I left work today at the relatively early hour of 7pm to attend a small get-together organized by my apartment building’s strata council. The event was not technically a strata council meeting where official business was conducted but more of a social gathering. My reasons for going were several fold. First, since the last strata council meeting was just two weeks ago and I wrote my first letter to strata, I wanted to know if my letter was read and what they thought about the subjects I raised in said letter. Second, I wanted to talk to the various strata council members about things that might not come through the correspondence to the owners. I’ve been told that if you own an apartment, it’s always a good idea to be friendly and communicative to council members. Third, I wanted to meet other owners in the building.

Within ten minutes of arriving at the event I found out my letter was indeed addressed but the property manager was just taking his time in responding to me. I spoke to the strata president directly about my issues. In short, no one cares if I want to change my blinds. Also, no one has any problems if I want to rip out my fireplace. Though it was only verbal confirmation, I essentially have the green light to start ripping stuff out. If I do decide to go ahead, I’d get rid of that damn fireplace before my blinds. I want that thing gone.

While I was talking to another council member, I found out something that took me by surprise. In no less than two months, everyone who has been assigned reserved parking spots in levels P1-P3 will be reassigned spots in levels P7 and P8. I had just gotten used to parking in my spot and now it won’t matter anymore. The reason for the move is that P1-P3 will apparently now be designed for commercial parking as the construction is beginning on the shopping centre part of the development. Parking in the new level necessitates entering in a completely new entrance and up this sketchy two-way spiral. It’s been decades since I’ve seen a parkade with a spiral and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of one that had two-way traffic with no divider between the cars!

Last but not least, I’ve learned about the seedier elements about my building. When my building first opened, there were some pretty sketchy people that moved in as renters. I have learned that there have been drug dealers, grow-ops, and even prostitution in my building. According to strata though, the majority of these people have been evicted. I think that’s actually true. There used to be this one guy who used to loiter in the front of the building with his “crew”. Everyone knew he was up to no good. I don’t see him anymore so hopefully he got his ass evicted. Strata seems to be taking a real pro-active approach to getting rid of the douchebags in the building.

I’ve been a homeowner less than a year, so I’m still learning many little details of owning an apartment. My suggestion is, get to know your strata council. They’ll tell you all sorts of useful things.

If you’re interested, apparently the brothel in my building was on the 35th floor.

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