Strata councils serve several important functions. It is important that residents and council members alike are clear on what these functions are. After all, full transparency is integral to a happy strata community.
So whether you are a seasoned council member or someone who is new to strata living, here is a list of essential strata facts you should be clear on.
About the strata council’s basic role:
Every organization needs management. This is where your strata council comes in – it acts as the managing body for the strata corporation.
In the interest of smooth operations, the strata council is tasked with making day-to-day decisions. A council will enlist the services of a professional management company to implement its decisions and provide expert guidance on the daily maintenance of the property.
Your strata council is restricted in its actions. It must act within the parameters created by the Strata Property Act, as well as the strata’s own bylaws.
For strata council eligibility:
1. All owners can sit on the strata council – for the most part.
One of the great things about strata living is the democratic nature of the council. Any owner is eligible to be part of it...with a few important exceptions. For instance, you can be restricted from serving if your strata lot is subject to a lien because you owe the strata corporation money, or if a strata lot has multiple owners (in which case only one of the owners named on title will typically sit on the council).
2. Tenants can sit on the council.
The critical point here is that the tenant must have been assigned the owner’s right to run for council and vote. Typically, the owner must expressly grant these rights to the tenant through a written notice to the strata corporation.
3. Corporate owners and others can be council members, too.
If a lot is owned by a corporation, that corporation’s representative is allowed to sit on the council. In some cases, spouses who are not on the title or children of owners can be eligible, too.
When it comes to elections:
1. They are annual.
For the most part, strata council elections are held yearly. This happens at the general meeting, and in order for the elections to be valid they must adhere strictly to the strata corporation’s bylaws.
2. The number of elected council members varies.
Different strata corporations may have a differing number of council members. That is because the total number is defined by the strata’s bylaws. Usually this number is between three and seven, but there is one important exception: if a strata has four or fewer lots or four or fewer owners, then everyone is required to sit on the council.
By knowing the basics of your strata council, you are equipped to get more out of it (and hopefully, put more into it, too). For more information on the roles a council plays and how it is created and maintained, contact FirstService Residential.