Strata Nightmares: Bullies Beware!
Most people who live in a strata situation have stories about the nightmare owners or tenants who have made their lives miserable to the point that they either sold and moved out or moved out and rented.
In the majority of these cases, the strata council has done nothing, feeling powerless to resolve the situation even where the conduct of these owners or tenants violated the strata by-laws. Now, however, we have a court decision that should give strata councils some comfort that they do have power and options in such cases and that also serves as a warning to the unruly.
In March 2013, a BC Supreme Court judge ordered the sale of a condo as a result of the owner’s continuing breaches of court order prohibiting the owner and her son from making loud noises, obscene gestures or uttering any abusive or obscene comments against any of the other owners in the strata. >> Read More
The strata corporation had spent several years trying to moderate the harassment and had imposed fines against the owner of about $20,000 for breaching the strata’s bylaws and rules over a four year period.
The objectionable behaviour included interference with other people’s activities, spitting at other residents, using obscene language and gestures and creating unacceptable loud and unnecessary noise in their own unit. The judge found that these actions went beyond nuisance and amounted to assault on other residents.
All owners have a right to use and enjoy the strata’s common property and common assets and their own strata lots without unreasonable interference. The actions of this owner and her son were clearly unreasonable.
This might be seen as an extreme case and an extreme result but should this not be the normal consequence for those who are incapable of living in a communal environment with respect for other residents and their rights?
When you buy a condo in a strata corporation, you buy knowing that your rights and obligations are shared – no one should feel that they can do whatever they want in their own unit or on common property without regard for anyone else. No one should feel they can get away with bullying or harassing others who object to their unacceptable conduct in a strata settling. If an owner does not recognize the essence of communal living, that owner should go elsewhere.
In this case, the strata corporation did the right thing by starting the court action.
But what about a situation where an owner’s conduct might only directly affect one or two other residents?
Shouldn’t the strata corporation take action in that case as well or should it be up to the one or two other residents to move or sell because someone else is making their life miserable?
What are your thoughts? Do you have horror stories of your own to share?
Please send us your thoughts, comments, or stories.