B.C. Strata Homeowners Challenged Cats, Pet Urine, Water Leaks and Hot Tubs

The British Columbia Civil Resolution Court adjudicates disputes between condo boards and condo owners.

The British Columbia Civil Resolution Court has dealt with some interesting, if not downright curious, disputes between strata in 2022.

1. In December, a tribunal member called a noise complaint “absurd.”

There, the court dismissed a complaint from a condo owner who said his upstairs neighbors repeatedly violated a noise bylaw by allowing their visiting grandchild to run, play and jump in their condominium.

Tribunal Vice President Kate Campbell called the landlord’s argument an “illogical and absurd interpretation” of a by-law, saying it would effectively bar children from the building.

2. The court dismissed a complaint in December about an off-leash cat running freely through stratified gardens and pooping in window boxes. It had nothing to do with the crawling cat that got the complaint dismissed. The decision said Strata did not allow the owner to challenge the fines.

3. In September, the court ordered a Vancouver condo owner to pay his condo $101,332 after it was found he was responsible for a leaking fridge even though he hadn’t moved in yet.

4. In August, the court ordered a Campbell River stratum to stop enforcing bylaws that would prevent property owners from running for stratum council.

Tribunal member Micah Carmody said the strata council passed by-laws at a special general meeting (SGM) in September 2021 limiting the ability of owners, under certain circumstances, to vote at general meetings and to stand stand for council elections.

5. In May, a Richmond condo owner told court that a washing machine found first in a kitchen dishwasher area and then in a living room had nothing to do with a leaking strata of Richmond.

The property manager on site investigated the leak complaints and found a washing machine installed in place of the standard dishwasher. The manager said that the water pipes had been installed incorrectly.

6. Also, in May, the court ruled that the condominium board of a luxury building was correct to unplug an electric vehicle charger until it paid its bills.

7. Again in May, the court ruled that a Shuswap woman could keep her three emotional support cats despite being banned from more than one pet by her stratum.

She challenged the ban, saying the stratum failed to meet its duty to accommodate under the British Columbia Human Rights Code.

The tribunal member said the duty only exists if the resident has a genuine need for accommodation related to their disability.

8. Continuing its cat theme, the court in March ruled that a stratum would only receive $100 of the $800 it was owed after two tenants left trash in a stairwell and let their pet do its thing. pee in an elevator.

The condo was not entitled to the remaining $700 because it failed to notify the landlord and tenants when regulations were violated, the court heard.

9. In April, a vice president of the court, Kate Campbell, dismissed a complaint from a woman who claimed her strata had ‘unlawfully’ accused her of harassing and intimidating the gardener.

Campbell said the gardener wrote to the strata council complaining that in May 2021 the woman ‘aggressively’ yelled at him about his lawn mowing preferences, questioned her about her job and s approached the mower while the gardener was working.

10. And then there are hot tubs. Oh, last but not least, the hot tubs.

The court dealt with several of these disputes in 2022.

A Vancouver stratum spent $22,000 fighting to have a patio hot tub removed, but the court ruled in August that the tub was patio furniture and could stay.

In a November ruling, a tribunal member said a man had installed an inflatable hot tub on his balcony, but nappies said it was a hot tub and began fining him . The court overturned the fines but refrained from ordering the strata to allow the man to keep the spa.

In June, the court ordered a stratum to stop enforcing its spa ban. A man who owned a hot tub angered his strata council, who then created a bylaw against hot tubs, then tried to enforce it before passing it at an annual general meeting ( AGM).

The tribunal member said the Strata Property Act says such a rule cannot be enforced until it is passed at the next AGM.

[email protected]