Unit Entitlement

Unit entitlement is important because it helps determine how strata fees and special levies are calculated for strata lot owners in all kinds of strata corporations.

Learn more on this page:
Unit Entitlement Explained
Changing Unit Entitlement

Unit Entitlement Explained

Unit entitlement is a number assigned to each strata lot that determines the share of common property and assets belonging to each strata lot.

It is a key factor in the share of strata corporation expenses and liabilities of each strata lot owner including strata fees and special levies.

When filing the strata plan with the Land Title Office, the Owner Developer will create and file a Schedule of Unit Entitlement. The Schedule of Unit Entitlement is either a: “Form V: Schedule of Unit Entitlement” for strata plans filed on or after July 1, 2000 or a Form 1, for strata plans filed before July 1, 2000.

Unit entitlement varies by whether a strata lot is residential, non-residential, bare land or mixed use.

Unit entitlement for residential building strata lots (for example apartment-style condos) is determined by:

  • a whole number based on habitable area in square meters. (When this method is used then larger condominiums have bigger unit entitlements than smaller condominiums. For example, a condo of 105 square meters would have a larger unit entitlement than a condo of 37 square meters) or
  • a whole number that is the same for all residential strata lots or
  • some other number approved by the Superintendent of Real Estate that is equitable

The Strata Property Regulation defines habitable area as “the area of a residential strata lot which can be lived in, but does not include patios, balconies, garages, parking stalls or storage areas other than closet space".  A British Columbia land surveyor determines the habitable area.

Unit entitlement for non-residential building strata lots (for example commercial strata lots like a restaurant) is determined by:

  • a whole number based on area in square meters or
  • a whole number that is the same for all non-residential strata lots or
  • some other number approved by the Superintendent of Real Estate that is equitable

Unit entitlement for bare land strata lots (for example, lots with single family homes in a bare land strata subdivision) is determined by:

  • a whole number that is the same for all lots or
  • some other number approved by the Superintendent of Real Estate that is equitable

Mixed use building strata lots can have unit entitlement that is a number approved by the Superintendent of Real Estate that is equitable.

Changing  Unit Entitlement

There are three methods for changing unit entitlement:

  1. Land Title Office remedy in the case of error. If there was an error made in measuring the strata lots, the registrar of the Land Title Office can be asked to correct it; and the registrar of the Land Title Office will then decide whether the error should be corrected.
     
  2. Court remedy. A person may apply to the Supreme Court of British Columbia to have the unit entitlement changed to reflect the correct area or habitable area if:  the Schedule of Unit Entitlement does not match the area or habitable area of the strata lots and unit entitlement is based on area or habitable area; the inaccuracy was not contained in the original schedule of unit entitlement; and the difference between the existing unit entitlement and the correct unit entitlement is at least 10% or 20 square meters.
     
  3. Changing habitable area with a unanimous resolution. Owners who wish to increase their habitable area must also alter their unit entitlement, if the unit entitlement is based on habitable area; and if the increase in habitable area combined with previous changes, is at least 10% or 20 square meters. 

Owners may then change unit entitlement by doing the following:

a) Obtaining a unanimous resolution to change the habitable area and unit entitlement
b) Creating a new Schedule of Unit Entitlement in accordance with the unanimous resolution
c) Making an application to the Land Title Office to amend the unit entitlement, which requires the submission of the following two documents.

Firstly, the new Schedule of Unit Entitlement, which must be signed by the Superintendent of Real Estate, if necessary; and must meet the other technical requirements of the Strata Property Act.
Secondly, a Certificate of the Strata Corporation acknowledging that the unanimous resolution has been passed; and that the new Schedule of Unit Entitlement conforms to the resolution

Changing Habitable Area Without Changing Unit Entitlement

Owners can change the habitable area of their strata lot, without altering the Schedule of Unit Entitlement, in the following two circumstances provided that they obtain prior written approval from the strata council to make the change. These two circumstances are:

  • where habitable area is decreased or
  • where habitable area is increased, and the increase is under 10% and 20 square meters

Changing Strata Fees Without Changing Unit Entitlement

A strata corporation can choose to calculate each strata lot’s share of strata fees using a formula other than unit entitlement, by passing a unanimous vote at an annual or special general meeting. In practice, this seldom happens as an unanimous vote is difficult to achieve.

References:
Strata Property Act Sections: 1, 52, 70, 100, 246, 261
Strata Property Act Regulations:  5.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.12, 14.13


The information on this website about strata housing is provided for the user’s convenience as a basic starting point; it is not a substitute for getting legal advice. Learn more about the site’s purpose and limits. The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: June 5th, 2017.