The Strata Voting Process
It is important to know who can vote at a general meeting and how to conduct and calculate votes. Certain decisions must be approved and voted on by owners such as: creating or changing bylaws, approving the budget and strata fees, approving special levies, terminating (winding up) a strata and expenditures from the Contingency Reserve Fund (CRF).
Some decisions require a higher threshold of approval. Amending (creating, changing or deleting) bylaws takes a 3/4 vote. Budgets and strata fees are approved by a majority vote. Changing unit entitlement requires a unanimous vote. Terminating or winding up a strata corporation takes an 80% vote of all the owners. Learn more in types of strata voting.
Generally all strata lots will have one vote. In some cases, a strata lot may have more votes, if the number of votes are set out in the "Form W: Schedule of Voting Rights" which has been filed in the Land Title Office. A Form W cannot be filed for strata developments that are exclusively residential, unless it relates to a plan amendment.
Unless the Form W has been approved by the Superintendent of Real Estate or relates to a plan amendment, it should state that:
- all residential strata lots in mixed use developments have one vote each
- a non-residential strata lot has a vote that is in proportion to its unit entitlement divided by either the average residential unit entitlement in mixed use developments or
- the average unit entitlement of all strata lots in exclusively non-residential developments
If there is a tie vote at an annual or special general meeting, the president, or—if the president is absent or unable or unwilling to vote—the vice-president may, if the bylaws so provide, break the tie by casting a second deciding vote.
The following persons are eligible to vote at a general meeting:
Strata lot owners are eligible to vote, unless:
- there are two or more owners of a strata lot, in which case only one owner representing the strata lot may vote on any given matter. If owners who share a vote cannot agree on how their vote should be cast, the vote in respect of their strata lot will be discounted by the chair of the meeting
- pursuant to a bylaw, they are ineligible to vote on resolutions requiring a majority or 3/4 vote due to unpaid strata fees or other monies owing (if the strata corporation is entitled to register a lien against that strata lot pursuant to the Strata Property Act)
- they have assigned their right to vote on certain matters to tenants or mortgagees
- they no longer have a vote due to an automatic assignment to a residential tenant with a lease of three years or greater or to a family member who is a tenant or
- they lack the capacity to vote or are under sixteen years of age
Tenants who have been assigned an owner’s (landlord’s) right to vote are eligible to vote.
Residential tenants who are family members as defined in the Strata Property regulations or who have entered into a lease of three years or greater are eligible to vote.
Mortgagees who have given the strata council a notice of an intention to vote, however:
- the notice must be given to the strata corporation, and anyone who has the right to vote
- the notice must be given at least three days before the meeting
- the mortgagee is restricted to voting on matters of insurance, maintenance, finance or matters that affect the security of the mortgage
- the mortgagee may not vote on a winding up (termination) resolution
A parent or guardian acting for a strata lot owner who is under sixteen years of age is eligible to vote.
A person who is legally authorized to act for the owner who, for a reason other than being under sixteen years of age, lacks the capacity to make a decision is eligible to vote.
The Public Trustee or other person appointed by the court is eligible to vote when:
- the court may appoint the Public Trustee or other person to vote in respect of a strata lot when there is no person to vote in respect of the strata lot and an application has been made to the court by an owner, a strata corporation or an interested person
- a matter requires a unanimous vote, then the court must appoint the Public Trustee or other person to vote in respect of a strata lot
A strata lot (owner) may be ineligible to vote for the following reasons:
- pursuant to a bylaw they are ineligible to vote on resolutions requiring a majority or 3/4 vote due to unpaid strata fees or other monies owing (if the strata corporation is entitled to register a lien against that strata lot pursuant to the Strata Property Act)
- they are an owner and have assigned their right to vote on certain matters to tenants or mortgagees
- they are a residential owner and no longer have a vote due to an automatic assignment to a tenant with a lease of three years or greater or to a family member
- are under sixteen years of age or
- they lack the capacity to vote
A proxy is a written authorization given to enable the proxy holder to act on behalf of the person giving the proxy. A proxy:
- must be in writing, and be signed by the person appointing the proxy
- can be given for general purposes or for a specific resolution or for a specific meeting
- can be revoked by the person appointing the proxy at any time
- can be held by any person except the strata corporation’s strata manager or an employee of the strata corporation
A proxy holder may do anything the person appointing the proxy can do, including: voting, proposing and seconding motions and participating in discussion at an annual or special general meeting unless limited in the appointment document.
Business must not be conducted at an annual or special general meeting unless a quorum is present.
Subject to the bylaws, a quorum for an annual or special general meeting is:
- eligible voters holding 1/3 of the strata corporation’s votes present in person or by proxy
- if there are fewer than 4 strata lots, or fewer than 4 owners, then eligible voters holding 2/3 of the strata corporation’s votes present in person or by proxy
Unless otherwise provided by the bylaws, the Strata Property Act stipulates if – within 1/2 hour from the scheduled start of the annual or general meeting – a quorum is not present, the meeting stands adjourned to the same day in the next week at the same place and time.
However if within 1/2 hour of the start of this subsequent meeting, a quorum is not present, quorum is deemed to be achieved with the eligible voters present in person or by proxy.
Note: by bylaw, a strata corporation may provide for attendance at an annual or special meeting by telephone or any other method, if the method permits all persons participating in the meeting to communicate with each other during the meeting.
The Standard Bylaws (which can be amended) set out the following provisions that deal with voting at general meetings:
- a voting card must be issued to all eligible voters
- generally, votes are decided on a show of voting cards
- an eligible voter can request a precise count, and if a precise count is requested, the chair must decide whether it will be by a show of voting cards, roll call, secret ballot or some other method
- the outcome of each vote (including the number of votes for and against the resolution if a precise count is requested) must be announced by the chair and recorded in the minutes of the meeting
- if an eligible voter requests a secret ballot the vote must be taken that way
- a tie vote can be broken by the president of the strata council, or vice president if the president is unwilling or unable to act
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.