Renovations & Strata Living

The Condo Group’s #condoexperts were asked this week, “If I want to renovate, what am I allowed to do in a strata and at what times of day can I do it?”

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Our #condoexpert Mike answered this question, and his response is below:

Buyers often want to do minor to major construction to properties they are considering or have just purchased.  It’s best practice to review bylaws, rules, and regulations prior to offering on the property.  The strata will often provide an indemnity agreement to be filled by the buyer with their request, which turns the responsibility of maintaining & repairing the renovations from strata over to the unit owner.A good example would be a unit that my buyers just purchased in a wood structure building.  They requested to change the flooring from carpet to hardwood and were approved by meeting the strata’s STC rating (sound transmission class).  Time frames to have work done were 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and guidelines for carpet disposal were attached.

My advice is never to assume that you can take out a wall, change flooring surface, move electrical, plumbing etc. without checking the strata bylaws and approaching the strata for permission first.  All stratas vary in their bylaws, so the extent of approval as well as the times/days that you’re allowed to renovate and make changes will vary in every building. As well, you should never assume that work that has already been done by previous owner(s) was approved, and as a buyer, you should do your due diligence to ensure that any updates made in the past were according to the strata bylaws, and if required, approved by strata.  In some cases renovations completed without approval will be required to be changed back to code.Feel free to continue this conversation with me at mikej@thecondogroup.com