What is a Non Conforming Strata and why do they exists? First we must understand what a “strata” is. Most condominiums Downtown Vancouver are stratified. There are some leaseholds and some co-ops but the majority of the condos that you see are stratified. This means that each unit is separately owned and each owner is responsible for their space. The common areas, amenities (pool, gym, lounge etc), roof, exterior and windows are all the responsibility of the strata. If the roof leaks, the strata decides how to fix it. They also decide how to pay for it. Depending on what they have in their contingency fund they may take money from the contingency or they may propose a “special levy” to help pay for the costs. Special Levy’s are paid by unit entitlement. This means that you pay based on your INTERIOR square footage. A 500 square foot one bedroom will pay less than a 1500 square foot 3 bedroom.
So what is a non-conforming strata and why do they exists? Most non-conforming stratas exist when a detached home is converted into multiple residences, or when a newly built property is built with multiple units. You will see non-conforming strata situations in duplexes, triplexes or heritage homes that have been converted into multiple residences. What does it mean for the owners? It means that they do not have strata meetings, generally their strata fees are MUCH lower, and when something comes up that needs to be repaired the owners come together and decide how to fix it. It tends to be a much more relaxed, less formal way of living with “neighbours” however it is important that all parties are on board to maintain the property.
Where do these exists? We generally do not see these downtown Vancouver. East Vancouver, Mount Pleasant and the Commercial Drive area are where we see the most 1/2 Duplexes, and in turn, non-conforming stratas.
If you have any further questions please send me a message or give me a call. With the amount of 1/2 duplexes, triplexes or other non-conforming stratas on the market I am happy to give you more information on actual market value, help negotiate through the complex process and give you all of the information that you will need on these types of homes.