required to perform under this Act, the
bylaws or the rules;
(b) order an owner, tenant or other person to stop
contravening this Act, the regulations, the bylaws or the
(c) make any other orders it considers necessary to
give effect to an order under paragraph (a) or (b).
(2) If, under section 108 (2) (a),
(a) a resolution is proposed to approve a special levy to
raise money for the maintenance or repair of common property or
common assets that is necessary to ensure safety or to prevent
significant loss or damage, whether physical or otherwise, and
(b) the number of votes cast in favour of the resolution
is more than 1/2 of the votes cast on the resolution but less than
the 3/4 vote required under section 108 (2) (a),
the strata corporation may apply to the Supreme Court, on such
notice as the court may require, for an order under subsection (4)
of this section.
(3) An application under subsection (2) must be made
within 90 days after the vote referred to in that subsection.
(4) On an application under subsection (2), the
court may approve the resolution and, in that event, the strata
corporation may proceed as if the resolution had been passed under
section 108 (2) (a).
The amendment offers an important new recourse for strata
corporations facing difficulty gaining sufficient support for
special levies to fund urgently needed repairs.
Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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