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End-of-life planning... for your condo?

By Scott Wilson and Nicole Gilewicz

After more than 50 years of communal living, the first buildings stratified in British Columbia under the 1966 Strata Titles Act may be nearing the end of their useful life. The recently imposed legislative requirement that strata corporations provide depreciation reports outlining future repairs and sources of financing will reveal more clearly the projected lifecycle of a building. It may be prudent for strata owners to consider ‘end-of-life’ options for the property as a whole where the projected cost of future repairs outweighs the financial resources of the strata corporation and any value that may be obtained through individual sale.

As a strata building nears the end of its useful life, it may become difficult for owners to sell their individual units because of the projected future maintenance costs associated with a deteriorating building. A collective sale of the whole property to a developer may be the most economically viable option. The Strata Property Act facilitates the termination of strata governance by allowing owners to hold the property as tenants in common upon cancellation of the strata plan and dissolution of the strata corporation. To wind up the strata corporation and pursue a collective sale, all owners must agree to the process. If support is not unanimous, those owners wishing to sell may apply for a court-ordered winding up, where they must demonstrate that it would be in the collective best interest to do so…

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