Handling Tenant Improvements in Large Residential Buildings
In large residential buildings, often the Strata Corporation must wrestle with the question of who is responsible for repairing a Strata Unit when there is damage to the facility such as a water leak, or when it comes time to make improvements to the building. This can cause some difficulty with going ahead on a project, and so is best to be thought out and planned well in advance.
Whenever there is loss or damage to a common property, the Strata Corporation is responsible to repair it. This would come from a fund within the strata, or if the cost is too high for the strata to pay outright, the strata would need to file an insurance claim to fix the damage.
On another hand, when looking at improvements to a residential strata property, the improvements must be approved by a vote within the strata. Typically, the strata will hold a general meeting and any improvement ideas will be brought forward (usually recommended by a structural contractor if they are necessary improvements). Once approved, it is important for the strata to discuss real costs vs estimates. The strata would be responsible for receiving quotes from contractors and negotiating contracts.
For a contractor, dealing with a strata can have some additional considerations: for instance, they won’t be dealing with only one unit ‐ while the strata should be the main point of contact, it’s possible that individual families may come forward to the contractor with additional questions and concerns. This can prove to be very time consuming for the contractor (and therefore more costly to the strata!) especially in buildings where there may be hundreds of individual units, therefore it is important to encourage the strata to be the main point of contact to express any concerns or questions, rather than each individual.
Because some residential buildings may have multiple projects and improvements happening at once, it is important for both a strata and the contractor performing the work to plan ahead for all possibilities - such as whether something may delay the project, thus costing additional money. The Strata Corporation should be responsible as a point of contact and to ensure that the residents are kept up to date on the goings on within the building.