What you need to know about Strata Documents – Part 1 of an ongoing series
Strata documents & what to look for
What’s the deal with strata documents?
When looking at strata properties, one of the most important steps of the purchasing process is to review the strata documents. Your agent can request these documents from the listing agent.
Going through these documents can be a bit time consuming but it’s imperative you review them.
The document bundle should include council minutes from meetings within the past 2 years including all special general meetings and annual general meetings. Also included should be a strata plan, a Form B, the strata’s bylaws/rules, a Depreciation Report (if there is one), engineering reports (also if they have them), insurance policy, and financials to name a few.
By going through these documents, you’re going to get an idea of how well the strata is run.
Some questions to consider: Do they take care of issues as they arise? Do they set aside money to fix future projects? How much money do they currently have? Are rentals allowed? How did they address the X issue?
The Form B
This post is dedicated to the Form B. The Form B is a very important document because it not only outlines what parking stall(s) and storage locker(s) are designated to the unit, it also tells you how much the maintenance fee is and how much money is in the contingency reserve fund (minus any expenditures already approved but not yet taken from the fund).
The contingency reserve fund is the savings for future projects and repairs. The contingency reserve fund is a safety net that is used to take care of issues as they arise within the strata. The Form B also lets you know if any outstanding amounts are owing by the current owner.
It will also tell you about any expected special levies and the amount the owner is expected to pay (if it has been voted on already).
Two Form B’s
In cases where there are commercial units within the strata, you will find an additional Form B. When this is the case, you add the two different amounts of maintenance fees to find out your total maintenance fee for the unit. The Form B also outlines if there are any amendments to any of the other documents provided (including meeting minutes, bylaws, etc.). It also outlines if there are any resolutions made, any court proceedings related to the strata, and any notices or work orders outstanding. The Form B will typically tell you how many units are currently rented in the strata (if rentals are allowed).
The Form B is a document outlining some of the major components that make up the unit and strata. In some cases, there can be mistakes on the Form B. If the parking stall number, for example, does not match the stall that the current sellers use – find out why. It’s always important to double-check any information you are given.
You can also find out some more details regarding the Form B on the Government of British Columbia’s website here:https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/strata-housing/renting-buying-selling/buying-and-selling-strata/paperwork-for-buyers-and-sellers/form-b-information-certificate
Stay tuned for the next part in our series of What you need to know about Strata Documents.
If you have questions regarding strata documents, feel free to reach out! [email protected] 604-880-7787