Welcome to GlencoeEstates.com

 
 

Over the past several years, there have been multiple Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) actions filed against the Strata Corporation - most of them for alleged violations of the Strata Property Act (SPA).


Of the CRT actions that went to decision, ALL went against the Strata Corporation, with the CRT finding that the Strata Council or the Strata Corporation was in violation of the SPA.  In at least TWO of those CRT actions, the Strata Corporation remains in contravention of the CRT orders.


The Strata Manager is currently an employee of a Property Management firm with offices in New Westminster and Vancouver.


The employee they had until very recently assigned as Strata Manager to “Glencoe Estates” regularly demonstrated questionable professionalism, a lack of basic understanding of how service provider contracts with Strata Corporations work and poor attention to detail.


Numerous E-mails and letters were sent with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, and that Strata Manager repeatedly provided incorrect or invalid E-mail addresses when supplying contact points in notices to owners, and has even provided an E-mail address that is for a completely different Strata Corporation.


In the past when owners have pointed out to this Strata Manager errors in materials or E-mails they have sent to the owners, the Strata Manager has become extremely defensive and stands their ground.  Typically they spend far more time essentially arguing the point than would be spent simply correcting the mistake.


Often the Strata Manager has made inaccurate statements or assertions in an apparent attempt to draw attention away from the errors they have made, or to dismiss/disregard what others have said.  When these false or incorrect statements or assertions are called out, or the Strata Manager is asked to provide facts to support those statements, they suddenly stop replying.


On the positive side, at the 2022 AGM it was announced to the owners that the Strata Manager had been replaced, though it was not clear if the previous Strata Manager was fired or shuffled over to manage another Vancouver area strata complex.


Time will tell how whether the new Strata Manager at “Glencoe Estates” will get this ship back on course.

Questionable Management

“Glencoe Estates” is a townhouse and condominium complex in the Newton area of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada


From a location and amenities perspective, this complex has it all.  Located easy walking distance from amenities - High School, Elementary School, Costco, Real Canadian Superstore, Newton Wave Pool/Recreation Centre, Starbucks, Shoppers’ Drug Mart and more.

The suites are large and well equipped, and there is lots of green space.  Within the centrally located Recreation Centre, there is an activity room that can be hired for private gatherings, an indoor pool, sauna and small weight room.  Just steps from the Recreation Centre, there is a new and modern playground.

But...what else can you expect to experience at “Glencoe Estates”?

In CRT Action  ST-2020-006539, an owner requested repairs on a “Common Property” telephone utility line.  If something is “Common Property”, it belongs to the Strata Corporation and it is the Strata’s responsibility to repair and maintain under section 72 of the BC Strata Property Act (“SPA”).  According to information contained within the CRT submission, the owner requested the repair in April of 2018, and the Strata Manager, along with the Strata Council and other Strata Corporation staff, failed to take adequate steps to have this common property utility line repaired for almost three years.


The CRT decision outlines that an original CRT case was withdrawn after an agreement was reached to facilitate repair of the utility line without delay, however Strata Corporation did not comply with that agreement.  This resulted in a second submission being made to the CRT.


Despite an order from the CRT that the Strata Corporation repair the utility line within two weeks, the Strata Manager and Strata Corporation representatives failed to take any action to facilitate the repair for months.  In the end, the owner was forced to make arrangements for the repairs to be carried out by the utility provider and was subsequently billed by the utility service for repairs to the Common Property phone line.  It is believed the owner had to threaten further legal action to be reimbursed for those additional expenses.


Anecdotally, other owners have expressed concern about the length of time it takes for the Strata Council to approve requests, or for the Strata Manager or Strata Corporation representatives to get around to repairing damaged common property.

In British Columbia, The Strata Property Act (SPA) provides the legal framework under which all strata corporations must operate.


In CRT Action ST-2018-001882 it was found that the Strata Corporation (though the Strata Manager and Strata Corporation representatives such as Council and staff) were in violation of the British Columbia Strata Property Act (SPA) and the Strata’s own bylaws by failing to provide documents as requested by owners, or by failing to provide Council Meeting minutes to owners within the timeline required by the Strata Property Act.


Even into 2021 and 2022, the Strata Corporation cannot be relied upon to provide owners with Council meeting minutes within the requirements of the BC Strata Property Act.  Owners have - and still do - sometimes wait for months before minutes are made available.  When they are made available, they are often incomplete or inaccurate.


in CRT action ST-2020-006558 it was noted that not only did the Strata Manager fail to follow through with the Strata Council’s direction to ask for more information regarding a request made by an owner, in a follow-up request for the same issue by the owner some time later, the Strata Corporation violated the Strata Property Act by not granting a requested hearing to the owner within the legally required period.


This is not the first time that the Strata Corporation has disregarded the Strata Property Act in this regard - although in an earlier instance the owner reminded the Strata Manager of the SPA requirements so they grudgingly scheduled the owner for a hearing at the last possible moment.

Typically observed at the Annual General Meetings (“AGM”), owners can expect to be told to “shush” by the Council President if he doesn’t like you questioning something the Council is attempting to push through on the agenda. 


At the 2021 AGM, the President silenced (‘muted’ in “Zoom” speak) an owner whom - after an invitation for comments was made by the President, and had patiently waited for their opportunity to speak - wanted to go ‘on the record’ with concerns about incorrect information provided to owners in the AGM notice or restrictions that were imposed against some owners that would have prevented them from attending the AGM. 


So, unless you’re singing songs of praise about the Strata Council, expect to be cut off quite quickly at the Annual or Special General meetings.

