December 1, 2023

‘Our strata company has an ongoing dispute concerning the equity of price allocations for utilities’

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Expensive Tony:

Our strata company has an ongoing dispute concerning the equity of price allocations for utilities. In our constructing, solely the penthouse models have gasoline fireplaces and gasoline cooking ranges and barbeque connections. The rest of the house owners consider that is unfair as we wouldn’t have any profit from the utility in the identical approach, and we’re subsidizing their advantages with none further price. Can we think about a way of calculating this in another way?

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— Christina W., Vancouver

Expensive Christina:

The Strata Property Act makes allowances for all these unique provisions. They’re known as “sorts of strata tons,” they usually apply to solely working bills which might be both unique to particular strata tons and recognized in a bylaw or they’re working bills which might be solely restricted frequent property to specified models. The deciding aspect is whether or not the gasoline use is unique or not.

In your scenario, the utility isn’t restricted frequent property, and it might require a bylaw of the strata company to allocate the gasoline price to the penthouse models; nonetheless, this will solely apply if using gasoline is unique to the penthouse strata tons recognized within the bylaw.

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For instance, in case your strata company has gasoline fuelling sizzling water boilers, make-up air models, or backup mills, then the use isn’t unique and is probably not allotted in a bylaw.

One other instance is the sharing of restricted frequent property (LCP) solely for recognized strata tons, reminiscent of leisure amenities. A penthouse pool that’s LCP and solely accessible by the penthouse strata lot(s) would apply on this scenario. The annual price of operations of pool upkeep could be allotted solely to the LCP-identified strata tons. There are additionally separate elevators allotted to penthouse models which might be LCP, and people can have separate upkeep contracts.

Whereas the allocation of unique bills seems apparent, it’s usually not enforceable when strata companies try to segregate price allocations.

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Unit entitlement or allocation of frequent bills can’t be modified by technique of a bylaw. In your constructing, the gasoline have to be unique to the penthouse models. The gasoline contract contains different frequent home equipment, reminiscent of sizzling water for the constructing and the gasoline heating for the make-up air system. Working bills are these inside the annual price range that happen every year or extra steadily.

Tony Gioventu is government director of the Condominium Dwelling Homeowners Affiliation. E mail [email protected].

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