THE ADVOCATE 557
VOL. 77 PART 4 JULY 2019
Even though common property is a foundational part of the strata property
concept, some aspects of its definition continue to vex participants in
the strata sector. The committee considered amending the definitions of
“common property” and its subset “limited common property” to address
frustrations that have cropped up in practice. After wrestling with the issues
that arise from the current definition of “common property”, the committee
determined that retaining the status quo was the safest and best option. The
committee did recommend a clarifying amendment to the definition of
“limited common property”.
This chapter also examines a practice that has caused additional frustrations:
long-term leases of common property entered into by a strata property’s
owner-developer. The committee recommended reining in this
practice by limiting the terms of such leases to five years when the common
property at issue is a fixture.
Finally, the chapter looks at parking stalls and storage lockers, with a specific
focus on the procedure set out in s. 258 of the Strata Property Act. This
procedure allows an owner-developer to amend a strata plan after it has
been deposited in the Land Title Office. The committee recommended
reforming the procedure by giving an owner-developer until the fifth
annual general meeting to amend the strata plan and designate parking
stalls and storage lockers as limited common property. In addition, the committee
recommended doing away with the practice of allowing leases or
licences of parking stalls and storage lockers.
The Strata Property Act was intended to work in harmony with British
Columbia’s system for registering interests in land under the Land Title Act.
The committee examined the relationship between the two statutes and
made recommendations to address two areas where conflicts have
The first area concerns subdivision of land. In British Columbia, subdivision
is controlled by a detailed legal framework. The deposit of a strata plan
in the Land Title Office is considered to be a subdivision. How this act is
treated depends on the kind of strata plan being deposited. One kind, commonly
referred to as a building or conventional strata plan, subdivides a
building and is subject to a light regulatory touch if the building has not
been previously occupied. The other kind, called a bare land strata plan,
subdivides land. It is subject to the detailed review and approval requirements
that apply to any other type of subdivision of land.
This differential treatment has led, in some cases, to abusive practices in
which what is functionally a bare land strata plan is characterized as a build-