Strata sections are generally seen in mixed-use buildings, most typically here in Vancouver when a building has commercial properties on the street level, and residential up above. This is by far the most common scenario, and can be seen on almost every busy street front in the lower mainland.
What is a sectioned strata?
To learn a little bit more about what exactly a strata corporation section is, check out the blog I posted here:
Essentially each section has it’s own Council, Property Management contract, bylaws, rules, bank account, budget, etc. Sounds simple, right? The owners of the commercial properties manage their own space, and the owners of the residential property manage their own space.
Well, unfortunately, like most things in life, it’s not that simple. Here are some issues with buying into a sectioned strata building;
Issues with managing sectioned strata buildings
Mixed-use amenities; many of the components in a sectioned strata building are shared by both the residential and commercial strata. Things like elevators, garbage rooms, parkade, pool, etc. are all shared, so who should have to pay for what? This is where things can get a bit complicated, and disagreements can easily occur if not everyone agrees.
Councils don’t always get along. In the cases of larger strata buildings, the Councils may hire different property management companies to represent them, so this can lead to a breakdown in communication between councils, and the potential for conflict.
Different agendas. The owners of a residential strata building are in many cases simply looking for a nice, quiet place to live. This is not always the case with heavy rental/ investor oriented buildings, but will usually be the case for a number of owners at least. The owners of the commercial units are generally looking for a return on their investment. They are trying to maximize their rental income, and are not necessarily worried about how that will affect the owners of the residential strata lots. Noise, parking, smells, etc. can all be issues here.
These are simply a couple issues that pop up with sectioned strata buildings, although of course there are many more!
Are sectioned strata buildings here to stay?
As you can see just by looking around, sectioned condo buildings are here to stay. More and more are popping up daily. City planners love them, and let’s face it…they just make sense! Who doesn’t want to live above a Whole Foods or a Starbucks?
If you are looking for some advice regarding property management for a sectioned strata building, please reach out to our Strata Management Company here!