Can two or more strata lots be combined?

Yes. Sections 259 and 260 of the Strata Property Act permit the consolidation of two or more strata lots into a single strata lot. When strata lots are combined, titles to the new consolidated strata lot are merged. 1 Because of this, all strata lots being consolidated must be owned by the same person and any charge holders such as mortgagees on title to the strata lots must be in agreement about their legal priority after consolidation.
Legally, when strata lots are consolidated, this requires an amendment to the registered strata plan. While strata plan amendments usually require the unanimous approval of all owners, consolidation of two or more strata lots does not require the approval of the strata corporation or other owners if the following conditions are met (although you will need their cooperation) 2:

  • the unit entitlement of the consolidated strata lot is the same as or less than the combined unit entitlement of the 2 or more strata lots being consolidated,
  • the total number of votes of the consolidated strata lot is the same as or less than the number of votes of the 2 or more strata lots being consolidated, and
  • the amendment will not increase the share of the common expenses borne by a strata lot, other than the strata lots being consolidated.

When consolidating two or more strata lots, you will need to work with a British Columbia Land Surveyor and a lawyer in order to ensure that the appropriate forms and documents are filed with the Land Title Office.

 

Commentary

Where a person owns two adjoining strata lots within a building and wishes combine the two lots into a single habitable space, a more practical solution is often to keep the strata lots separate and instead work with engineers and the strata corporation to alter the strata lots and any common property separating the lots to allow for a physical connection to be established.

Notes:

  1. Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c.43, s.267(f)
  2. Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c.43, s.260(2)