It is surely a welcoming development to see increasing awareness of building maintenance and repair requirements among strata and condo owners. Having said that, it continues to be a constant challenge to convince the majority of the owners to agree on some necessary repairs or replacements, particularly if they are of larger magnitude.
Through our past and continuing interactions with thousands of strata and condo owners, we notice a common theme. “We will never get any repairs done until there is a major turnover of ownership”, “everyone just votes no, no, no to everything”, “no one wants to spend any money” are unfortunately some of the disheartening cries of many concerning owners wanting to protect one of the biggest investments of their lives.
Undoubtedly, it is unrealistic to expect owner approvals for repairs without conclusive evidence. To the credit of many strata and condo owners, they understand the necessity to obtain an assessment report to gain such evidence. However, far too often, we see owners acquiring an excessive number of inspection reports from various consultants for the same issues and optimistically expecting more favourable results. And to worsen the situation, the professional advice acquired by spending thousands of dollars is often ignored.
Unfortunately, many building issues like with rot and mould do not stand still in time. Deferred repairs are likely to promote further deterioration, resulting in repair costs that exceed the original estimates. While a strata or condo corporation is generally self-governed, extreme negligence to building repairs that may impact the safety or well-being of the occupants can be brought forth to the higher courts. The following article by Keith Fraser of the Vancouver Sun documents the story of a judge imposing a $16.8 million special levy on a Vancouver condominium.
A comprehensive understanding of the lifespan of a strata or condo’s building components is paramount to planning and saving for current and future expenditures. Normac has a team of experienced engineers and building science specialists that can assist stratas or condos with building condition assessments and depreciation reports/reserve fund studies. For more information or to request a proposal, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll free at 1-888-887-0002.