Types of Strata Voting

Under the Strata Property Act, owners make some decisions through voting. Different decisions have different voting thresholds for example: majority vote, 3/4 vote, 80% vote, or a unanimous vote. Owners can also direct the strata council in some circumstances by majority vote.

A decision which requires a majority vote is approving the annual budget. A decision requiring a 3/4 vote would be amending a bylaw (creating, changing or deleting) in residential stratas. A decision to terminate (wind up) a strata corporation takes an 80% vote. Other decisions can require an unanimous vote such as changing unit entitlement. As well, certain votes may not be final and conclusive and can be re-considered. 

Learn more on this page:
Majority, 3/4, 80%, or Unanimous Votes
Determining Types of Voting
Calculating Voting Thresholds 
Reconsideration of a 3/4 Vote
Court Approval of Failed Unanimous Votes

Majority, 3/4, 80%, or Unanimous Votes

There are four types of voting at general meetings for residential strata: majority, 3/4, 80%, and unanimous. All resolutions should be determined by a majority vote, unless the Strata Property Act or regulations require an alternative level of voting approval (such as 3/4, 80% or unanimous). Please see the voting process for more information including information on eligible voters, quorum, and proxy votes.

A Majority Vote:

  • a majority vote requires more than 1/2 of the votes cast in favour of the resolution; cast by eligible voters present in person, or by proxy, at a general meeting who have not abstained from voting, at the time the vote was taken
  • all resolutions should be determined by a majority vote, unless the Strata Property Act or regulations require an alternative level of voting approval

A 3/4 vote:

  • a 3/4 vote requires that at least 3/4 of the votes are cast in favour by eligible voters present in person or by proxy at a general meeting who have not abstained from voting, at the time the vote was taken
  • if a resolution requiring a 3/4 vote was passed at a general meeting by persons holding less than 50% of the votes in the strata corporation, then the strata council cannot implement the resolution for one week unless such action is needed to ensure safety or prevent significant loss

An 80% Vote:

  • unlike a majority or 3/4 vote, an 80% vote means a vote in favour of a resolution by 80% of all of the eligible voters

A Unanimous Vote:

Determining Types of Voting

All resolutions should be determined by a majority vote, unless the Strata Property Act or regulations require an alternative level of voting approval (such as 3/4, 80%, or unanimous). The budget for the next fiscal year is approved by a majority vote of the owners at the Annual General Meeting.

Strata Corporation Decisions that Require a 3/4 Vote
A 3/4 vote is required to:

  • create, amend or remove bylaws for residential lots and non-residential lots on or after the second Annual General Meeting (unless an alternative voting threshold for the non-residential lots is set out in the bylaws)
  • approve special levies when the method of payment of the levy is based on unit entitlement. Note: if the special levy is for the maintenance or repair of common property or common assets that is necessary to ensure safety or to prevent significant loss or damage, and the resolution receives at least majority support, the strata corporation may apply to the BC Supreme Court to order it approved
  • waive the requirement to obtain a depreciation report
  • designate limited common property (LCP) or remove a LCP designation by means of a sketch plan---if the LCP has not been designated by the owner-developer, otherwise a unanimous vote is required
  • cancel a strata management contract, other than in accordance with its terms or by failing to renew it after the second annual general meeting
  • approve significant changes to the common property, unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that immediate change is required to ensure safety or prevent significant loss or damage, in which case no vote is needed;
  • approve the borrowing of money
  • acquire or dispose of personal property (except permitted investment instruments), if the market value of the personal property is: over the amount specified in the bylaws; or if there is no amount specified in bylaws, over $1,000
  • acquire or sell land held by the strata corporation that is not common property
  • make land held by the strata corporation into common property
  • divide a residential strata lot into two or more strata lots if the division does not have the effect of: decreasing the relative voting power of the other strata lots; increasing the share of common expenses borne by the other strata lots; or decreasing the relative unit entitlement of the other strata lots
  • amalgamate a strata corporation with another strata corporation
  • make land held by the strata corporation into a new strata lot, if the unit entitlement, voting power and strata fees for all other lots is unaffected by the change
  • approve expenditures from the Contingency Reserve Fund, unless the expenditure is related to a depreciation report (in which case a majority vote is needed) or is required for an emergency (in which case no vote is needed)
  • approve expenditures from the operating fund that are not: authorized in the budget; within the unapproved expenditure limit; or required to deal with an emergency
  • change the fiscal year end and start date
  • approve decisions related to surplus funds when surplus funds are not being dealt with under the options set out in the Strata Property Act
  • decide not to replace or repair damaged property after receiving insurance proceeds paid on a claim in respect of the damaged property
  • create or cancel separate sections, along with a 3/4 vote of the section
  • give approval to the strata corporation to sue

Strata Corporation Decisions that Require an 80% Vote
An 80% vote of all the owners is required to:

  • cancel the strata plan and wind up (terminate) the strata corporation with or without a liquidator

Strata Corporation Decisions that Require a Unanimous Vote
A unanimous vote is required to:

