What is a Bare Land Strata?
In Greater Victoria you can buy a single-family home or detached house that is part of a bare land strata. Bare land stratas can be found in a number of areas on Vancouver Island, but in Greater Victoria they are more common in North Saanich, Sooke, View Royal, Brentwood Bay, Colwood and Langford.
A bare land strata is a unique type of strata.
Unlike a typical condo or townhome strata, a bare land strata corporation has no interest in each individual owner’s buildings (e.g. the house and garage), unless these buildings are referenced on the strata plan. However, the strata corporation will have an interest in common property and facilities such as roadways, above ground service, underground services and any clubhouses or recreational facilities.
Another way to think about it is a traditional strata, which is typically found in condos and townhomes share roofs and walls and the building is divided into strata lots, while a bare land strata divides land.
In a bare land strata you own the house, your strata lot and you also own an undivided share in the common property of the strata. Most of the bare land stratas in Greater Victoria don’t have clubhouses or recreation facilities, so the common property normally consists of a road leading to the houses, some landscaping, street lighting, signage, and sometimes a communal septic system if it is a more rural property. As an owner in this type of bare land strata, you typcially pay a nominal monthly strata fee, which covers periodic maintenance and insurance of the common property like roadways.
Bare land stratas are very similar to owning a single-family home. However, a bare land strata will have registered bylaws and sometimes rules and regulations. Unless otherwise filed with BC land titles, a bare land strata will automatically have the “standard strata bylaws” for British Columbia which cover things like number of pets allowed, repair and maintenance of lots, and the type of use. Most bare land stratas, do not have regular strata meetings, in addition they tend to be more relaxed about adherence to strata bylaws compared to condos or townhomes. However, if for example, you have a neighbour who is fussed about the number of dogs you have and you are in a bare land strata operating under the standard bylaws you could have an issue. There are also sections of the strata bylaws relating to the the altercation of your strata lot and obtaining approval 5(1)(2) of the standard bylaws that do not not apply to a bare land strata.
Are all stratas with free-standing houses a bare land strata?
No, not all stratas with single-family homes are bare land strata. To understand, what you are buying, it is important to look at the strata plan. The strata plan for a bare land strata corporation is usually clearly labelled as a bare land and will not show the outlines of houses located on individual strata lots, although it will show the outlines of buildings that are common property such as a club house. If you are looking at buying a single-family home that is part of a strata and the outline of the individual house is shown on the strata plan, it may not be a part of a bare land strata and the house exteriors may be common property for which the strata corporation is responsible. If this is the case, it is very important for you to understand the insurance and maintenance implications of this type of strata before proceeding with the purchase.
If you have questions about purchasing in a single family or detached house that is part of a strata in Greater Victoria, we are here to help. Contact us with any questions.
TOGETHER, Hal Decter, LL.B. and Audra Poole bring a unique level of knowledge, experience and service that is hard to find.
For eleven years, Hal Decter was a practicing real estate lawyer and partner with one of Canada’s top law firms. His client experience ranges from some of the country’s largest corporations to individuals and couples starting their first businesses or buying their first homes.
Audra Poole brings her research acumen and luxury marketing and sales talents to the team. She is a highly respected marketing and public relations executive with more than twenty years of local, regional and international experience.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Victoria, Oak Bay, Sidney or Saanich – we’ll be on your side and make the process as stress free and seamless as possible.