Opinion Column

Strata Living

Giving access to my strata lot

By Tony Gioventu, 24 hours

(Azaliya/Getty Images)

(Azaliya/Getty Images)

Dear Tony:

My strata corporation is insisting that I provide a key to my strata lot so fire safety inspections can be done. It scheduled the service on a day I was not available and now it is advising me that I have to pay for an additional service and provide a key to ensure our strata lot is included in the next service call. I feel very uncomfortable giving the strata a key so what are my options?

Callie E.

Dear Callie:

Access to a strata lot for maintenance and inspection is a bylaw issue. Under the standard bylaws. Owners must make their strata lots available for inspection for these types of services where the strata corporation is responsible to maintain and repair the fire safety system because it is common property. The strata corporation must provide at least 48 hours notice and for a reasonable time to access the strata lot . The strata also has to advise the owner of the reason for access. If you do not provide access, the strata corporation may be required to enforce the bylaw, which could includes fines, or it may make an application to the Civil Resolution Tribunal, ordering you to comply with the bylaws and provide access. Check your bylaws to determine if there are any variations.

Consider it this way. If you lived in a detached home, you would still have to make arrangements to be at home or for someone to be in attendance to permit a service technician access. Perhaps make arrangements with a family member, friend or a neighbour that you trust who can be quickly available to permit access for the inspection. You do not have to provide a key to your strata but you do have to provide access at some point so they can meet their obligations. When you live in a strata, your home is not your castle. It is a collective of owners who share common property, facilities, services and amenities.