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Strata dispute resolution mechanisms: Going to court

Among dispute resolution options involving strata properties, going to court is an available mechanism. The expensive nature of this remedy usually makes it the least desirable option - typically used only as a last resort.

Strata lot owners may sue the strata corporation itself or the corporation as a representative of strata owners. Such suits may pertain to issues involving:

  • The rules or bylaws of the strata corporation
  • The actions or omissions of the corporation
  • Common property
  • Common assets

The corporation may also sue an owner on behalf of one or more other owners. In such cases, the matter must relate only to their strata lots of the parties involved in the suit.

Strata corporations and lot owners may sue at any level of court.

Small claims court

In order to bring a strata dispute to small claims court, a few conditions must be observed. The claim must:

  • Fall within a government set monetary limit
  • Relate to matters involving:
    • personal property recovery
    • damages or debts
    • specific performance of an agreement
    • personal property claims

The Supreme Court of British Columbia

Strata corporations and owners may bring actions in front of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. They may also ask for various orders.

Tenants or owners of a unit may ask for orders that are preventative or that have a remedying effect. Orders can pertain to:

  • Strata corporation decisions or threatened actions
  • The voting rights of an individual who holds 50 per cent or more of the votes

When strata corporations bring a dispute to court, the issues must revolve around:

  • Common property or assets
  • Strata lot use or enjoyment
  • Strata Property Act, regulation or bylaw clarification

Strata corporations or owners are wise to consult with an experienced strata matters lawyer for guidance on selecting the most suitable means for resolving disputes.

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