Podcast: Strata 101 and 102

Helping our clients understand strata is not difficult to explain. The challenge is that there is a lot of content and it takes time to get through it all.

The New West Guys, Matt Brabbins and Jeremy Rae, co-host a two part podcast series to explain how a strata corporation functions, what you should be looking for, what to ask your agent, what documents you will receive and how to interpret all the strata documents including: meeting minutes, the Form B, depreciation reports and engineer’s reports.

Listen using the player below or subscribe on your favourite podcast platform. Search for “Multiple Offers – A Real Estate Show”.

STRATA 101 explains how a strata functions.

Episode 1 – How a Strata Corporation Functions

STRATA 102 explains the strata documents available to review and how to find signs of trouble.

Strata 101 – How a Strata Corporation Functions


6:11 Bylaws

a. Pets (how many, what type, what size)
b. Rentals (quantity is often limited, prohibiting short term rentals is on the rise)
c. BBQ (charcoal is almost always prohibited, propane is usually permitted)
d. Number of occupants (some buildings enforce a maximum per bedroom)
e. Age restrictions (19+ and 55+ are legally enforceable)
f. Smoking (some have a full ban, some allow it in your unit)
g. Bikes (in the elevator, on your balcony)

26:33 Fees

a. How they are calculated (unit entitlement)
b. What’s included
i.Townhouses sometimes don’t include garbage, sewer and water.
c. CRF (Contingency Reserve Fund) Portion matters
d. Is a higher fee better to build up savings?
e. Fees can be inflated short term to pay back a loan for a large project

37:20 Strata Plan

a. LCP vs. CP (big difference re: parking stall allocation)
b. Balconies included in unit entitlement? Lofts included?
c. Livable area not included as part of the strata lot reduces strata fees
d. Being disproportionately bigger than the average unit can inflate fees
e. Being smaller that the average unit creates even smaller fees

50:15 Budget

a. You don’t want to see it consistently over-budget
b. Repeated “surprise” maintenance is not a good sign

52:29 Management Company

a. Question of the Week from Kris: How is the management company selected? Who can attend meetings?
b. Strata Council selects the management company
c. A lot of council and owners don’t realize how much the management company can frustrate a sale and can devalue the building if they are not responsive and informative. Sellers often don’t bother to report the poor performance because they are on the way out anyway.
d. Owners can attend a council meeting to present a specific issue. They may not attend the full meeting. All owners are encouraged to attend and vote at all AGM’s and SGM’s.
e. A renter can request to receive the minutes of the strata meetings.

Strata 102 – How to interpret strata documents
1. Meetings (AGM, SGM, and council meetings)
a. Notice
b. Quorum
c. Voting
2. Engineer’s Reports and Depreciation Reports
3. Form B

Question of the week from Amy: Is a self-managed strata a bad thing?