Had I known about Mike Mangan's book, The Condominium Manual, when I started writing this column, it would have answered a lot of questions. As someone new to the world of strata, I found all the rules and regulations perplexing.
In fact, my experience trying to get up to speed was probably similar to that of new strata owners.
Mangan, a lawyer, is an expert in real estate law and teaches in the real estate division of UBC's Sauder School of Business. Back in the spring of 2000, he travelled the province at the behest of government, explaining to strata owners what they needed to know about the new Strata Property Act that was about to replace the old Condominium Act.
Mangan knows strata law and excels at explaining it. He's just released the third edition of The Condominium Manual. It takes into account changes the government made to the Strata Property Act in 2009, as well as significant court cases since 2004, when the previous edition was published.
Mangan explains the Strata Property Act in plain language and as simply as possible, given the complexity of the Act. The hard copy of the book is in relatively large font and organized into chapters by subject with lots of subheadings. And for the first time, the book is available online. I like this version because of its hyperlinks to relevant sections of the Strata Property Act and court decisions.
I was reminded of the importance of strata owners being informed of the law when a flurry of letters to the editor appeared in my local newspaper. They were in response to an earlier opinion piece on the shortcomings of the Strata Property Act.
One writer noted that successive strata councils in his building have flouted the law in various ways and harassed owners who objected. But he ended his letter saying, "The owners themselves are to blame at times because they, generally, fail to acknowledge the necessity of being informed of the basics of condominium bylaws."
If you're one of those uninformed owners, Mangan's book will help you understand the Strata Property Act and make sense of your own strata's bylaws. It's available in bookstores, libraries and online at www.condomanual.ca/
Suzanne Morphet reads email (but does not give advice) at firstname.lastname@example.org