Condo Owners Urged to Check Strata Fees

Frank O'Brien
February 5, 2014

A local real estate expert is warning condo owners to check their strata fees are sufficient, after a recent legislative change that allows strata corporations to require owners pay for certain repairs, if a majority of strata members agree.

Under the December 2013 amendment, the court can issue an order to proceed with critical repairs necessary to ensure safety and prevent significant loss or damage, if the strata owners have passed a resolution endorsing a special levy.

"Every strata corporation has to file a depreciation report that includes a 30-year budget for repair, upgrades and maintenance," explains Frank Schliewinsky, co-publisher of the Vancouver Condo Report.

The budget for such repairs comes from the monthly strata fees that each condominium owner must pay. Schliewinsky urges condo owners to check if their current strata payments are sufficient. "Prospective buyers need to examine major variations from average strata fees or else they could find themselves paying a lot more than expected," he said.

According to Vancouver Condo Report research, average strata fees for a high-rise building six to 10 years old in Metro Vancouver range from a low of $0.27 per square foot in the Tri-Cities to from $0.43 to $0.44 per square foot in downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver. (This would equate to from $270 to $440 per month for a 1,000-square-foot condominium.)

Strata fees for low-rise buildings are generally in the .23 cents to .32 cents, with rates for older buildings from 30% to 40% higher than for new buildings.

For more details on average strata fees by age and size of unit, see Condo Maintenance Fees by Size and Age of Unit.

Frank O'Brien
Frank O'Brien is the editor of Western Canada's biggest commercial real estate newspaper, Western Investor, as well as a contributing editor at West Coast Condominium, real estate contributor to Business in Vancouverand a regular media commentator on real estate investment.