Paying for Repair and Maintenance in Stratas

Understanding who is responsible to pay for repairs and maintenance is an important part of owning a strata. Who pays for what repairs and maintenance is not always well understood within strata corporations and past practice may not be legally correct.

It is often assumed that strata lot owners are responsible for the repair and maintenance of their strata lot and the strata corporation is responsible for the repair and maintenance of common property and limited common property. However these responsibilities can vary widely and need explicit confirmation.

Learn more on this page:
Information Sources
Sections and Types
Duty To Pay vs Duty To Repair
Common Property Repairs and Maintenance
Bylaws and Limited Common Property Repair
Strata Lot Repair and Maintenance  

Information Sources

In understanding repair responsibilities and cost allocation, the strata council and owners need to review various information sources. 

Information sources include: the strata plan, the schedule of unit entitlement, the strata’s bylaws, the section’s bylaws if there are sections, any resolutions that may have been filed in the Land Title Office with respect to designating limited common property on the general index, and any alteration agreements. 

Alteration agreements are made between the strata corporation (or section) and the strata lot owner for changes to a strata lot, common property or limited common property. The agreements usually require the owner of the strata lot to become responsible for future repair and maintenance costs if permission to alter is granted.

The depreciation report may also provide helpful information on what is the responsibility of the strata corporation to repair and maintain and what is the responsibility of strata lot owners.

In reviewing repair and maintenance responsibilities and who pays, strata corporations may also wish to get legal advice from a knowledgeable strata lawyer.

Strata associations also have good information on strata repair and maintenance including best practices.

Sections and Types

Owners in section and types can also pay repair and maintenance costs. While owners in types are only responsible for operating fund expenses assigned to that type, owners in sections are responsible for operating fund and contingency reserve fund with respect to a matter that relates solely to that section. Owners in sections and types still contribute to strata corporation repair and maintenance costs. Learn more in Sections and Types.

Duty to Pay vs Duty to Repair

It is also important to understand that the duty to arrange the repair may differ from who pays for the repair. It can be the strata corporation, groups of owners (in sections or types) or individual owners who pay for repairs and maintenance.

Under the Strata Property Act, Regulations and bylaws, there is a distinction made between:

  • who arranges for the repair and maintenance of various parts of the strata development; and
  • who pays for the maintenance and repair costs.

This distinction may result, for example, in:

  • the strata corporation maintaining areas that are part of the strata lot or designated as limited common property, but
  • the cost of the maintenance and repair in the operating budget being allocated to the strata lots which have been maintained and repaired or have been allocated the limited common property (LCP).

If the strata corporation is responsible to arrange the maintenance and repair, the Strata Property Act and regulations determine how the costs for the maintenance and repair will be apportioned to strata lot owners. The apportionment of maintenance and repair costs incurred by the strata corporation cannot be changed with a bylaw amendment. Learn more in Common Expenses, Sections and Types and Unit Entitlement.

Common Property Repairs and Maintenance

The strata corporation’s common property and common assets cannot be made the responsibility of strata lot owners to repair and maintain even for short term exclusive use.

However, the repair and maintenance of limited common property can be made the responsibility of strata owners. And the strata corporation can make common property into limited common property by a 3/4 vote or by unanimous resolution. Learn more about common property and limited common property.

Bylaws and Limited Common Property Repair

The strata corporation can make owners responsible for limited common property (LCP) repair and maintenance as per their bylaws.

If there are no bylaws relating to the repair of limited common property, the Strata Property Act provides that the strata corporation must undertake the repair and maintenance of common property including limited common property.   

Many strata corporations use the Standard Bylaws issued by the province. Under Standard Bylaw #8 (unless this has been amended) the strata corporation is responsible for the repair and maintenance of limited common property that occurs less of then once a year i.e. a contingency reserve fund expense. 

Standard Bylaw #8 states the strata corporation maintains and repairs the following limited common property regardless of how often it occurs:

  • structure of the building
  • exterior of the building
  • chimneys, stairs balconies and other things attached to the exterior of the building
  • doors, windows and skylights on the exterior of a building or that front on the common property
  • fences, railings and similar structures that enclose patios, balconies and yards

Strata Lot Repair and Maintenance

A strata corporation’s bylaws can designate the different maintenance and repair responsibilities of owners and the strata corporation for parts of the strata lot. If the strata corporation (or section) has no bylaws relating to the repair and maintenance of portions of a strata lot by the strata corporation, each owner must repair and maintain their strata lot.

Under Strata Bylaw #8 (which can be amended) if the strata lot is not in a bare land strata development, the strata corporation maintains and repairs the following parts of the strata lot:

  • structure of the building
  • exterior of the building
  • chimneys, stairs balconies and other things attached to the exterior of the building
  • doors, windows and skylights on the exterior of a building or that front on the common property
  • fences, railings and similar structures that enclose patios, balconies and yards

In a bare land strata corporation, the Standard Bylaws (if these are used by the strata corporation) do not make the strata corporation responsible to maintain and repair parts of a strata lot in a bare land strata plan.

References:
Strata Property Act Sections: 1, 3, 20, 35, 36, 59, 70-72, 83-85, 91, 92, 93, 96-98,105, 108, 109, 111, 157-160, 194, 195, 208, 209
Strata Property Regulation: 6.1, 6.4, 6.5, 11.1-11.3

Standard Bylaws (which can be amended): 2, 5, 6, 7, 8

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: December 12, 2016.