BC’s new Civil Resolution Tribunal is now accepting strata claims

The provincial government passed legislation in 2012 to create a Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), Canada’s first online tribunal for resolving strata and small claims disputes as an alternative to going to court. Government-appointed tribunal members will hear strata and small claims cases and reach binding decisions, enforceable as a court order. Their responsibilities will be similar to members of other independent, quasi-judicial bodies such as the Human Rights Tribunal.

The BC Real Estate Association advocated for the establishment of this independent body and in 2011 reiterated the industry’s position during the province’s 2011 consultation process on strata dispute resolution.

As of July 13, 2016, the CRT is accepting strata property disputes for intake. Let your clients know! Early next year, the CRT will also be accepting small claims disputes.

How can the CRT help?

The CRT offers new ways for strata corporations and strata owners to resolve their legal issues without going to a small claims court, saving time and money. The CRT will provide legal information, self-help tools, and dispute resolution services to help participants solve their problems as early as possible. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from a computer or mobile device that has an Internet connection. The CRT says it will make a decision for the participants only if they cannot agree on a solution.

What kind of disputes can be sent to the CRT?

The CRT will be able to address strata disputes between strata owners and strata corporations for a variety of matters, such as:

  • 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
  • issues regarding common property

The Tribunal will not be able to decide matters related to terminating or dissolving someone’s interest in land or their strata lot.

For more information, visit the CRT website.