Mention you live in a strata corporation to most anyone and you can be certain of an immediate reaction: a raised eyebrow, a wince or some barely audible mutter. It will be rare to get positive feedback but when you do it will be a noteworthy and memorable experience.
A strata corporation is simply a microcosm of a larger community. It has its own form of elected government called a council. The council manages the community and its infrastructure by enforcing its own specific bylaws and rules. When the council needs direction it resources provincial government legislation called the Strata Property Act. Ideally then with an elected governing body and checks and balances in place to ensure proper governance and maintenance, a strata corporation should be a perfect living arrangement.
Unfortunately where there is an elected governing body there is bound to be politics. Where people live in close proximity with one another and share common property there are bound to be disagreements and misinterpretations of what is mine and what is yours.
Not every owner will want to pay for repairs to someone else’s home. Most owners do not want to be involved in the day to day administration of the common areas. Most owners never bother to read their own bylaws or educate themselves about their own rights and obligations within a strata corporation. Some owners believe the bylaws are for everyone else and some owners believe bylaws are to be contravened.
What it all comes down to is the old “not in my backyard” mentality even though everyone pays for the backyard. The concept of shared responsibilities is easy on paper but much more difficult to address in reality. How a group of owners manages their financial responsibilities and account for the needs of individual owners within their group is a fair snap shot of the strata corporation.
Strata101 is a blog site for sharing information and ideas about all things strata – the good, the bad, the better and the worst. Hopefully it will provide insights and information that will engage discussion and encourage change so that when you mention to someone you live in a strata corporation you will be met with a “Yes, me too. It’s been a great decision to live in a strata complex.” That would be memorable.