The Strata Property Act, regulations and the strata corporation's bylaws and rules provide the legal framework under which all strata corporations and strata owners must operate in British Columbia. This legal framework is also affected by judicial decisions from court cases and other legislation.
Users should be aware that there is not one single source of information setting out the legal requirements for a strata corporation. There are multiple sources including the Strata Property Act, the three strata regulations, court decisions and the strata corporation’s bylaws and rules. These sources interact with each other.
For example, section 103 (3)(a) of the Strata Property Act states that the budget and financial statement must contain the information required by the regulations. Strata Property Regulation Section 6.6 lists the information that the budget must contain. So users need to be aware of requirements in both the Act and the regulations.
It is important to understand all of these sources and, as appropriate, to consult with a knowledgeable strata lawyer to get legal advice. Strata associations and this website also offer helpful background information.
- Strata Property Act with the Schedule of Standard Bylaws at the end of the Act. (The Standard Bylaws may be amended; owners and residents should ensure they have their strata corporation’s bylaws and rules).
- Strata Property Regulation which includes Forms such as the "Form B: Information Certificate", "Form F: Certificate of Payment" and "Form J: Rental Disclosure Statement"
- Strata Property Bare Land Strata Regulation
- Bare Land Strata Plan Cancellation Regulation
The Strata Property Act, Regulations, Standard Bylaws, and forms are subject to change. Users should obtain current versions; some changes to strata legislation and related legislation are also noted on this website.
For an easier way to search the Strata property Act and regulations,
- go to this page on BC Laws
- click the advanced search box
- enter the term or word you want to search
You can search strata legislation by any or all of the following:
- Act Point in Time
- Historical Table
- Regulation Point in Time
- Table of Legislative Changes
Often strata community members search by selecting the Act and regulation (this includes all strata regulations).
There are several options to get printed copies of the Strata Property Act, regulations and Standard Bylaws:
- From your own computer, as an unofficial version for private purposes, print the updated Act, related regulations and Standard Bylaws from the links to Strata Legislation above. BC Laws usually updates their website within 7 to 14 working days of changes made to the legislation or regulations.
- Order a convenience copy (an unofficial printed consolidation) of the Strata Property Act and Regulations is available from Crown Publications. To order, please contact Crown Publications directly (please confirm the price at the time of the order). This custom order option unofficially incorporates the latest changes to the Act and regulations right in the main documents. Convenience copies are spiral bound, non-returnable and delivery time is 7 to 10 business days.
- An official printed copy of the Act and/or the regulations can be ordered from Crown Publications at the current prices listed on their site. The official copy of the Act is updated to the dates noted on the website and subsequent amendments to the Act and strata regulations are provided as separate documents.
There is other legislation that strata owners and residents should understand. This includes but is not limited to:
- The Homeowner Protection Act—governs the licensing of residential builders and the mandatory third-party new home warranty insurance system. Learn more at Licensing and Consumer Services (formally the Homeowner Protection Office).
- The Human Rights Code—prohibits discrimination in certain areas of activity and creates a process for making and resolving complaints of discrimination. Learn more at the Human Rights Tribunal.
- The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)—is an Act about privacy in the private sector including strata corporations. Learn more at the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia (“OIPC”) which developed this guide for strata corporations and strata agents in addition to FAQ guide to help understand PIPA.
- The Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA)—governs the marketing of strata developments by developers and requires them to obtain development approvals, file disclosure statements, place purchase monies in trust, and provide rescission rights. Learn more at the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate.
- The Real Estate Services Act (RESA)—provides a licensing and regulatory framework for strata managers and realtors that is regulated by the Superintendent of Real Estate and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.
- The Residential Tenancy Act (RTA)—governs the relationship between landlords and tenants, including those in stratas. Learn more at the Province’s rental housing website (Residential Tenancies).
Local government bylaws also apply to strata corporations, owners and residents; for example, composting and recycling requirements.
Some parts of the federal government’s Canada Revenue Act apply to strata corporations, such as filing income tax statements and changing the strata fiscal year. Learn more in Budgeting and Strata Fees.
It is important to know that a strata corporation bylaw (even if validly passed) is not enforceable if it contravenes any other law or enactment, whether federal, provincial or local.
Stratas are self governed; strata owners and residents use the democratic provisions within the legislative framework to operate strata corporations.
Government's role is in creating and updating strata legislation, it does not include providing legal advice.
However as of July 2016, the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) offers a way to resolve many strata disputes. The CRT is an online tribunal which allows faster and more effective resolutions of most strata disputes. As well, as of June 1, 2017, the CRT will also resolve small claim disputes up to $5,000.
With support from the Province, the BC Law Institute is conducting a three year review of the Strata Property Act and regulations with many opportunities for public review and comment.
Suggestions and concerns with respect to strata legislation can also be made to Housing Policy Branch, Office of Housing and Construction Standards in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
The provincial government is responsible for the Strata Property Act and regulations. It provides the democratic system of corporate governance the owners use to manage the property together.
There is a hierarchy of legislative authority. The law has the most authority and is primarily determined through legislation (such as the Strata Property Act) court decisions, (judicial precedent) and custom.
The Strata Property Act can only be amended by the provincial legislature and includes more than 300 sections, grouped into 17 parts. It outlines in considerable detail how strata corporations must be created and operated.
The Strata Property Act was originally based on an Australian model. This is where the term strata comes from and why B.C. is the only jurisdiction in North America to use the term strata instead of condo or condominium.
Regulations and Forms
Legislation may also have subordinate legislation—regulations or minister’s orders. Any regulations or minister's orders must be specifically authorized by legislation.
If there is conflict between legislation (e.g. the Strata Property Act) and regulations (e.g. Strata Property Regulation), the legislation is the primary authority.
Regulations are passed by Cabinet as “Orders in Council” or “OICs” and signed by the Lieutenant-Governor. Regulations may be passed at any time of the year.
There are three separate regulations under the Strata Property Act:
- the Strata Property Regulation,
- the Bare Land Strata Regulations, and
- the Bare Land Strata Plan Cancellation Regulation.
Forms referred to in the Act (such as “Form B: the Information Certificate”) are found in the regulations.
Regulations can be passed immediately after the authorizing legislation is passed or they can be developed at a later date. This happened with depreciation reports. The Strata Property Act was amended in October 2009 to require depreciation reports, but the regulations with the detailed requirements were not brought into force until December 13, 2011 after extensive consultation with strata owners, residents and stakeholders.
All draft provincial bills, once introduced into the BC Legislative Assembly, and all legislation and regulations are posted on public websites.
Strata Bylaws and Rules
All strata corporations must have bylaws and may also have rules. The Standard Bylaws are found at the end of the Strata Property Act, and these apply unless they have been amended by the strata corporation or owner developer. Many strata corporations have bylaws which differ from the Standard Bylaws, learn more in Bylaws and Rules Explained.
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 19, 2017.