B.C. strips rights of condo investors, according to investor

The Court of Appeals upheld a strata bylaw that permits only one unit to be rented at any one time within a Vancouver condo building.

A total of 158 units comprise 1445 Marpole Avenue, Hycroft Towers, in Vancouver. And of those units, only one can be rented out at a given time, despite an appeal.

The appeal was brought forth by four family member investors who, together, own three units in the building. They had previously rented out one of the three units, despite their application to do so being rejected by the strata council. That was in violation of the strata bylaws, which were upheld by the ruling.

And according to one investor, there is nothing th investors can do.

“The bylaws were in the condominium documents when the owners bought the property. Each condo board has its own by-laws which must follow the Strata Property Act,” Tim Mangat, a seasoned investor, told CREW sister publication, MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “It's always the owner's responsibility to understand the rules and regulations and adhere to them.”

It’s an interesting case that certainly draws attention to the importance of thoroughly reading strata agreements prior to selling.

As Mangat points out, property purchasers have a “bundle of rights,” which includes the right of possession, control, exclusion, enjoyment disposition.

However, this particular ruling is the result of British Columbia’s government prioritizing the rights of the collective condo board than the individual owner, according to Mangat.

“The BC government has more of a socialist view for the rights of a condo owner, stripping away individual rights and allowing more control to the condo board under the protection of the Strata Act,” Mangat said.

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  • by Terry D 2016-08-12 11:17:57 AM

    Condo living is high density living meaning that the actions of one resident almost always affect the neighbours more so than in the case of fee simple. Laws which address this higher density living and greater impact are not "socialist" but rather are democratically enacted to address social living; the distinction is significant.

    Anyone making an investment without appreciating the bundle of rights attached to the investment is not being duly diligent. This applies no less to purchasers of condos than to purchasers of any other investment. Reviewing condo property legislation, as well as bylaws and other rules enacted by the relevant strata corporation, are basic steps before buying a condo; hopefully a basic step of which investors (and, if applicable, their real estate agents) should not need reminding. The outcome of the case is hardly surprising; the only thing surprising was that the issue was taken to court at all.

  • by Jeff J 2016-08-12 12:25:55 PM

    They knew the bylaws, or should have, when they bought the unit(s). If they did not, or chose to ignore these bylaws, that's on them. I have zero sympathy for the owners in this case.

  • by Vancouver Realtor 2016-08-12 12:52:12 PM

    Buying a strata title property such as a townhome or apartment it is
    imperative for a buyer to 'read' the monthly strata meetings, Annual
    General Meeting minutes along with all the 'rules' and specifically the
    'Bylaws' The rules and bylaws are 'enforceable' and a buyer should
    not take them lightly, especially if they are considering the property
    as an investment and rent the property.

    The current trend for many strata corporations comprised of the strata
    lot owners is too lessen the % or number of units that can be leased.
    Why? one only needs to read the monthly strata meeting minutes that
    record strata lot 'complaints' over noise, disregard for the bylaws and
    constant bylaw infractions. Move-in and move-out damage, etc.

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