Owners Associations: New Societies Act Coming November 2016

The BC Government has passed a new Societies Act, which is expected to be brought into force in November of 2016.

Owners Associations must file a transition application within two years of the new Act coming into force.

What’s New?

The main purpose of the new Societies Act is to introduce online registrations and filings, modernize the governance laws, and clarify the reporting obligations of publicly-funded societies. The vast majority of owners associations will not fall into the category of publicly funded societies, and will have an opportunity to opt into a less onerous reporting process.

Each Owners Association must comply with the transition requirements set out in the Societies Act. At the same time, an Owners Association has the opportunity to amend its bylaws to take advantage of some of the new rules.

Positive Changes for Owners Associations

The following are a few of the new options available under the Societies Act that Owners Associations may wish to take advantage of, all of which must be approved by special resolution:

  1. the special resolution threshold can be two-thirds of members at a meeting, down from the current three-quarters requirement;
  2. multiple classes of membership can be created, and the old rule about having more voting members than non-voting members has been removed. This means that the owners association could admit as non-voting members additional residents from each home; and
  3. an Owners Association may declare itself to be member-funded, and opt out of certain reporting requirements.

Andrea East is a business lawyer at Pushor Mitchell LLP practicing in the area of First Nations Law. You can reach Andrea at 250-869-1245 if you would like to discuss how your Owners Association can take advantage of the new Societies Act or for assistance with the transition process.

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