Stubborn owner is increasing costs for repairs

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation has tried three times this year to pass a special levy for the replacement of our roofing.

We are an older building and do not have significant reserves in the bank to pay for the roof, so we are forced to have a levy that will cost each owner about $4,000.

One person always shows up with at least 35 proxies to vote against the resolution, so of the 100 units, we don’t stand a chance of ever getting the resolution passed.

We are now facing damages to the top-floor units and the common property that will certainly have a significant impact on our costs. We were told by our lawyer that we may have to make an application to the courts for the appointment of an administrator. Between the time delays and costs, this is going to place our strata corporation in even greater jeopardy.

Are there any other options.

Gillian Lindquist,

Vancouver

Dear Gillian: The strata corporation has a few options, and as of last week there is a new option that will make the repair process for strata corporations an easier process in the face of opposition.

What most owners who oppose repairs don’t seem to understand is that the work has to be done and the strata will eventually be forced into the work, either through the appointment of an administrator, who will manage the resolution and court process, or through an application for a Tadeson Order, which is a process named after a case that resulted in a court-ordered repair.

All of these costs are excessive and often unnecessary, especially when a strata corporation is dealing with a failing building component that is certainly going to result in higher costs and damages.

I have chaired several meetings this fall that have been the fifth or sixth meeting on the same issue relating to serious repairs. Between the deterioration of the building system and damages, the multiple meetings and fees for lawyers and consultants attending meetings, the strata corporations are paying 30 to 50 per cent more for their repair costs, as opposed to planning for the replacement and avoiding all the problems.

Last week a new regulation was passed that brought into effect Section 173 (2) of the Strata Property Act, which now allows a strata corporation to go to court for an order for approval of the three-quarters vote, if majority of the owners at the meeting are in favour of the repair.

It is not a perfect solution, but it does provide a much easier option to the corporation to resolve the matter.

173 (2) If, under section 108 (2) (a), a resolution is proposed to approve a special levy to raise money for the maintenance or repair of common property or common assets that is necessary to ensure safety or to prevent significant loss or damage, whether physical or otherwise, and (b) the number of votes cast in favour of the resolution is more than one-half of the votes cast on the resolution but less than the three-quarters vote required under section 108 (2) (a), the strata corporation may apply to the Supreme Court, on such notice as the court may require, for an order under subsection (4) of this section.

(3) An application under subsection (2) must be made within 90 days of the vote referred to in that subsection.

(4) On an application under subsection (2), the court may approve the resolution and, in that event, the strata corporation may proceed as if the resolution had been passed under section 108 (2) (a).

Source: The  Victoria Times Colonist

 

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