Tips for Strata Living
Top tips for successful strata living
1. If you are a current or prospective owner at Miravista
Read the Strata Property Act of British Columbia (http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/98043_00).
Read the strata rules and by-laws so you’re fully informed of your rights and responsibilities. Review the records of the Strata Council minutes, the financial statements and the most recent Depreciation Report so you understand the finances and other issues facing the strata corporation.
2. Be involved
Take an active interest in what goes on in your strata. Attend Annual General Meetings are where decisions are made, and make your vote count. Use your proxy if you can't attend. Ensure that strata insurance is adequate, and that the contingency reserve fund is sufficient to meet long term maintenance planned for the next several years. Be sure to obtain condominium insurance for your own property. If you feel that your skills and experience would be valuable to the Strata Corporation, volunteer for election as a potential board member at the next Annual General Meeting.
3. If you don't like it, change it
If you believe the by-laws for your strata plan aren't working, work to change them. You do this by putting a motion with the suggested new by-law to be included in an AGM agenda. Consent to a proposed change or addition to Mira Vista requires 75 per cent of owners to vote in favour of it.
4. Budget for the costs of condominium ownership
In addition to your mortgage or home equity line of credit, you are responsible for paying property taxes and utilities, payable to the District of West Kelowna, for insuite electricity costs, payable to BC Hydro, for telephone, internet and cable costs for your suite.
You are also responsible for paying strata fees, payable monthly to the Strata Corporation, KAS 3488. We strongly recommend that you set up automatic payment for your strata fees with Pacific Quorum. Strata fees in arrears will incur interest charges, and once a threshold has been passed, will result in a lien on your property.
The purpose of strata fees is to fund your share of the annual running costs of the owners’ corporation and maintenance. Occasionally, additional special levies may need to be imposed to fund unexpected or especially expensive maintenance, or for other reasons. So ensure you make allowance for these in your personal budgeting.
5. Protect your investment
Encourage the Strata Corporation to maintain common property. If you feel there is an issue with maintenance, contact the strata manager with your specific questions or concerns.
6. Be respectful
Respectful communication is always more effective in getting people to see your point of view and improving things!
7. Be empathetic
While Miravista is built to conform to existing building codes, some noise transmission is inevitable in a wood frame building. Please be considerate of your neighbours downstairs and next door, who may be trying to sleep. Please use visitor and handicap parking only with a pass and for the approved time.
Understand that Mira Vista is a family community. Children need to play and will make a reasonable amount of noise.
8. Talk first
If the opportunity presents itself, talk to your neighbours if there is a problem. They may not realize their actions are causing a nuisance.
9. Don't let it fester
If talking has not resolved a by-law breach, contact your strata council or the strata manager to issue a Notice of Bylaw Complaint. If the problem persists, you may also want to apply for mediation.
10. You will need to be flexible at times
There may be times you need to give a little more leeway to accommodate different personalities.
11. If you see illegal activity, call the police
Miravista is a neighbourhood. Just as you would if you lived in a freestanding home, call the police if you witness any illegal act such as a burglary, a violent act, etc. Our building manager is not a policeman and his job does not include policing and/or stopping illegal activity.