Meet Dan & Dale
Dan & Dale real estate agent photo

 
Back to Blog

There seems to be some confusion these days with regard to who bylaw changes apply to.  There are many instances where a current owner is “Grandfathered” from a bylaw.  In Real Estate two of the most prevalent bylaw changes that can affect a buyer or seller are Pet Restrictions and Rental Restrictions.  Let’s start with Pet Restrictions as they are bit more straight forward than the Rental Restrictions.


If you are an original owner can you have as many pets as you wish for as long as you own the property?  No.  All owners are subject to whatever Pet Restrictions are passed by the strata.  There is however an exemptions.  A bylaw prohibiting or restricting pets does not apply to a pet living with an owner, tenant or occupant at the time when the bylaw is passed.  In other words, your five dogs could remain with you for the duration of their lives but any new pets must adhere to the Pet Restriction passed by strata.


Rental Restrictions are a bit more complicated although similarly a tenant who is occupying a suite at a time of a bylaw changes is exempt for the duration of their tenancy.  It should be noted that any bylaw which limits the number or percentage of rentals must also set out the procedure to be followed in administering the bylaw.  In other words each strata may have a slightly different system for handling the application of a rental wait list and such.  It should be noted that there are several other loopholes to consider. 


Rental Restrictions are a bit more complicated although similarly a tenant who is occupying a suite at a time of a bylaw changes is exempt for the duration of their 

tenancy.  It should be noted that any bylaw which limits the number or percentage of rentals must also set out the procedure to be followed in administering the bylaw.  In other words each strata may have a slightly different system for handling the application of a rental wait list and such.  It should be noted that there are several other loopholes to consider. 

 

Most are aware that family members are exempt from Rental Restrictions, but it is important to understand the definition of “family”.  No, you cannot circumvent the Rental Restrictions by renting to your third cousin twice removed on your step mom’s side of the family.  Family is defined as a spouse of the owner, a parent or child of the owner or a parent or child of the spouse of the owner.

 

Did you know that you can also be temporarily exempt from Rental Restrictions through hardship?  An owner can apply to a strata corporation for an exemption from a rental restriction bylaw on the grounds that it causes hardship to the owner.  The strata cannot unreasonably refuse the owner’s request but they may set a time limit upon the exemption.  Keep in mind that the strata cannot “unreasonably refuse” so you must be able to prove and document the hardship.

 

The final exemption has to do with the Rental Disclosure Statement which is a document filed by a developer of a new building.  You may have heard a Realtor or friend state that you are exempt since you are the original owner of a unit.  This is often the case but it comes down to two important dates.  1) When was the Rental Discloser Statement filed, and 2) What is the Date the Rental Period Expires.

 

These rules changed as of January 1st, 2010 which many are not aware of.    Prior to this date a strata lot was exempt from rental restrictions until the earlier of:

 

-the expiry of the rental period in the Rental Disclosure Statement, or

-the date on which the first owner conveys the property to another buyer

 

In other words, the first owner was often exempt if the Rental Disclosure Statement had a date many years out which is often the case.  However, for those filed after January 1st, 2010 any buyer (not just the first) can rent their strata lot if it is designated as a rental suite on the Rental Disclosure Statement until the rental period expires.  It should be noted that the expiry dates can be anything.  I have seen them expire in five years ,99 years and many different increments in between so be sure that you do not purchase a condo without seeing the Rental Disclosure Statement especially if you are an investor and purchasing a strata where the Rental Disclosure Statement was filed after January 1st, 2010.

 

There are many more intricacies to bylaws and restrictions so be sure to contact us if you have questions or would like a more detailed explanation of Pet Restrictions and Rental Restrictions.   Remember to read your minutes and attend your Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings as bylaws can only be changed by way of a ¾ vote at a general meeting.

 

 

 

Comments

No comments

Post Your Comment:

*indicates required fields.
Your Name:*
Please note, your email will not be shown publicly
Your Email (will not be published):*
Comment:*
Please type the text as it appears above: