What are Strata Fees?

Strata fees, also known as strata maintenance fees or condo fees, are regular payments made by owners of units within a strata development in British Columbia, Canada. These fees are essential for covering the costs associated with the maintenance and management of the common property and shared services in the strata corporation.

How Strata Fees Work:

  1. Calculation and Collection:
    • Strata fees are typically calculated based on the unit entitlement of each strata lot relative to the total unit entitlement of all the lots in the strata corporation. Unit entitlement is often proportional to the size or value of each unit.
    • Fees are usually collected monthly and are determined by the strata council’s annual budget, which estimates the total cost of upkeep and services for the common areas.
  2. What They Cover:
    • Maintenance of Common Areas: This includes cleaning, landscaping, and repairs of shared spaces such as hallways, elevators, gardens, and recreational facilities.
    • Utilities for Common Areas: Water, electricity, and gas for shared facilities.
    • Building Insurance: Insurance for damage to the building’s structure and common areas.
    • Reserve Fund Contributions: A portion of the strata fees goes into a contingency reserve fund (CRF), which is used for major repairs and renewal projects (e.g., roof replacement, building envelope repairs).
    • Management and Administrative Costs: Payments for professional management services, if used, and other administrative expenses like accounting and legal fees.
  3. Governance and Decision-Making:
    • The strata council, elected by the strata owners, oversees the administration of the strata corporation, including setting the budget that determines the strata fees.
    • Major decisions, including those affecting the budget and strata fees, may require approval by a vote of the strata owners.
  4. Legal Framework:
    • The governance, creation, and management of strata corporations in BC are governed by the Strata Property Act. This legislation outlines the legal framework for all aspects of strata management, including the collection and use of strata fees.

Why They Matter:

  • Financial Health of the Strata Corporation: Regular collection of strata fees is crucial for the financial stability of the strata corporation. Insufficient funds can lead to deferred maintenance, which might decrease property values.
  • Individual Liability: Failing to pay strata fees can result in legal action from the strata corporation, and fees in arrears may accumulate interest. Ultimately, non-payment can lead to a lien against the strata lot.
Strata fees are a fundamental aspect of strata living, ensuring that common properties are well-maintained and financial responsibilities are shared among all owners. For prospective buyers, understanding the strata fees and what they cover is crucial when considering the purchase of a strata property.

The information provided in these posts are for general purposes only. It is not written nor intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind. No one should act upon, refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials provided & recorded, or through any hypertext links and other general information, without first seeking appropriate legal and/or other professional advice.