What Can You Do if Your Strata Corporation is Not Following the Law?

In British Columbia, there is a significant amount of legislation that applies to and guides the operations of strata corporations, the most significant of which is the Strata Property Act.

While most stratas work hard to comply with all legal requirements, there are some that neglect to follow the rules, even when issues are brought to their attention.

So this begs the question “What can owners do when their strata corporation is not following the law and takes no action to address non-compliance or mistakes, when it becomes aware of them?”

With the advent of the Civil Resolutions Tribunal (CRT) for strata disputes in 2016, it became more accessible for strata owners and strata corporations to address conflicts and pursue legal judgements without the need for lawyers or the BC Supreme Court.

The CRT is an online dispute resolution tribunal tasked with resolving strata corporation disputes, including but not limited to:

  • non-payment of monthly strata fees or fines

  • unfair actions by the strata corporation

  • unfair, arbitrary or non-enforcement of strata bylaws

  • issues of financial responsibility for repairs

  • irregularities in the conduct of meetings, voting, minutes or other matters

  • interpretation of the legislation, regulations or bylaws

  • issues regarding the common property

So if, as an owner in a strata corporation, you are unable to get your strata to abide by its legislated requirements, you can apply to the CRT to request an order that the strata corporation do what it required/supposed to do.

There are four potential phases involved in settling a dispute through the CRT:

  • application

  • negotiation

  • facilitation, and

  • adjudication (CRT decision)

After applying to the CRT, the negotiationphase allows the parties to communicate online, in order to work towards a resolution. If they are unable to settle their dispute, the process moves to the facilitationphase, where a CRT staff will assist the parties in reaching a settlement. If the parties are still unable to resolve their dispute, the process moves to the adjudicationphase, where an adjudicator will make a decision, regarding the matter, that is enforceable by the courts.
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