Q: My strata corporation won’t provide me with access to records. What can I do?
A: Section 35 Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c.43 sets out a broad list of records that strata corporations must keep. These records include owner information, accounting records, contracts, communications, engineering reports, rules and bylaws.
Transparency and owner access to records is critical to maintaining good governance and preventing conflicts of interest and fraud. It also helps to ensure that strata corporations comply with the Strata Property Act.
Section 36 of the Strata Property Act grants owners and other designated persons with the right to access strata corporation records. Upon receiving a request, strata corporations must provide owners with an opportunity to inspect or receive copies of records within two weeks, or within one week if the request is related to strata corporation bylaws and rules. The Strata Property Regulation prohibits strata corporations from charging an owner to inspect records and places a maximum fee of $0.25 per page when copies of records are requested.
If your strata corporation will not provide you with access to records in a timely matter, you can start arbitration proceedings or file a petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Starting later this year, you will also be able to file a claim with the Civil Resolution Tribunal (www.civilresolutionbc.ca). This new online small claims forum for strata and other disputes is scheduled to launch in 2015.
For additional information on this and other strata property topics, visit my free online strata law guide at www.stratalaw.ca. Finally, always remember that this article provides general reference information, not legal advice. If you need assistance with a legal issue, speak with a strata lawyer.