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Condo Smarts: All stratas must file proper address

This address is used for any type of notice to the strata corporation
Tony Gioventu is the executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of B.C. SUBMITTED

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation missed out on a notice relating to a lawsuit because we did not have the current address filed in Land Titles.

We were totally unaware of this requirement, and our current management company did not provide us with any directions. We are a multi-building 220-unit strata corporation in Richmond and this type of omission could have resulted in a significant cost, judgment or loss for our owners.

How frequently should the address be updated, and is it required for every strata corporation? It seems like it would be excessive for a duplex or very small strata corporation when a notice could be easily sent to each of the two or three units. Is there a simple method of accessing the official address of the corporation or a province-wide directory to access each strata corporation?

W. McLeod

Dear WM: The Strata Property Act does require every strata corporation to file their correct mailing address in the Land Title Registry. This address is used for any type of notice to the strata corporation, which may include notices issued by local government, the province, a regulatory authority such as Technical Safety B.C. or WorkSafe, or notices of request for information or bylaw matters issued from owners and tenants. There is no provincial registry other than the Land Titles records.

The address is often the first task a new property management company will undertake as they receive notices and correspondence on your behalf as your agent. The filing format is a Form D, which is part of the Regulations of the Strata Property Act. The fee to file the form is currently $31 and may be updated at any time. By practice, the first item a new management company will undertake is to change the official mailing address unless the strata corporation instructs otherwise.

For each strata corporation there is a General Index and a Common Index in the Land Title Registry. Obtain a copy of your General index, it will identify filings, their date and description. The index provides an insight into the registry activity for your strata corporation. Our advisers often discover bylaws that were passed are frequently not filed, rendering them unenforceable. If you are a self managed strata corporation, identify a volunteer unit or a strata corporation mail box and address that can be used for mailing and notices, and update your Form D filing in Land Titles.

Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association.