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Professional Standards Manual

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2. Acting For Sellers

(c) Property Measurements - View Entire Section

(III) Measurement of Strata Lots

Developers, in order to increase the apparent size of strata lots, have in many cases included areas such as balconies, large patios, and even parking stalls in the strata lot measurements. When obtaining these figures from the Land Title Office, licensees should study the plan for the strata lot for any qualifying descriptions. For example, a square area measurement will be indicated on the strata lot; however, occasionally there is a statement on the plans to the effect that, ‘‘Areas shown within lots are total areas, including patios, carports, and storage rooms’’. In that event, it is necessary to search further. The licensee should find the plans giving the measurements for the ‘‘included’’ areas and deduct these areas from that shown on the strata lot. This will provide buyers with a correct area of the living accommodation.

In general, it is preferable to define a strata lot by reference to the walls of the building. Any area outside a strata lot which is for the private use of the owner of that strata lot may be regulated, either having been designated by the strata corporation as limited common property (LCP) or its use governed by a Short-Term Exclusive Use Agreement. A Short-Term Exclusive Use Agreement may provide for the exclusive use of a part of the common property by a strata lot owner or tenant on certain terms and, in some cases, conditions. The seller cannot assign a Short-Term Exclusive Use Agreement to a buyer without the consent of the strata corporation. For further information regarding LCP and Short-Term Exclusive Use Agreements, see index headings for Limited Common Property and Short-Term Exclusive Use Agreements.

The strata lot itself is usually defined by the area resulting from measurements taken from the centre line of the demising walls. In multilevel strata lots, the area of each floor would be added. This area should coincide with the square area of the strata lot as represented in the Strata Plan and, if confusion exists, the figures may be obtained from the Land Title Office.

In advertising or representations made by licensees about the size of a strata lot, it is suggested that the square area of the strata lot, together with any exclusive-use areas that have been designated LCP for that strata lot, be set out in similar manner to the following example:

Strata lot of 1,400 square feet and the exclusive use of balcony, large patio and two parking spaces which have been designated as limited common property.

Such a statement clearly defines for the buyer what is being offered and eliminates much of the confusion existing in measurement of strata lots. Due to the uncertainty about continuing use, care must be taken about any reference to common property that is the subject of a Short-Term Exclusive Use Agreement.

**Alert**

The measurements and square footages of strata lots obtained from plans on file in the Land Title Office have occasionally been found to be incorrect. This can occur, for example, when a builder, for some reason during the construction process, deviates from the original set of plans filed with the Land Title Office in the initial approval and registration stage. Licensees should check all measurements obtained from the Land Title Office by physically measuring the strata unit. Licensees should always declare the source of measurements, both in the listing and sales contracts. Quoting measurements from inaccurate plans has been the cause of some licensees incurring substantial financial damages.