First time strata owners
Strata housing is a popular choice in B.C. for the convenience, security, added amenities and good value. About one quarter of B.C. residents live in strata housing. There are many different kinds of strata from strata-titled duplexes to apartment-style condos, even single family homes in "strata subdivisions" (bareland strata properties).
It is important to consider the lifestyle and financial responsibilities when deciding if strata living is the right choice for you.
Strata developments are in many ways micro communities that require working with your neighbours to manage your strata corporation and common property under the democratic framework of strata legislation. The strata corporation will have bylaws and rules, which affect the strata lot owners’ rights and responsibilities and set out what the strata corporation will be like to live in. Different strata will often have different bylaws and rules.
The financial responsibilities for owning a strata property are similar to owning a house, but strata owners also share common expenses for property and assets they own with other strata lot owners including repair and maintenance and strata corporation insurance. Strata owners must pay strata fees and sometimes special levies.
Several organizations offer useful information for strata buyers to review:
- The BC Chapter of the Canadian Bar Association has information about buying into a strata property. Find out more in "Buying a Condominium."
- BC Housing's Licensing & Consumer Services (formally Homeowner Protection Office) provides practical information to help consumers make informed decisions about their new home purchase, including strata housing. Learn more in "Buying a New Home in British Columbia: A Consumer Protection Guide" (PDF) and on this webpage buying a home with many resources.
- The BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) provides useful information to help buyers understand procedures normally involved in the purchase of a home, to recognize the significance of the documents a buyer will encounter, and to understand the role of other people who may be involved in the transaction. Learn more on the BCFSA webpage: Buying a Home.
Find it fast: a site map listing all the strata housing webpages.
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: May 2, 2023.