Tony Gioventu, 24 hours


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What is a non-conforming strata?

Dear Tony: We purchased into a triplex last year. Each owner was basically dealing with their own units until we have suddenly come up with major roof repairs as there is a leak between two units and our owners are in a bit of a struggle. Our agent advised us the strata was in a separate class of strata corporations called “non- conforming” strata c

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How is a special levy calculated?

Dear Tony: We are a seven-unit townhouse complex that share the same roof. The roof needs to be replaced urgently and a special general meeting has been called to vote on a large special levy. However, my strata council has calculated my share of the special levy to be more than my neighbours. How is that possible? Given we all have the same roof s

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Who scoops the movie money?

Dear Tony: We have an owner who has recently permitted a movie shoot in his strata lot. The production was a disaster for owners. Elevator service was either disrupted or delayed for half hour periods, there was a takeover of our lobby area, parking entry was limited and the filming moved into the hallways and our meeting room. We asked the concier

If you live in an older building, or are looking at buying into one, take a close look at such things as depreciation reports to see if the strata has planned for current and future repairs. (TONY GIOVENTU FOR 24 HOURS)

Are annual insurance appraisals a must?

Dear Tony: We have been recently approached by the company who did our appraisal for insurance in 2015 and were advised that we must have an annual insurance appraisal to meet the requirements of the Strata Act. Is this correct? Can we find anything in the legislation or online?

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Who is responsible for patio door repairs?

Dear Tony: We had a large bird fly into the door and the outer window was broken. When we called our strata, we were told it was our problem because our balconies are limited common property. We called our insurance company who said it was the strata's responsibility. We have a broken window and we cannot come to any agreement.

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Owner won't grant access to strata lot

Dear Tony: What happens when an owner will not grant access to a strata lot? We have a reclusive owner who refuses to permit the strata corporation or its contractors to access the strata lot to conduct inspections on gas fireplaces and servicing of the sprinkler system. We have attempted on numerous occasions but the owner refuses. Our property ma

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Strata council rules a disaster

Dear Tony: A few years ago our strata council tried to adopt bylaws that would prohibit rentals, pets and an age restriction of 55 and over. At the time our owners were strongly opposed to any such restrictions as we had never had any problems with tenants, pets or younger owners. Finally, the council let the matters drop and all has been peaceful.

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Falling behind on strata fees

Dear Tony: Unfortunately, I lost my job a few months ago and fell behind on my strata fees.

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Are all owners part of small strata corporations?

Dear Tony: We have a simple question that relates to council. Our strata is only a three-unit townhouse complex in Vancouver. All three owners have been very cooperative about operations and maintenance and no one has ever opposed spending money to maintain our building. The Standard Bylaws of the Act say that if a strata has fewer than four owners

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Disputing an amount with a strata

Dear Tony: We have sold our unit and the closing date is Sept. 1. We requested a copy of a Form F payment certificate and on receipt were bewildered to discover the strata is claiming we owe over $2,500 in fines and damages. We have no records or notice from the strata of any such claims so we requested copies of council minutes and correspondence

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What is a majority vote and what is a 3/4 vote to approve contingency fund expenses?

Dear Tony: At our annual meeting last week the owners defeated the annual budget and all of the resolutions that council put forward for 2017-18. The strata council had put forward a budget including items that were not part of annual operations and they had included several contingency items for major repairs by majority vote that had no estimates

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When is special levy money refunded?

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation replaced our roofing in 2016. In addition to the $300,000 contingency funds that were authorized, the owners also authorized a special levy of $200,000 with the understanding that if any funds were left over they would be returned to the owners. When the project ended, we had $80,000 remaining, but the strata counc

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Are LED light upgrades worth considering?

Dear Tony: Our strata council has proposed a resolution on our annual meeting notice that would authorize up to $85,000 to upgrade all our common area lighting to LEDs. The business case they have put forward indicates we will have $28,000 of electrical savings and we would recover the costs in just over three years. Our council does not have a ver