News Alert - May 15, 2023

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BC Government expands exemptions in Strata Property Regulation 55+ Bylaws

Effective May 1st, 2023

Changes to the Strata Property Regulation will ensure that people living in stratas with 55+ age restrictions will be able to stay in their homes even if their family structure changes.

“Starting a family is a big decision and big change for many people, and that shouldn’t come with the risk of people losing their home,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “After hearing from a few people experiencing similar situations, we’ve made changes so they and others can grow their families or support their children, while knowing that they’ll be able to stay in the home they know and love.”

Taking effect immediately, this amendment expands the list of exemptions to 55-and-over bylaws in strata buildings to include future children and spouses or partners of current residents. It will also create an exemption to permit adult children of current residents to move back home with their parents or former caregivers.

“I’m relieved that the government has taken action to support families like mine and especially give back a homeowner’s right to decide if they want to start a family in the future,” said Razan Talebian, a Maple Ridge strata resident. “I was shocked at how much power stratas had and, on top of that, how inhumane they could legally be. I would like to take this moment to show my gratitude to all those in the government and Ministry of Housing that are hearing our stories and doing what is needed to protect us.”

On Nov. 24, 2022, Bill 44 amended the Strata Property Act to end all rental-restriction bylaws and limit strata age-restriction bylaws to 55-and-over bylaws to promote seniors’ housing. After the bill was passed, tens of thousands of strata units opened up to renters and younger residents, providing more housing options. A few hundred strata corporations also moved to adopt 55+ age-restriction bylaws. While the act was amended to allow live-in caregivers and people who were already lawfully residing in the units to live in 55-and-over buildings, it did not account for residents’ future children or spouses. The Province is making these changes to protect families in 55+ strata buildings throughout B.C.

“This is an important change that balances the ability of seniors in age-restricted strata buildings to receive the health-care supports they need in their own homes with the desire of many seniors to live in buildings that focus on creating a senior-friendly environment,” said Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.’s seniors advocate.

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