Strata Conversions: an Option for Developers in BC


When the supply of developable land is tight, opportunities remain for "new" stratified developments. Conversions from previously occupied rental properties to strata lots may be the most suitable option for urban developers looking for opportunities in today's real estate market. As the vacancy rate for rental housing in B.C. remains low however, municipalities are seeking to protect the existing supply. Accordingly, developers looking at conversion as an option should be aware of each step in the conversion approval process.

What is it?

A "strata conversion" occurs when a strata plan is registered at a Land Title Office in respect of a previously occupied, unstratified building, subdividing a single legal parcel into two or more strata lots plus common property. Conversions include both conversions of previously occupied residential buildings containing rental suites as well as conversions of previously occupied commercial, retail, office, industrial, institutional, recreational, or mixed-use buildings which have never contained residential accommodation.

Opposition in the Lower Mainland to the residential rental type of conversion, the focus of this article, has increased in recent years with a growing perception of a difficult rental market for residential tenants. Opponents of strata conversions argue that a moratorium on conversions, or at least a requirement on developers to include rental units in converted developments, must be implemented in order to preserve the otherwise decreasing number of available rental properties. However, the availability of rental units may not be shrinking as fast as is widely believed; vacancy rates calculated by organizations such as CMHC fail to include investor-owned condos that are rented out and unregistered basement suites – two major sources of rental accommodation. Some have estimated that these two sources account for as much as half of the City of Vancouver’s rental units.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Clark Wilson LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Clark Wilson LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.