Strata Property Act Amendment Offers Remedy for Deadlocks on Special Levies

On December 12, 2013, amendments to section 173 of British Columbia’s Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c. 43, came into force that allow strata corporations with majority support to apply to the British Columbia Supreme Court to require strata owners to pay for certain repairs.

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 conditions.

On application by a strata corporation within 90 days of its 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) (which requires a ¾ vote in favour).

The amendment offers an important new recourse for strata corporations facing difficulty gaining sufficient support for special levies to fund urgently needed repairs.