East Van Condos: Parking and Storage Lockers

24.10.2013

How Important are Parking and Storage Lockers when Buying a Condo in East Van?

The inclusion (or exclusion) of parking and storage lockers can make or break a deal when it comes to buying a condo in East Van. Even after the deal is done, issues surrounding parking and storage lockers tend to lead to the most lawsuits when it comes to Real Estate in Vancouver.Aside from the fact that having a secure parking spot (and therefore not having to find an open air, street parking spot) is a must for most buyers, it’s also a pretty big deal when it comes to Strata Ownership. This is why the confirmation that there is a parking spot and/or storage locker (and also how it is assigned by Strata) is a typical subject clause in an Offer for Purchase and Sale of a Condo in East Van. The information can be released by the Property Management Company who runs the Strata Property.

Importance of Parking and Storage Locker Assignment

Imagine if you bought a condo back in 2005, then you get a letter from your Property Manager today saying that you don’t own that spot and can no longer use the space. Pardon? That’s not good. Upon some research, you learn that back in the day, your strata lot (your condo unit) wasn’t assigned a parking spot and therefore you don’t have the right to use any of the spots in the parking garage. Now what? The value of your condo just went down and you’ll have to park on the street. Or what if the Property Manager says that your parking spot number has changed, and you now have to use a “Small Car” spot (and somehow manoeuvre your large Pick-Up truck into this spot every day).

What if you’re told you get a tall storage locker, then come possession of your new condo, it turns out to be a small locker that can’t fit your sports equipment?

These situations are why the confirmation of parking and storage lockers, in location, size and assignment, is of utmost importance when it comes to buying your condo.

This issue is so important that a new rule was passed enforcing Property Management Companies to list this information on a strata document, the Form B – a document detailing all important information pertaining to each condo unit in particular (the current amount in contingency fund is also listed, along with the number of rentals in the building, any outstanding strata fees, and more).

How Parking Spots and Storage Lockers are Assigned

Not all parking and storage lockers are assigned the same for every Condo Building in East Van. The different kinds of allocation could affect your use and ownership, and they are described here:

1. A Strata Lot (SL) or Part of a Strata Lot

A strata lot is the area of a condo building owned solely by you (as owner of Strata Lot #). The Strata Plan details exactly which areas in the building each Strata Lot owns. If you see someone else using your property, you have right to stop it. Parking and storage lockers that are part of a strata lot will always be owned by the strata lot owner, and this ownership transfers to the purchaser upon sale of the property.

2. Limited Common Property (LCP)

Limited common property is designated for the exclusive use of one or more particular strata lots. This information is labelled on the Strata Plan. The owner of the strata lot wouldn’t own the parking space (it’s still technically common property owned by everyone), but they would have exclusive use of it so no one else is allowed to use it. The right to use this space automatically transfers to the new owner upon sale of the strata lot.

 3. Common Property (CP)

Common Property are areas of the building that are not designated to any particular strata lot, so each owner has a share in the area and is allowed to use it (typically: hallways, elevators, common rooftop gardens, etc). You don’t have nearly as much control over where you park with this type of assignment. We don’t see this too often in East Van condo buildings when it comes to Parking and Storage Lockers, but it does happen. There are three types of common property:

a. A Grant of Exclusive Use

It is similar to Limited Common Property, but it’s an owner granted temporary privilege (the term has to be less than 1 year), may be subject to conditions and can be cancelled with reasonable notice (therefore is not as secure as it being designated LCP). This exclusive use is granted by the condo’s strata corporation to the owner, so when the owner sells the unit, that privilege is not longer intact (the new owner will have to ask the strata corporation for permission to exclusively use the area).

b. An Assignment of Rights Under a Lease or License

Leases and licenses to parking and storage areas are assigned to new owners by the developers when strata lots are purchased. It’s very important to find out how parking is assigned when you’re buying a new condo development.

c. Common Use of Parking Spaces

Parking can be used on a first come, first serve basis (here’s hoping there are enough spots for every owner!). This is rare, and usually seen in older condos and rental apartments.

D you notice the difference between how your parking and storage lockers could be assigned to you, and how that could affect your life? This differences are quite important, and this is why prospective Buyers need to know exactly which parking spot and storage locker they are getting, along with how it is assigned to them (and if that type of ownership can change over time).

We will ensure that you know what you’re getting when you purchase an East Van condo so you can enjoy peace of mind.

Check out our blog for our other posts on East Van Condos and Strata Properties, or send us an email with your questions.

 

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