The new BC Civil Resolution Tribunal now has a website to provide strata councils and owners with information about what the Tribunal will be able to do, when the system is finally launched, to assist in resolving a variety of disputes. You can find it at www.civilresolutionbc.ca.
Unfortunately, with the brand new technology being implemented to support the online dispute resolution process, there is as yet no set launch date, although the goal is to implement it sometime in 2015. My last update indicated that the spring of 2015 would see the launch but that timing seems to be in some doubt at present.
Nevertheless, the system will be launched at some point in the near future and when it is, strata councils and their property managers should be ready. The CRT will give individuals a much larger, and much less expensive toolkit to access when an issue arises that the strata council is unable or unwilling to address and resolve in an efficient and fair manner.
As I have observed in previous posts, many of these disputes arise because one side or both have a poor understanding of the law that applies to the situation, and by the time one or both decide to obtain legal advice, the situation has descended into personal attacks and hardened positions. It is to be hoped that the CRT will be the ‘go to’ platform for these parties to resolve disputes at an early stage, preventing the lasting hostility and antagonism that so often results from often increasingly nasty personal comments and threats exchanged when an issue drags on with no end in sight.
In the interim, to save time and money and to avoid the toxic living environment that is bound to be created during these kinds of disputes, all parties are encouraged to exercise reason and good judgment and to remember at all times that they are living in a strata ‘community’: yes, there are rules, but they are rarely black and white and those who are responsible for managing the strata on behalf of all owners should carefully consider the big picture before making a decision that could have broad and potentially undesirable consequences.
For any strata-related questions that you may have, contact us.