Tips for Buying Strata Properties

It's important to remember that any kind of property has the potential to have problems, such as moisture leaks, which are not immediately evident upon initial viewing. The Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), in co-operation with the BC Real Estate Association, has introduced a specialty form for condominiums called the Strata Property Disclosure Statement, which is completed by the seller.

REALTORS® are bound by a code of ethics and have a duty to disclose to buyers information they know about a property.

Before buying a strata property, the VREB recommends buyers do the following:

  • Work with a REALTOR® to obtain both the minutes of the Strata Council (if applicable) and minutes from the annual general meetings for at least the past two years along with the strata by-laws, financial statements, any engineering reports that may be underway or previously conducted and other relevant information that your REALTOR® recommends.
  • Allow sufficient time to consult with a professional who will inspect a building about its location and performance.
  • Ask to see the Property Disclosure Statement (PDS).
  • Investigate the warranty program (if applicable) and the limits and responsibilities of the homeowner.
  • If possible, investigate the background of the developers and / or builders of the building.

When reviewing Strata Council minutes, look for:

  • Any past problems and special expenditures or reports.
  • A written maintenance program or plan.
  • Healthy contingency funds.
  • Upcoming large expenditures.
  • A well-maintained and managed building.