What are Special Levies?


Home Buyers FAQ: What are Special Levies or Special Assessments?

As defined by the BC Government:
special levy is money collected from strata lot owners for a specific purpose and for shared common expenses. It is money collected from the strata lot owner in addition to the monthly strata fee. A special levy must be approved by at least a 3/4 [“yes”] vote of the strata corporation owners.
The funds collected from Special Levies to owners are needed to pay for expensive building maintenance (which is often the roof, plumbing, exterior, elevators, etc). Most buildings in the city don’t have enough money in their Contingency Fund (CRF) to cover the entire cost of these projects. BC Strata Bylaws state the Strata has to maintain a certain amount in the CRF, so the building wouldn’t be allowed to deplete the fund too much anyways (without replacing the money ASAP).
The need for a Special Levy is typically discussed in regular Strata Meetings, with the Strata doing research to determine what repair is needed, who will be hired to complete it and how much it’ll cost. The decision regarding the amount of the Special Levy and the timeline as to when it’s due is voted on a Annual General Meetings (AGMs) or Special General Meetings (SGMs) which are meetings where owners are given advance notice of the date and topics to be voted on.
Owners can vote no to a Special Levy, though that isn’t positive for the building itself or the value of your investment. If too many people vote no, the strata has to reconfigure their plan to the point where owners are okay with the amount (this may mean getting further quotes or decreasing the size of the repair, which isn’t always a good thing).
Special Levies are often due within a few months of being voted on, and can be split into multiple payments to reduce the burden on owners. Each owners share of the Special Levy is determined by the amount of sqft each owner owns in relation to the total building.

What if you Can’t Afford a Special Levy?

Unfortunately, you’ll have to find a way to pay it. Whether that’s taking out a loan, borrowing from family, selling the unit or re-mortgaging, these funds are due. If the Strata doesn’t receive your levy funds, they can force a sale to recover the funds (in extreme scenarios).

Be Prepared for Special Levies

Every building will see a Special Levy at some point, so you want to make sure that you’re prepared for it. I always tell my clients to keep a few thousand dollars set aside every year so that it’s not a shock to your bank account when a special levy is required.
Some Stratas are raising their monthly strata fees to help mitigate future Special Levies, but even then, you’ll have to be prepared for a higher monthly condo fee.
Contact us for any further questions, about this or other FAQs about the buying process or condo ownership.
[x] close

Login for Full MLS Access





Budget: -

Square ft.: -

# of Bedrooms:

# of Bathrooms:


Key criteria:

Terms of Use

The term Virtual Office Website ("VOW") refers to a Participant's (REALTORS®) Internet website, or a feature of a Participant's Internet website, through which the Participant provides real estate brokerage services to Registrants (clients and prospects) with whom the Participant has first established a relationship where the Registrant has the opportunity to search for MLS® data, subject to the Participant's oversight, supervision and accountability. By agreeing to these "Terms of Use" you:

  1. acknowledge and understand that the Terms of Use do not create an agency relationship and do not impose a financial obligation on the Registrant or create any representation agreement between the Registrant and the Participant;
  2. understand that all data obtained from the VOW is intended only for your personal, non-commercial use;
  3. do have a bona fide interest in the purchase, sale, or lease of real estate of the type being offered through the VOW
  4. agree not to copy, redistribute or retransmit any of the data or information provided;
  5. acknowledge the Board/Association ownership of and the validity of the copyright in the MLS® database.
  6. agree that all information provided may be provided to the relevant Board and may be used to administer and operate the VOW and to investigate any breach of security of the data or the MLS® rules
  7. that a "mouse click" is sufficient acknowledgement and agreement to the terms
  8. must supply a user name and a password, the combination of which must be different from those of all other Registrants on the VOW, before being permitted to search and view information from the MLS® database via the VOW.
  9. must provide a valid email address. The Registrant may be permitted to access the VOW only after the Participant has verified that the email address provided is valid the Registrant's agreement to the VOW's Terms of Use is confirmed.
  10. understand the Participant must at all times maintain a record of the name, telephone number and email address supplied by the Registrant, and the username and current password of each Registrant, such records to be kept for not less than 180 days after the expiration of the validity of the Registrant's password. If the Board/Association has reason to believe that a Participant's VOW has caused or permitted a breach in the security of the data or a violation of MLS® rules related to use by one or more Registrants, the Participant shall, upon request, provide to the Board/Association a copy of the record of the name, email address, telephone number, username, current password, and audit trail, if required, of any Registrant identified by the Board/Association to be suspected of involvement in the violation.
  11. Understand that information on this site is deemed to be valid but is not guaranteed. It is the responsibility of the registrants to confirm all information on their own. Broker may not have reviewed or approved listing enhancements. All information provided by the listing agent/broker is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.
  12. Understand any agreement entered into at any time between the Participant and Registrant imposing a financial obligation on the Registrant or creating agency representation of the Registrant by the Participant must be established separately from the Terms of Use, must be prominently labelled and may not be accepted solely by mouse click
  13. have received, read and understand the brochure published by the British Columbia Real Estate Association entitled Working With a REALTOR®

Having agreed to the terms and conditions of use, I would like to have access to this VOW information.

 Terms and Conditions I agree to the Terms and Conditions

[x] close

Login for VOW Access

Remember me

Don't have an account? Register now!