Strata Property Disputes in the Civil Resolution Tribunal
The civil resolution tribunal resolves many strata property disputes in British Columbia.
The civil resolution tribunal has authority to resolve disputes involving:
For individual owners/tenants
- An Owner/tenant disputes that she/he owes money to the strata corporation
- An Owner/tenant disputes strata council’s interpretation of the strata bylaws with respect to the use or enjoyment of a strata lot, common or limited common property
- The strata has made a decision with respect to an owner/tenant
- Disputes between owners
For strata corporations –
- A strata has an issue with an owner or tenant
- An owner/tenant owes money to the strata (fees, chargebacks, special levies)
- An owner/tenant is not complying with strata’s bylaws
- A strata has an issue with a property manager
- Questions about the interpretation of the Strata Property Act or strata’s bylaws that need civil resolution tribunal involvement
Examples of situations where the civil resolution tribunal does not have authority involve disputes involving the following issues:
- Removal of strata liens
- Forced sale of a strata unit to collect money owing
- Appointing strata administrator’s
- Winding up or cancelling a strata
These matters must be dealt with in the BC Supreme Court.
You can explore the process for resolving a strata dispute at the civil resolution tribunal at: https://civilresolutionbc.ca/how-the-crt-works/getting-started/strata-solution-explorer/
Except in special circumstances, the civil resolution tribunal does not let you have a lawyer represent you in proceedings before it (section 20 of CRTA). However, you may need a lawyer to assist you in some circumstances.
Why might you need a lawyer to assist you?
- You are unsure whether the civil resolution tribunal has authority over the issue
- You have questions about limitation periods applicable to your claim
- You need assistance preparing your claim before the civil resolution tribunal
- You are a minor or have impaired mental capacity
You can ask the civil resolution tribunal for an exception to be represented. They will only allow you a representative in exceptional circumstances (The Owners, Strata Plan NW 2575 v Booth, 2018 BCSC 1605)
The first stage of using the civil resolution tribunal online interface involves completing the strata solution explorer. Once you make a claim, the CRT will attempt you assist you to negotiate a solution. If that is unsuccessful, the claim gets referred to a dispute resolution facilitator. Finally, if the dispute remains unresolved, it proceeds to the adjudication stage where a decision is made by a civil resolution tribunal adjudicator.