The provincial government introduced Bill 12 (Strata Property Amendment Act, 2009) on March 23, 2009, and it received second reading on March 31, 2009.
Bill 12 proposed several changes to the Strata Property Act (British Columbia) intended primarily to improve the dispute resolution processes available under the Strata Property Act, provide better protection to owners and purchasers, and increase strata corporation accountability. The May 2009 issue of Real Estate MATTERS (Volume 1, Issue 2) provided a summary of the key features of Bill 12.
The progress of Bill 12 was delayed due to the closure of the Legislature for the 2009 provincial election. After the Legislature reconvened, the provincial government re-introduced the proposed legislation as Bill 8 (Strata Property Amendment Act, 2009). Except for a few minor revisions, Bill 8 is identical to Bill 12. Bill 8 received Royal Assent on October 29, 2009, and portions of it were brought into force by Regulation 312/2009 on December 11, 2009.
The most significant policy change introduced by the new legislation is the effect of a rental disclosure statement on purchasers of a strata lot. The legislation now provides that, prior to January 1, 2010, if a strata lot was designated as a rental strata lot on a rental disclosure statement, a bylaw of a strata corporation that prohibited or limited rentals did not apply to that strata lot until the earlier of (i) the date the strata lot was conveyed by the first owner of the strata lot (other than the developer); and (ii) the date the rental period expired, as disclosed in the rental disclosure statement. However, for a rental disclosure statement filed after December 31, 2009, a bylaw that prohibits or limits rentals does not apply to a strata lot until the date the rental period expires, as disclosed in the rental disclosure statement. In other words, the rental rights of all subsequent purchasers, and not just rights of the first purchaser, will be protected by the rental disclosure statement throughout the stated rental period, and the strata corporation will have no ability to override such rental rights. Provided the rental disclosure statement is properly prepared, filed and provided to purchasers, this change is of great benefit to purchasers who acquire units for investment purposes.