Airspace / condos

Are You Living In A Residence Above A Business?

The Long War Between Strata Corporations

Her cat purring on her lap, Jenna was relaxing on her couch with her morning cup of coffee –

– when music began to shake her walls, the bass drowning out her TV and causing her cat to leap up with a yowl.

This was the 3rd time this week! Enraged, Jenna stomped downstairs to the dance studio she lived above.

Her strata had tried to solve the problem, but the council for the commercial part of the building didn’t care one whit.

Cue the strata wars.

Strata Units
Years In

How 1 Property Manager Can Avoid These 3 Common Airspace Problems

An airspace condo is a residence above a business.

Several property management companies can be involved in a multi-stratified (gulp, what a mouthful) development, which creates complex dynamics. There can be a different manager for:

  • The residential strata
  • The commercial strata
  • Any rental properties within the residential strata

The more people involved, the more chaotic it gets.

3 problems that can arise with multiple property management companies:

  1. Difficult schedules (everyone can’t get together to resolve issues)
  2. Biased opinions during conflicts (commercial manager doesn’t care about the residential strata and vice versa)
  3. Confusing operating budgets
Having 1 property management company for both means:
Quick strata decisions

Your manager knows all they need to know about both corporations because they’re in charge of both.

Speedy resolution

Conflicts are resolved faster than if several companies were involved (no biases).

Easy communication

Scheduling is simple, as there’s only 1 manager.

What Do Your Airspace Strata Fees Cover

(PS. It’s More Complicated Than You’d Think)

Because there are two (or more) strata corporations in one building, multiple budgets need to be crafted.

Strata Corp #1 Maintenance Budget #1 Operating Budget (shared)
Strata Corp #2 Maintenance Budget #2

Both corporations have a shared “operating budget”. This is to cover maintenance on common areas that both stratas share, such as:

  • Exterior painting
  • Landscaping
  • Snow removal
  • Parking lot repairs

The commercial strata corporation’s job is to create the budget. All the residential strata corporation needs to do is pay their share – which is divvied up into the strata fees.

Both corporations also have a second budget that covers their independent maintenance needs, such as:

  • Interior painting
  • Elevator repair
  • Sewage


What To Know Before You Move Into Your Airspace Condo

You’re aware that there are 2 separate strata corporations, and that they might be managed by 2 different property management companies.

What else should you be prepared for?

  • A busy community – people are everywhere – on top of having neighbors, you also have to deal with clientele for the businesses you live above.
  • Complex strata fees – though almost the same as regular strata fees, there will be more than one budget factored into the fees:
    • The operating budget, as decided by the commercial corporation
    • The regular residential budget, as decided by your strata council


Ready To Hire A Property Management Company?

Follow This Simple 4 Step Process!

Step 1: Special General Meeting
First things first – have an SGM meeting to ensure everyone approves changing/hiring a new property management company.

Step 2: Sever Ties
This step only applies to you if you’re changing companies.

Your council must approach your current management company and ask to be let out of their contract.

There’s generally no problem with this – the company should respect your desire and promptly set things up for your departure from them.

Step 3: First Contact
Request a proposal and phone us at 604-858-7368

Is your previous company reluctant to let you go? The property management company you’re changing to can aid you in making the switch.

Step 4: Agency Agreement
As per the Real Estate Council, your new company can’t provide any services until the Agency Agreement is in place. It goes hand in hand with the proposal.

You need to bring the minutes of your SGM (where you decided to change/add your company) before the agreement can be finalised.

They can work behind the scenes (give guidance) until the agreement is set.

This takes a maximum of 2 days. Once set, the changes are official!