Strata Bylaws and Rules better be 100% correct!!
The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is an online method for resolving strata and small claims disputes, first by way of case management, and then before a tribunal. From July 13, 2016, the CRT has been accepting strata property disputes.
The CRT has jurisdiction over the following strata matters:
- non-payment of monthly strata fees or fines;
- unfair actions by the strata corporation or by people owning more than half of the strata lots in a complex;
- unfair or random, enforcement of strata bylaws (such as noise, pets, parking, rentals);
- failure of a strata to enforce its bylaws;
- issues of financial responsibility for repairs and the choice of bids for services;
- irregularities in the way meetings, voting, recording of minutes, or other matters are done;
- interpretation of the legislation, regulations, or bylaws; and
- issues regarding common property.
A CRT claim is made by obtaining an initiating notice and serving it on the parties against whom the claim is made. The parties, being duly served, must respond, or the dispute may be adjudicated in their absence, and a default ruling given.
If the dispute is not resolved in the case management phase, the claim proceeds to resolutions by tribunal hearing.
The decision of a tribunal becomes final if an objection is not made within 28 days.
When a final decision had been made, a party may appeal only to the Supreme Court on a question of law, and then only if all the parties consent, or the court grants leave to appeal.
A final decision of the tribunal in relation to a strata property claim may be enforced by filing, in the Supreme Court, a validated copy of an order giving effect to the final decision. An order filed under this section has the same force and effect, and all proceedings may be taken on it, as if it were a judgment of the Supreme Court.
With some exceptions, a claim over which the CRT has jurisdiction, may not be brought before the Provincial Court (traditional Small Claims Court) has adjudicated the matter, or the claim or person bringing the claim is exempted by law.
If the Supreme Court determines that all matters in a proceeding before it are within the jurisdiction of the CRT, the Supreme Court has no choice but to dismiss the proceeding unless it is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the CRT to resolve the dispute . The factors which the court will consider to establish whether interests of justice and fairness will be served, are contained in section 189.6(2) of the Strata Property Act.
Whether the CRT’s new ways to resolve legal issues will result in a timely and cost-effective resolution of a dispute, remains to be seen. The CRT claims to encourage a collaborative, problem-solving approach to dispute resolution, rather than the traditional courtroom model.
 s. 4 of Civil Resolutions Tribunal Act (“CRT Act”)
 s. 34.1 of the Strata Property Act (“SPA”)
 s. 189.1 SPA
 s. 30 CRT Act
 s. 48(5) CRT Act
 s. 56.5 CRT Act
 s. 57(1) CRT Act
 s. 57(4) CRT Act
 ss. 177(1) & (2) SPA
 s. 6 CRT Act
 s. 178.1 SPA
 s. 189.6(1) of SPA