On July 28, 2016, amendments to the Strata Property Act
(the "Act") included in the Natural
Gas Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2015 came into force,
revising the requirements under the Act for authorizing the winding
up of a strata corporation and cancellation of a strata plan.
These changes create new opportunities for the redevelopment of
aging strata housing stock in British Columbia.
The amendments to the Act lower the voting threshold to approve
the voluntary winding up of a strata corporation and cancelation of
a strata plan from a unanimous vote of all members of the strata
corporation to 80 percent of eligible strata corporation voters
(not just those who show up to a meeting). New procedural
provisions require that once a resolution authorizing a
strata's termination is approved by at least 80 percent of
eligible strata corporation voters, strata corporations with five
units or more must apply to the BC Supreme Court to approve the
winding up and cancellation. If a strata plan has fewer than
five strata lots, it does not have to apply to the BC Supreme Court
for a confirmation order, as long as all registered chargeholders
give their written consent for the strata's termination.
If a strata corporation applies for court approval under the
Act, it does not require the consent of registered chargeholders to
cancel a strata plan; however, the strata corporation must serve
the petition commencing the court application on all registered
chargeholders in addition to all the owners of the strata
If the court confirms a strata corporation's winding up
resolution and the registrar appointed under the Land Title
Act determines that the procedural requirements have been met,
the registrar's order will vest the land shown on the strata
plan and other property of the strata corporation in either the
owners, as tenants in common, or in the liquidator (if one has been
appointed), depending on the strata's chosen procedure.
The new amendments to the Act allow strata corporations to
engage in "strata end of life planning" with a greater
measure of flexibility and increase developers' opportunities
to access valuable under-utilized land. Despite this new
framework, strata termination will almost certainly remain a
challenging process and strata corporations and developers should
seek assistance navigating the requirements under the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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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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