B.C. government looking to change rules around stratas moving to 55-plus

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Island woman asking Eby to make changes to new strata rules'
Vancouver Island woman asking Eby to make changes to new strata rules
WATCH: A Vancouver Island woman is asking Premier David Eby to re-think the new age-restricted strata rules. Her strata recently voted to become a 55+ building, and she has concerns about the switch. Richard Zussman has more. – Mar 13, 2023

B.C. premier David Eby says his government is considering legislative changes aimed at strata corporations moving to 55-plus age limits.

The B.C. government passed legislation last year requiring all strata buildings to drop any rules barring owners from renting suites, except if the building is designated 55-plus.

Under the current rules, 55-plus buildings must still rent to the 55-plus demographic.

But many homeowners have raised concerns the rule changes will force them either to sell their property or decide not to have a potential partner or younger roommate move in.

Read more: Some B.C. stratas considering 55-plus age restrictions amid rental restriction ban

The changes have also affected families who have children, with the current rules allowing stratas to force out owners who welcome a new baby.

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“We want people to grow their families. So we will be introducing amendments to the legislation on this issue of people who live in buildings then convert to 55-plus,” Eby said in a press conference from Olympia, Wash. on Monday.

“A building being 55-plus is not objectionable. What is objectionable is empty units in that building or people being kicked out of their home because of this issue. We do see some buildings making some unfortunate choices on how they treat their current residents.”

Condo owner Brianne Pascoe recently sent Eby a letter asking for him to make these legislative changes.

The 30 year old lives in a Duncan, B.C., condo building that recently passed a by-law to move to 55-plus. Pascoe said this change will force her to sell if she wants a partner or roommate of the same age to move in to her suite.

Click to play video: 'Maple Ridge family may have to move due to strata bylaw changes'
Maple Ridge family may have to move due to strata bylaw changes

“While I wholeheartedly agree that there should be no age or rental restrictions, your government has left a massive loophole that has upended many people’s lives,” she wrote.

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“During discussions before our strata vote, the only thing the other owners, who are mostly of retired age, cared about was potentially having ‘loud’ children in the building.”

Pascoe said there are already multiple 55-buildings in her neighbourhood and the changes will make it difficult to find people to rent out empty suites.

Click to play video: 'Some B.C. stratas considering 55-year-old age minimum'
Some B.C. stratas considering 55-year-old age minimum

“I am now a 30 year old stuck in a retirement building. I no longer have a nice little stepping stone for my future. I can’t move in a future partner, and if I choose to sell, my property is now worth at least 30 per cent less,” Pascoe said.

It is unclear exactly what impact the age restrictions will have on property values, but many realtors have publicly theorized values would go down.

The main reason is because limiting who can buy and rent in a building limits the pool of potential buyers.

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“It is reducing the number of people who can see it. So it is impacting the marketability,” Realtor Ty Corsie said.

“Will it lower the property values? In my opinion, it does affect it.”

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