Legislation 2023

2023 is expected to continue as an important year for Depreciation Reports as the Strata Property Act is expected to be amended on many issues. 

Jeremy Bramwell, President of Strata Reserve Planning, is a subject matter expert on Depreciation Reports for the B.C. Housing Policy Branch subcommittee is looking at these changes. While he cannot discuss anything discussed at the committee, we can state any report from Strata Reserve Planning will meet the expected changes in the legislation.

Subjects discussed below include Mandatory Reports, the 10% Minimum CRF Contributions and E.V. Charging Stations.

Mandatory Reports

There are changes on several issues, but one of the most important is mandatory reports, which means the ability to defer will be removed. The inclusion of this deferral rule by the 2008 Liberal government is expected to be removed in 2023 to be similar to all other provinces in Canada and the USA. 

Minimum CRF Contributions

There was a change on January 24, 2023. This change will mean that the Statutory minimum for new and existing developments will be set at 10%. This was already something covered in all reports.

E.V. Charging Stations

On April 6, 2023, the B.C. Government proposed significant changes to the Strata Property Act in Bill 22/2023 to make it easier for strata corporations and owners to install electric vehicle (E.V.) charging stations. This was passed on May 11, 2023. This is an issue for Depreciation Reports as they include uncertainty in the planning.

Strata Corporations must plan for the needs of owners and residents. New Federal requirements that all new passenger car and truck sales be zero emission by 2035. In 2019, the province passed the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, which aims for 10% of all new light-duty cars and trucks sold in B.C. to be zero emission by 2025. By 2040, they'll all need to be emission-free. As a result, B.C. legislators have legislation waiting to be enacted to create a "right-to-charge."

Upon request, Strata Corporations would have to get an electrical planning report to know if installing these E.V. stations is possible and the cost. The installation of these E.V. stations can require a substantial amount of work and cost.

With respect to infrastructure, most people only see the charging station in a parking stall. This is just the end portion of several parts to a system and can include multiple electrical and communication conduits, new transformers to accommodate increased power requirements, independent monitoring systems to account for the cost of individual power usage, visitor parking EVCS Systems with an attached point of sales terminal and the list goes on.

To make the expense of upgrading the electrical system and installing E.V. charging stations easier to pass, one includes lowering the voting threshold from 75% to 50% for approval of the costs and changes to the property needed to install them.

Given the limited money most Strata Corporations have and the choice between new roofs or E.V. stations for the minority of occupants, it is my opinion that reaching the 50% threshold will be challenging in the next few years.

It would be inappropriate for Providers to include engineering reports for consultants to do the planning report, never mind the actual electrical upgrading work, without an indication from the Strata Council. But providers cannot ignore the demand for E.V. stations from the federal and provincial emissions legislation either. 

Strata Councils should ask the providers how this will be handled.

Unless notified by the Council that a planning report is planned, I believe many providers will be projected in the Depreciation Reports that a planning report is completed at a low expense year between 2023 and 2030, in keeping with legislation and vehicle sale targets. It must be remembered that only one request can trigger a requirement to get a report. 

I believe several planning reports will be undertaken before the electrical upgrading work is completed as votes fail and costs change. I do not think that many Owners will vote to upgrade the entire electrical system at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars during the years 25-35 or 55-65 of a building's life, as this is a period of high expected costs, like replacement of roofs.

Councils should work with the provider to determine the best time to account for this one-time cost as the demand increases in the complex.

Do not forget about the Definitive book on Depreciation Reports

Depreciation Reports in British Columbia: The Strata Lots Owners Guide to Selecting Your Provider and Understanding Your Report.

Accurate Physical Inspections, combined with Informative Analysis, leads to Realistic Funding Solutions.
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