3 - Strata Residents: I just bought my strata unit. What do I need to know about my building?
Each new owner will be mailed a welcome package which contains valuable and important information and we urge you to keep it for references from time to time.
Bylaws and Rules
Within the welcome package is a copy of your building bylaws and rules. Be familiar with them to avoid violations which could result in unnecessary fines. Pay attention to the ones for move-in procedure/hours/fee, rental restrictions, pet restrictions, and alterations to a strata lot (A good example will be hardwood flooring replacement which seems to be very popular these days).
Strata Fees Payment Options
One of the most important things to remember after purchasing your unit is to ensure you contact our office to make arrangement to pay your monthly strata fees on time to avoid late payment penalties and fines. Within the package is a copy of our Pre-authorized Debit Agreement
and our Online Banking Instruction Sheet
for your reference. Please refer to our FAQ on “All About Payments FAQs” for more details on your payment options.
The best way to start is to review your building bylaws for any move-in/out procedures. Pay attention to the following:
1) Booking procedure which usually requires advance notice;
2) Allowable Hours of move-ins/outs;
3) Who to contact for elevator booking;
4) Amount of move-in/out fee;
5) Any deposit required in advance of the move.
You will find information on the insurance provider within the Package.
The type of insurance covered in your strata fees is the Strata Corporation’s policy that insures the fixed structure, permanently installed original fittings and fixtures, mechanical equipment and machinery, fire suppression systems and common assets.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that owners acquire insurance for their strata unit to cover for personal property, betterments and/or improvements, additional living expenses, loss of rental income (if the unit is for rental), and most importantly, the Strata Corporation’s deductible chargeback (e.g. water, fire) incurred in the event of a claim that originated from within an owner’s unit.
To ensure you acquire sufficient insurance for protection, we recommend that you provide your broker with a copy of your Strata Corporation’s “Summary of insurance” which can be found in your most current AGM Notice package when acquiring insurance for your strata unit.
Some insurers offer a homeowner policy that provides additional private coverage which is not covered under the Strata Corporation’s insurance policy. Owners may want to take advantage of it as it is beneficial to both the strata corporation and the strata owner knowing that the same insurer is there to look after their best interest.
Some insurers even offer a tenant policy that provides additional private coverage which is not covered under the homeowner's insurance policy.
Most of the building bylaws require owners to seek Strata Council’s prior approval before commencement of the installation. Owners are also required to sign an indemnity agreement before approval is granted. For convenience, please fill out our fillable Application for Approval to Change Flooring form
where it provides you step-by-step instructions to ensure the required information is submitted.
Your bylaws may also lay out all specifications such as the minimum rating of the underlay to be used.
If you plan to rent out your unit, please refer to our FAQ on:
“I want to rent out my strata unit. What do I need to know?”
The best way to start is to review your building bylaws to ensure there is no rental restriction in place that may affect your eligibility to rent. If there is one, you may be required to write to your Strata Council (and send to our office) to get permission to rent. If the limit has been reached, you will be notified and may be placed on a waiting list.
If you are eligible to rent, ensure you proceed to check for the following and communicate the same with your potential tenant:
1) Any pet restriction bylaw that limits the type and number of pets your tenant may have;
2) Any move-in/out procedures bylaw (also see our “move-in” FAQ).
3) Ensure a Form K
is completed by you and your tenant within two weeks of renting. Please note a new Form K
is required when tenancy changes.
Ensure your tenant is given a copy of the building bylaws and rules to be abided by, as owners are responsible for any fines that resulted from their tenant’s, employee’s, or guest’s violation of any bylaws/rules or damages to the common areas during the move-in/out or at any other time.
Ensure your tenant understands the importance of acquiring their own personal insurance for their own protection.
FirstService Residential’s Website - FAQs
Our FAQs section offers helpful questions and answers that are commonly asked by our new and existing owners. For any inquiry that is not covered in this section, please contact your Strata Manager. Inquiries that relate to your strata fee payment or account, please ask to speak to our Accounts Receivable when contacting our office.
FirstService Residentials’s Website – Forms
There are different forms under the Forms section for your easy use and references.