  • give approval to the Owner Developer to enter into a contract or transaction on behalf of strata corporation with the Owner Developer or with a person who is not at arm’s length to the Owner Developer, after the first strata lot is sold but before the first annual general meeting
  • approve any resolutions ordinarily requiring a 3/4 vote, during the period from the sale of the first strata lot to the first annual general meeting, unless: the resolution is to amend the bylaws in a wholly commercial strata corporation or to amend the commercial section bylaws in a strata corporation consisting of residential and commercial sections; the resolution is to amend a "Form J: Rental Disclosure Statement"
  • approve changes to the schedule of unit entitlement
  • approve a method other than by unit entitlement, in which a special levy will be assessed to the owners
  • approve changes to the strata corporation bylaws in a residential or mixed use development before the second annual general meeting
  • amend a strata plan to designate or remove a designation of limited common property (as made by the owner-developer)
  • amend the strata plan to: divide a strata lot into two or more strata lots; consolidate a strata lot with one or more other strata lots;  make land held by the strata corporation into a new strata lot; add land held by the strata corporation to an existing strata lot; change the unit entitlement of a strata lot; add part of a strata lot to another strata lot--- if the amendment would have the effect of:
    - decreasing the relative voting power of the other strata lots
    - increasing the share of common expenses borne by the other strata lots or
    - decreasing the relative unit entitlement of the other strata lots
  • amend the strata plan to add a strata lot to the common property
  • change the basis for calculating a strata lot’s contribution to the operating fund and contingency reserve fund

Calculating Voting Thresholds

Strata corporation resolutions at general meetings must be approved by one of several different voting thresholds, depending on the subject. (Also see the voting process for additional information on eligible voters, quorum and proxy voting).

Calculating a Majority Vote:

  • a majority vote requires more than 1/2 of the votes cast in favour of the resolution; cast by eligible voters present in person, or by proxy, at a general meeting who have not abstained from voting, at the time the vote was taken

Example: Calculating a Majority Vote - with and without abstentions

  Example 1    Example 2
Total # of eligible votes in the strata corporation 90 90
Quorum (1/3 of the total eligible votes subject to the strata's bylaws) 30 30
# of eligible votes present in person or by proxy 34 34
Total # of votes cast (either for or against; abstentions are not counted) 34 25 (9 abstentions)
Minimum # of votes in favour for a majority vote to pass 18 13

 

Calculating a 3/4 Vote: 

  • a 3/4 vote requires that at least 3/4 of the votes are cast in favour by eligible voters present in person or by proxy at a general meeting who have not abstained from voting, at the time the vote was take

Example: Calculating a 3/4 Vote

Total # of votes in the strata corporation 24
50% of the strata corporation's votes 12
Quorum (1/3 of total eligible votes subject to the strata's bylaws) 8
# of eligible votes present in person or by proxy 16
Total # of votes cast (either for or against; abstentions are not counted) 15
# of votes in favour of the resolution 13
3/4 passed? Yes. 13 out of 15 is 87% which is greater than 75% (3/4 vote)
Did persons voting in favour hold less than 50% of the strata corporation's votes? No. 13 is not less than 50%
of the total votes (However, if it was only 11 votes in favour then reconsideration could apply, please see below )


Reconsideration of a 3/4 Vote

If a resolution requiring a 3/4 vote was passed at a general meeting by persons holding less than 50% of the votes in the strata corporation, then the strata council cannot implement the resolution for one week unless such action is needed to ensure safety or prevent significant loss.

Any 3/4 vote passed by persons holding less than 50% of the votes must be retaken, if—within one week of the general meeting—persons holding 25% of the strata corporation's votes demand a special general meeting to reconsider the resolution. 

Example: Reconsidering a Resolution Passed by a 3/4 Vote

Total # of votes in the strata corporation 120
50% of the strata corporation's votes 60
Quorum (1/3 of total eligible votes, subject to the strata's bylaws) 40
# of eligible votes present in person or by proxy 51
Total # of votes cast (either for or against; abstentions are not counted) 44
# of votes in favour of the resolution 33
3/4 passed? Yes. 33 out of 44 is the minimum 75%
Did persons voting in favour hold less than 50% of the strata corporation's votes? 33 voted 
is less than 60 votes
(1/2 of 120 voters)
wait one week


Court Approval of Failed Unanimous Votes

If there are ten or more strata lots, and a unanimous resolution is not passed due to:

  • a dissenting vote in respect of one strata lot or
  • the dissenting votes in respect of more than one strata lot, if those votes represent less than 5% of the total strata corporation votes

The strata corporation can seek a 3/4 vote to apply to court for an order that the resolution be passed despite the lack of unanimous support.

The court may order that the resolution be passed despite the lack of unanimity if the resolution:

  • would be in the best interests of the strata corporation
  • would not unfairly prejudice the dissenting voters

Example: Calculating the Votes Needed to
Request Judicial Passage of a Nearly Unanimous Vote

Total # of votes in the strata corporation 100
# of votes necessary to pass a unanimous resolution 100
Maximum # of votes (using whole #) which taken together represent < 5% of the strata corporations votes 4
# of votes in favor of the resolution 96
Unanimous vote passed? No
Can the strata corporation
choose to go to court?
 
Yes. 100 – 96 = 4 the vote failed by 4 votes; 4 votes is less than 5% of the strata corp.’s total votes

References:
Strata Property Act: Sections 10, 11, 39, 48, 50-58, 70, 71, 74, 75, 78-80, 82, 94, 96, 97, 100, 102, 103, 105, 108, 111, 127, 128, 139, 159, 171, 172, 174, 193, 197, 207, 226, 257,272, 277

Standard Bylaws (which can be amended): 27

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: July 29, 2016.

Related Information

Strata Associations

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