Real Estate Terms: Strata Fee

Ryan Coffey
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If you’ve been looking at real estate listings for any length of time you will probably have come across the term “strata fee”. When people are looking at Nanaimo real estate, they are often looking at houses which generally don’t have them. If however, they are looking at a strata property, there will almost always be a monthly strata fee.

So first, we have to define the term “strata”. A strata complex is one larger property where portions of it are bought and sold as “units”. The most common example is a condo. If you buy a condo, the interior of the condo is exlusively yours but the other condos in the complex (obviously) aren’t yours and the exterior of the bulding and the common areas like hallways, garden, foyer and the like and shared with the other condo owners. This “common property” has to be maintained and managed. There may also be some hot water or heat that the owner of the unit gets from the complex.

All of this common property maintenance and management and everything else that comes with it costs money. The amount each owner pays every month is (as a rule) determined by the size of their unit compared with everyone else’s. Each owner pays their own share and that share is called a “strata fee”.

It is worth noting that if you buy a typical house (a single family home that is not part of a strata) that you don’t have to pay for such things as a monthly fee, but still have to pay for the maintenance of the exterior of your property directly out of your own pocket. The upside is that you are in charge of your own destiny, but this can be the downside too. It’s a matter of perspective.

In some cases, there may be things like “special assessments” as well, but that is another post.


Ryan Coffey