Whether it’s a re-roofing project where Strata Council presents a patch job as the preferred solution (which actually ended up causing more damage and costing more money) or the most recent FibreOptic internet installation, this Strata Corporation jumps into projects both feet first. 


Unfortunately in the enthusiasm, they often have just a ‘big picture’ plan in place, and haven’t got the lower level details arranged.  Furthermore, there have been cases where the Strata Council members or the Property Manager didn’t know what was actually being done or how it was going to be done, until work was already well under way.


Using a 2020/2021 FibreOptic upgrade project as the most recent example, the Strata Corporation had to ask vendors to cease installation several times after work had begun.


Even though the vendors had been given approval to start installation, the Strata Council and/or Strata Manager had not outlined with the vendors important facts about the project, such as where in the units the installation was taking place, nor the positioning, routing or colour of external conduits.  Then again, this is a Strata Corporation that arranged for conduits to be placed on the front of the units, instead of the back where they would have less visual impact.

This site is not intended to be representative of the views of Strata Corporation NW526

When a communication to the owners - such as Council Meeting minutes, AGM or other notifications or letters are sent to the owners, quite often they have errors. 


When an owner lets the Council and Property Manager know about these errors, all too regularly the Strata Council ignores this information so the error is not corrected, or they grudgingly refer to the correction in the minutes, and have in the past referred to it as a complaint by an owner.

Many of the townhouse and lower-level condominium Strata Lots have a garden area out front that is the responsibility of the Strata Corporation (although some owners choose to manage the garden in front of their lot). 


Even if an owner has expressly asked the Strata Corporation to maintain the garden area, the Strata Corporation chooses to do nothing, resulting in overgrown and unsightly areas throughout the complex.


Despite the Total Landscaping budget being 13.7% of the total operating expense budget, at the 2021 AGM, the Strata Manager announced that there was nothing in the budget to maintain common-property Strata Lot gardens.


If you like big rocks in your common area gardens, “Glencoe Estates” is your place.  In many of the garden beds around the complex, flowers, shrubberies or other greenery are being replaced by rocks.  Big rocks, and lots of them.


† Source: 2021 proposed operating budget / April 29, 2021 AGM agenda handout

If you’re looking for large, family friendly units with lots of surrounding green spaces that are close to many of your every day amenities, most definitely.


If you’re looking for a Strata Council and property manager that will look after your investment, respond promptly to concerns and that is both transparent and accountable to the owners, this may not be the place for you.

Questionable Management

The leadership of this Strata Corporation have a history of disregarding legal orders directing them to proceed in a specific way.


CRT decision ST-2020-006539 is the most blatant example, outlined above.


As of May 2022, and despite being made aware in writing by the owner, the Strata Corporation remains in a position of non-compliance with another CRT judgement against them.  They have taken no steps to rectify this situation and further legal action is pending.

Strata Councils have a fiduciary duty to the owners, and part of this would be a responsibility to ensure that the owners are receiving the best value for the money their monthly Strata Maintenance Fees.


At “Glencoe Estates” however, despite paying many hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years toward its two largest service contracts, the Strata Council has ignored multiple requests made by owners at Annual or Special General Meetings, for a review of these contracts or to invite other vendors to submit quotes for future years.


These two service contracts make up almost one quarter (23.75%) of the entire Operating Expense Budget for “Glencoe Estates”.


  1. The Strata Management services contract is the most expensive - but for a complex as large as “Glencoe Estates”, this is not unusual.


  1. The second-highest value service contract is with a vendor who is not only an owner within “Glencoe Estates” , but who is also married to a Strata Council Member.


The Strata Council continues to renew these two high value contracts year after year, while owners have not been provided with information about either contract reviews or quotes from other potential providers.


It is not known at this time how many other employees of, or service providers to, the Strata Corporation are related to members of the Strata Council or may be in a potential conflict of interest.


† Source: 2021 proposed operating budget / April 29, 2021 AGM agenda handout

They’re “Never” Wrong
Should You Buy At Glencoe Estates?

In the Council Meeting minutes of February 23, 2022, it was announced that there had been unauthorized access to the Strata Corporation website, and that ‘opinion and information’ had been inserted into the website as part of this unauthorized access.


No other information has been provided about this hacker or any security concerns presented by this apparent hack.

Ignored Repair Requests
Ignorance of the BC SPA
Don’t Question the Council
Inadequate Garden Upkeep
Cyber Security Breach Info
Poor Project Management
No Review of Large Contracts
Non-Compliance with Legal Orders
Non-Compliance with Legal Orders

At the 2022 AGM, it was presented to the owners that the operating budget had a deficit of $62,720.61 at the end of 2021.  That’s right - a negative balance.


Money which had been taken from the Contingency Reserve Fund throughout the year to pay for various items approved at the 2021 AGM, had not been paid back despite this being required by the BC Strata Property Act.


† Source:  Balance sheet report, April 22, 2022 AGM agenda handout

A Budget of Concern

If you’re attending the AGM, expect to see members of the Strata Council with dozens of proxy votes, and sometimes the head table has more voting cards than the rest of the owners combined.


If you’ve ever wondered how the same people get on the Strata Council year after year, or how questionable agenda items get approved, there is your answer.


When the existing Strata Council doesn’t want a new person to be on the Council, or they want to pass/defeat a certain agenda item, it’s very easy to do when a couple of Strata Council members hold more than 50% of the combined votes.


At the 2022 AGM, I personally observed an owner asking for the Strata Council members to declare the number of proxies they held, but the meeting chair (the outgoing Council President) ruled the owner’s question out of order.


Had it gone to a vote of the owners, I would have voted for it.

Stacking the Deck with Proxies