June 20, 2024

If there may be an emergency, nobody will likely be standing round ready for a key

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Pricey Tony:

House owners in our Coquitlam constructing obtained discover that we’re being compelled to supply a key to entry our strata heaps. A bylaw is being proposed at our upcoming annual common assembly, which would require everybody to supply a key to the resident supervisor for the aim of emergencies, routine inspections, and repair necessities.

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Our solely service requirement is the routine testing of the smoke and warmth detectors. It’s at all times scheduled for the second week of September, and homeowners and tenants are at all times supplied with no less than seven days’ discover for entry.

The discover bundle has indicated that if we don’t present a key and there may be emergency entry, we will likely be chargeable for any associated damages to our strata lot or different strata heaps. Is a strata company permitted to compromise our safety and security?

— Francis W.

Pricey Francis:

The commonplace bylaws of the Strata Property Act make a provision each for emergency entry and routine entry with discover for the aim of inspections and servicing.

Your own home is your personal strata residence. Whereas a strata company could amend entry necessities to strata heaps, they can not pressure an proprietor to supply a key for entry or codes for alarms that in any manner could compromise their private security, safety, or threat to their private belongings and property within the strata lot.

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It’s the accountability of every strata lot proprietor and resident to coordinate entry to their strata lot when it’s required for the strata company to carry out their duties.

Even when a key’s offered, many emergencies happen after hours when workers should not on-site or obtainable, and the result is compelled entry for hearth, 911 calls, or floods.

When a strata company makes an attempt to impose secured entry situations, in addition they assume a big quantity of legal responsibility for private property and security.

Even when homeowners and tenants volunteer keys, there’s a vital obligation on the strata company to handle the keys, safety, and entry.

Whereas the intent is mostly for ease of entry to expedite operations, strata companies typically don’t preserve an applicable protocol to guard the curiosity of the homeowners, tenants or occupants or to make sure the important thing entry is safe.

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If a strata company considers sustaining voluntary key entry, it should tackle a number of situations: How keys are saved, who has entry to keys, beneath what situations a key could also be used for entry, is the approved one who can entry keys bonded, is discover nonetheless required for entry, and what happens when keys are misplaced or stolen.

Within the occasion there may be an emergency, resembling a hearth or medical emergency, nobody will likely be standing round ready for a key. The unit will likely be forcibly entered. If there are damages that lead to a declare on the strata insurance coverage, an proprietor should still be chargeable for the deductible quantity, however that won’t change whether or not a key has been offered or not.

Earlier than your strata company considers sustaining keys for strata heaps, get hold of a written authorized opinion and advise the insurer of the company of the intention of the bylaw.

Is there protection within the occasion of illegal entry, assault, hurt, or loss attributable to misused, misplaced or stolen keys?

Tony Gioventu is govt director of the Condominium Residence House owners Affiliation. E mail [email protected].

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