When Strata Councils believe they are omnipotent.

The old Bible story about David and Goliath seems to be an appropriate metaphor for my life as a strata owner right now. Size was Goliath’s power. Despite that David the shepherd exploited size with a stone  and overcame Goliath. My Strata Council’s strength seems to be the largesse of  its ignorance masquerading as intelligence. I’m the only owner it seems who is attempting to exploit that omnipotence with knowledge. Apparently knowledge is no match for ignorance.

I am angry.

I am angry at decisions other people have made – they say – in my best interests.

I am angry that I MUST follow the letter of the law while all around me others especially Council members are disregarding it.

I am angry that without me (individual strata lot owner) there is no corporation but it is the corporation which is entirely responsible for my frustration.

I am angry my neighbours put their heads in the sand rather than participate in the management of their home.

I am angry my Council has undermined my reputation within the complex because I question their decisions and interpretations of the bylaws and the legislation.

I am angry my Council spends my money to have a lawyer tell me I may not see information which forces me to spend money to see the information.

I am really angry my Council has kept information hidden from the corporation for over 8 months despite my consistent requests to see it.

I am angry the property management the corporation pays for is willing to acquiese to my Council even though they must know what the Council is doing is highly questionable. If they had any integrity, they would walk away to save their reputation.

I am angry the government is doing nothing to change the fact the Strata Property Act is self-regulated in a lower mainland where strata ownership is fast outpacing  individual homeowners.

I am angry everyone is regulated but the Strata Councils because ultimately they hold final say in every decision that impacts me.

I am angry misinformation and misspeak are so acceptable to individuals living in my strata corporation that my one voice is met with derision and scoffs without anyone bothering to investigate what I have to say.

I am angry that some lawyers prey on Councils because Council members are volunteers who for the most part can’t be bothered to learn the legislation and believe any line of bafflegab is justified if you are willing to pay for it.

I am angry I am unable to serve on Council because it could be a legal conflict and even when it isn’t, owners don’t vote for me because of the slander spread by my Council.

I am angry that the only time I can say anything that might initiate some change is at the AGM which at present the Council has managed to postpone to serve themselves.

I am angry I am the only owner who cares about my asset beyond the interior walls but I am held hostage by the majority who have no concept of living in a strata corporation.

I’m angry.

I have an arena. I have a Goliath opponent.  I have the Strata Property Act, the Real Estate Services Act, The Condominium Manual and corporation bylaws in my arsenal. Unlike David’s army though I’m supported by sheep and despite a hearty sling my arsenal is not as successful against my Goliath as David’s stone was against his opponent.

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Posted in David VS Goliath
6 comments on “When Strata Councils believe they are omnipotent.
  1. louise lemieux says:

    I don’t know who wrote this, but it might as well have been me, because it’s exactly how I feel and am treated.

    Like

  2. advocate says:

    This story expresses the frustration of many who have visited the website http://www.strataadvocate.ca Strata legislation that serves owners is long overdue.

    Like

  3. QueenOneUp says:

    Hi Strata Queen – you have not heard from me for a while but I have been very busy. For every defamous statement in the minutes – we made a new friend among the owners. For every slanderous statement vocalized – we did another walk with our dogs and even picked up a neighbour’s dogs (who was too ill to walk them). I complained to Strata Watch and had our management company reduced from 5 blue stars to 0 – (yes they were angry). I studied the Act, I read court cases – I scoured the internet and read every bulletin and every web site that gave me information. I enrolled at the Sauder School of Business at UBC for the Strata Management course – still have not opened a book other than Mike Mangan’s (which is worth twice it’s weight in gold)…. I wrote letter after letter to my council. They would not respond to me so I started a web site and had my voice heard. The Union of Strata owners – you must know Bob Harper of Strata Watch – has been a fantastic support.

    Our AGM was August 14, 2013 and not one old council member was voted back in – all of my group of 7 was. As soon as the registered voters number was published I new we had it with our support and proxies held. We had support from Korea, China, Northern BC – all over – one owner at a time. It took 3 years but we overthrew the government and are in control to make this a lovely place. They are really, really mad. How do you spell BLINDSIDE? It has been a journey and I did not always follow everyone’s very helpful advise – but rather than go to court – we took over. Even though we had a solid case – it was not beneficial to gaining support by suing my neighbours due to the stupidity of our council. Did I ever tell you that our Chairperson – referred to herself as PrincessPatricia@………….com? What an interesting personality she is.

    I suspect it will be a difficult year with a nasty ex – council licking their wounds – but the owners prevailed. Too many nights of lost sleep – perhaps a glass or two too many of wine when I needed condolences, but we met a great group of people who did not know what to do. They were asked to do a specific task – VOTE FOR….. – in a kind way and did. It is interesting which owners did not support us in the end and either believed or considered the crap that was written. What strata council sends 5 page letters to their owners only to attack one owner?

    I guess we had more impact than we thought!

    Now I am on council – 1st meeting to be August 28th. Perhaps I will have an executive position – time will tell but we have been busy since the morning after the August 14th AGM

    Like

  4. Deb says:

    We understand your anger as you are not the only owner concerned about your asset. Our unit sits empty while we pay double strata fees, taxes, mortgage for years now. Its so frustrating trying to reason with anyone….I can hardly wait to sell our unit.

    Like

  5. Interesting blog. I’ll add it to my CondoMadness references.

    Like

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