Advancing the conversation on land and real estate issues in BC.
Masks in strata common areas. Credit: flickr/izusek
As the pandemic developed in BC in 2020, the means of doing business as usual steadily fell apart.
“Strata property managers who had, until that point, run their general meetings in community rooms or town halls packed with owners were frantically wondering whether they could delay their meetings or hold them electronically,” explains Refresh Law’s Oscar Miklos. “Moreover, while the science behind the transmission of the virus was still being researched, strata council members were wondering what precautions they needed to take to protect the health of residents. In short, strata corporations were left to deal with numerous unanticipated and unwelcome challenges because of the pandemic.”
Strata councils are responsible for the use and maintenance of common areas and amenities—places whose use poses a COVID-19 transmission risk for residents. Many strata councils have increased the cleaning schedules of common areas, and some have installed hand sanitizer stations. The capacity of amenity spaces such as gyms and common rooms has been limited or the use of such spaces shut down altogether.
Masks have been a thornier issue.
“In November 2020, the provincial government instituted an official mask mandate, requiring everyone in public indoor settings to wear masks,” says Miklos. “While strata buildings qualify as private (i.e., not public) spaces, it is nevertheless strongly advisable to ensure that masks be worn by residents when passing through common areas. Strata corporations can enforce compliance by adopting a rule (by a majority vote of the strata council) as set out at section 125 of the [Strata Property] Act.”
Stratas have faced many additional issues, like disclosure of COVID-19 infections, electronic and restricted proxy meetings, and strata property disputes, all of which have required adaptation.
|Download Summer 2021|
Read more in Miklos’s “Challenges with Strata Governance during the Pandemic” in the Summer 2021 edition of Input. Download Summer 2021
Join the conversation on Facebook