Strata properties are a popular housing choice in British Columbia for the convenience, security, added amenities and good value. About one quarter of B.C. residents now live in strata properties and the number is growing. There are many different kinds of strata from duplexes to apartment style condos, even single family homes.
It is important to consider the lifestyle and financial responsibilities when deciding if strata living is the right choice for you.
Strata developments are in many ways micro communities that require working with your neighbours to manage your strata corporation and common property under the democratic framework of strata legislation. The strata corporation will have bylaws and rules, which affect the strata lot owners’ rights and responsibilities and set out what the strata corporation will be like to live in. Different strata will often have different bylaws and rules.
Your financial responsibilities are similar to owning a house, but strata owners also share common expenses for property and assets they own with other strata lot owners. Strata owners must pay strata fees and sometimes special levies.
Several organizations offer useful information for strata buyers to review:
- The BC Chapter of the Canadian Bar Association has information about buying into a strata property. Find out more in “Buying a Condominium.”
- The Licensing & Consumer Services (formally Homeowner Protection Office) provides practical information to help consumers make informed decisions about their new home purchase, including strata housing. Learn more in “Buying a New Home in British Columbia: A Consumer Protection Guide” (PDF).
- The Real Estate Council of British Columbia provides useful information to help buyers understand procedures normally involved in the purchase of a home, to recognize the significance of the documents a buyer will encounter, and to understand the role of other people who may be involved in the transaction. Learn more in “Buying a Home in British Columbia.”