Better information will help condo buyers and owners

Does the condo or townhouse you own, or maybe one you’re thinking of buying, have an official depreciation report that assesses commonly owned assets and predicts what it will cost to keep them in good condition? Is it planning to prepare one soon? “If not, my radar would go on red alert,” says Tony Gioventu, the executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of B.C.
 

BY DON CAYO, VANCOUVER SUN

 

Does the condo or townhouse you own, or maybe one you’re thinking of buying, have an official depreciation report

that assesses commonly owned assets and predicts what it will cost to keep them in good condition? Is it

planning to prepare one soon?

 

“If not, my radar would go on red alert,” says Tony Gioventu, the executive director of the Condominium Home

Owners Association of B.C.

 

These reports are a new, not-quite-mandatory legal requirement for all forms of strata properties that have more

than four units. A strata may exempt itself from the requirement to prepare such a report every three years only by

passing an annually renewable resolution that is supported by three quarters of the owners.

 

However, “If a strata chooses to exempt itself, the presumption may well be that it has something to hide,”

Gioventu said.

 

Gioventu said the legislation is “the most important change in the industry in 40 years” and, although some strata

owners will grouse at the cost, it will ultimately be good for both owners and potential buyers.

 

For owners, it will ensure future needs have been assessed, and make the future cost of ownership far more

predictable.

 

“Special levies, as we know them now, are often unexpected,” he said. “That shouldn’t be the case in the future.

Strata owners might still decide not to raise monthly fees and build a large contingency fund, but at least the

owners will know when special levy is coming and how much it might be.”

 

For buyers, “it will make it much more difficult for sellers or for strata councils to withhold information.”

 

More detailed information on this legislation and its implications can be found on the CHOA website at

www.choa.bc.ca/updates.html

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