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ASK Biblitz about B.C. Condominium Research Services.

'You laugh tonight and cry tomorrow / When you behold your shattered schemes ... The Boulevard of Broken Dreams'


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Purchase The Owner's Guide to B.C. Condominiums - 2010

The Owner's Guide to B.C. Condomiums - 2010 by Leo Biblitz is available as a pdf for sale at a price of $25 (twenty-five Canadian dollars). Simply download the report as soon as you complete the easy, secure PayPal payment process. It's that simple!

How to save as much as $100,000, maybe more, on a building envelope failure in B.C.'s infamous, shark-infested condo market. What to know about savage strata governance in the midst of a decades-old leaky condo epidemic that's affected high-rise, low-rise and even many new single-family homes!

More about the report.

Submit a condo inquiry

Send inquiries to leo@askbiblitz.com. Please don't include personal information or strata records - just the facts, ma'am. If I find there is sufficient information to merit a reply, you'll be asked to submit payment of $25 (twenty-five Canadian dollars) via PayPal. Once payment is received (typically within a few hours), I'll confirm by e-mail that a reply will be sent in a day or two, depending on volume and the amount of research required.

In addition to strata governance inquiries, I welcome requests to search public documents online for information on mud, flood and fire risk as well as requests for help finding a good condo lawyer. More about both in the report.

View a sample $25-inquiry and reply at right.

No reply

I may decline to reply to an inquiry. If I do, I'll notify you of same by e-mail and no charge will apply.

Inquiry involving multiple questions

If an inquiry seems to me to involve more than one question, I'll e-mail you a counter-offer listing each question separately with a separate charge of $25 (twenty-five Canadian dollars) per question. If you agree to the counter-offer, you'll be asked to submit full payment via PayPal.

For example, for an inquiry that involves two separate questions, you'll be asked to submit a payment of $50 (fifty Canadian dollars) to PayPal. For three questions, a payment of $75 (seventy-five Canadian dollars).

Once payment is received (typically within a few hours), I'll notify you by e-mail to expect a reply within a day or two, depending on volume.

View an inquiry about strata bullying involving four separate questions and the reply, and

an inquiry about a 2006 strata corporation involving five separate questions and the reply.

All replies and notifications by e-mail

All replies and notifications by e-mail in a syle and format of the sample question and reply at right.

Reviewing strata records prior to purchase

For a fee of $250 (two hundred, fifty Canadian dollars), I would be pleased to meet with you at a public location of mutual agreement in Vancouver to review strata records with you orally for an hour or so and suggest appropriate questions for seller/strata council. Please send requests to leo@askbiblitz.com.

Once we agree on the date, time and location of meeting, you'll be asked to submit payment in full via PayPal. When payment is complete, I'll send you an e-mail to confirm the meeting.

You accept exclusive responsibility for the care and control of strata records provided for review and for the use of any comments and suggestions provided orally during the review.

During the meeting, you're free to take notes or use any manner of recording device(s).

While I appreciate that real estate transactions may be time sensitive, the prudent B.C. condo buyer asserts her/his right to inspect the strata records fully and condition the offer according to their contents and the results of the superficial pre-purchase building inspection.

There is nothing especially onerous about reviewing strata records prior to purchase. The reason for the higher fee is simply the amount of time involved in navigating cross-town traffic on transit.

Terms of Use

Unlike The Owner's Guide to B.C. Condomiums - 2010, which is intended for personal use only, replies to condo inquiries may be used and distributed in any way you see fit.

Replies to condo inquiries are not offered as investment or legal advice. Rather, each reply should be viewed strictly as original research and opinion intended for the inquiring condo owner, investor, tenant or strata manager, all of whom ultimately make their own i nvestment and legal decisions.

What's my expertise?

LLB from UBC, more than seven years moderating www.bccondos.ca, former career as a print journalist and a former leaky condo owner. I'm not a member of the B.C. bar and make no secret of my view that legal advice is the preferred approach to condo inquiries. However, in my view, B.C. lawyers fail to meet the public need for:

(a) strata governance advice

(b) by an informed, disinterested party

(c) at a reasonable rate.

In an effort to fill that gap, I offer quality, fully transparent research as well as problem-solving strategies based on that research.

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signs OakStreet Sign of the times. You laugh tonight and cry tomorrow / When you behold your shattered schemes ... The Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Feeder industries profiting in March, 2006 from leaky condos at W. 6th Avenue and Oak Street, Vancouver's own Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Sample $25-question and reply

My strata council says they will be placing a work order against our unit to recover 50 per cent of the costs of mold remediation work in our crawlspace (which is LCP). The property manager said the work order is like a lien, but not quite. We have not agreed to pay any money or a percentage of the repair costs. I have searched the SPA and various web sites and can't find any information regarding a strata council placing a work order on a unit and its ramifications (unlike a lien). Do you have any idea?

Thanks, excellent site by the way.

Reply

Sorry to hear about the mold issues, but thanks for asking, which has allowed us to revisit the law of work orders and limited common property in the Strata Property Act.

See Division 4 - Work Orders beginning at s. 83, which says that "work is required by a notice or order of a public or local authority which is authorized by law to require the work, and the notice or order is given to the strata corporation."

So your first level of inquiry to strata council is which public authority requires this work to be done and why. We would indeed be interested to know if there is a public body requiring this type of work and in what circumstances. Has anyone from this body, whatever it might be, come out to inspect the complex before issuing a directive? Nothing in the toxic mold legal seminar we attended a year or so ago made reference to any such an animal. On the contrary, mold litigation in Canada is in its infancy - or that's our understanding. A work order, as you can see from the legislation, is pretty serious.

Curious, too, this figure of 50 per cent of the repair fee.

To determine a valid amount for the repair of limited common property, see Instruction Guide #18, which states:

4. Repair of LCP and Common Property with a Short Term Exclusive Use Arrangement

Usually, a strata corporation has an obligation to repair and maintain LCP and common property that is used by an owner or tenant in accordance with a short term exclusive use arrangement.

However, the strata corporation bylaws:

- can be created to obligate an owner to repair and maintain LCP that is designated for the use of that owner; but

- cannot be created to obligate the owner or tenant to repair and maintain common property that is used in accordance with a short term exclusive use arrangement.

The Standard Bylaws require an owner to repair and maintain LCP, but not:

- if the repair or maintenance would generally occur less often than once year;

- to repair the structure or exterior of the building such as: chimneys, stairs, balconies, other things attached to the exterior, doors, windows or skylights that front the common property; or

- to repair fences, railings or similar structures that enclose patios, balconies or yards. [For more information on repairs please refer to Instruction Guide 20, "Who is Responsible for Repairs"]

What, one wonders, does the strata corporation's atty have to say about all this? Sometimes strata councils and/or building managers neglect to put these matter before counsel. As a good general rule, whenever circumstances provide for remedies involving any kind of charge against strata property, atty should be consulted.