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Strata Tip of the Week - When Bylaw Packages get Confusing

1. Understanding Strata Bylaws


Strata bylaws are regulations that help govern the management, maintenance, and use of shared property and facilities in a strata development. They help maintain harmony and safeguard property values.


2. The Challenge with Some Bylaw Packages


Unfortunately, some strata corporations have bylaw packages that are hard to understand. This complexity can be confusing for everyone, from current residents to potential buyers and Realtors. A frequent challenge lies in identifying the most recent and applicable bylaws, and understanding their implications.


3.  Common Issues with Bylaw Packages


For example, we often receive bylaw packages that, in addition to the main set of bylaws, include amendments, upon amendments, upon amendments, upon… you guessed it… amendments.


This layering of amendments makes it challenging to identify the latest, enforceable bylaws. To fully understand the current bylaws, one needs to:

  • First obtain the original bylaws and all subsequent amendments, and

  • Read through the original bylaws and all amendments chronologically, as filed with the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA).

4. If Unsure, Recommend Legal Advice


If you receive a bylaw package with multiple amendments, advising buyers to seek legal advice may be wise. This can help ensure the bylaws are thoroughly reviewed and understood, and it can help identify bylaws which may conflict with the buyers’ needs or lifestyle preferences.


5. Why Bylaw Packages Become Overcomplicated


The root of this problem is often poor advice during the amendment and filing process. Ideally, stratas should follow these steps when amending their bylaws:

  • Seek Legal Advice: Get professional guidance to ensure proposed changes are legally enforceable and implement current-day best practices.

  • Hold a General Meeting: To gain approval for the new bylaws and/or bylaw amendments.

  • Include a Repeal Resolution: This should nullify all previous bylaws, allowing for a new, consolidated package to be filed.

  • File the New Bylaw Package: With the LTSA. Only once filed, do a strata’s bylaws become enforceable.

6. Advantages of a Streamlined Approach

By adhering to this process, strata corporations can maintain a bylaw package that includes only the current, enforceable bylaws. This approach greatly simplifies the review process for everyone involved, ensuring the strata’s bylaws are easy to understand and follow.


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