Strata Condo Lawyer Vancouver British Columbia

Contact a Strata Lawyer

Contact British Columbia Strata Lawyer, Oscar Miklos, to discuss how he can assist you in resolving your strata property or condo dispute. Many services for strata home owners and strata councils are offered on a fixed-fee basis including assistance with preparing for a dispute at the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

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Find solutions to your strata property/condo issues by consulting our Strata Law Guide. This resource is written for condominium home owners, strata council members and property managers. You may also wish to explore answer to frequent strata issues below.

Quick Answers to Common Strata Issues

Noise complaints in strata buildings are among the most common types of disputes between neighbours. Unfortunately these issues are also among the hardest to resolve since they put strata council members in the position of having to broker peace between two feuding owners. Noise violations are also very difficult to prove unless they happen at regular intervals.

If you believe that your strata corporation is failing to enforce its noise restriction bylaws or if you want to take legal action against your neighbour, contact a strata lawyer to assess the strength of your case.

Strata councils may resort to fining an owner in order to deter what they perceive to be an owner’s or a tenant’s bylaw breach. They may also charge back the owner the costs of remedying a contravention of the bylaws.

If an owner refuses to pay a fine within twenty-one (21) days of a demand by the strata council or the property management company, the strata corporation may decide to take legal action either in Small Claims Court or at the Civil Resolution Tribunal to collect the fine or the “charge-back”.

However, there are a number of important steps that a strata corporation has to follow before creating a legally enforceable fine. Furthermore, if the owner has contested the fine or the charge-back, the strata corporation will have to prove in court that the infraction took place.

The Strata Property Act includes a number of different exceptions that allow home owners to rent out their strata units despite the existence of a rental prohibition or restriction bylaw. The two most common exceptions are if an owner is able to prove financial hardship or if the owner is renting to a close family member (i.e. a spouse of the owner, a parent or a child of the owner or a parent or a child of the spouse of the owner).

Even if none of the exceptions apply, it will still be important to verify whether the strata corporation has a legally-enforceable rental restriction bylaw. When faced with such a problem it is best to contact a strata lawyer.

Repair issues are among the most common and complicated issues to resolve as they almost always require a review of the strata corporation’s bylaws and strata plan. They will often also require a professional assessment of the exact location and cause of the damage which is to be repaired.

If a strata corporation proceeds to undertake repairs that were otherwise the responsibility of an owner, in order to charge back the costs of these repairs, they will normally require explicit authority to do so in their bylaws. It is best to contact a strata lawyer in order to evaluate a repair and maintenance issue.

Strata owners often make the mistake of believing that their rights as owners are absolute and that they may do as they wish within their own strata unit. Although each set of bylaws is different, a strata corporation’s bylaws will generally require owners to obtain permission from the strata council before making any alteration to their strata lot.

As a condition of their approval, a strata council may require an owner to enter into an alteration or indemnity agreement with the strata corporation. Such agreements will typically require the owners to undertake all costs of the alterations (both present and future).

Significant alterations to common property will not only require the approval of council- they will also require approval of owners at a general meeting by a 3/4 vote.

Before attempting to resolve a parking dispute with your strata corporation, it is necessary to understand the legal nature of the parking arrangement. Parking stalls may form a part of a strata lot or be designated as common property or limited common property.

Such designation will determine whether a strata owner will be able to enjoy long-term rights over the parking space or not.

It is not uncommon for strata corporations to pass bylaws that will either prohibit the keeping of pets all together or impose limits on the numbers and/or size of pets that can be kept in a strata lot.

Pets that are living in a strata lot with an owner, tenant or occupant at the time that the bylaw is passed are grandfathered by virtue of the Strata Property Act and may continue to reside in the strata lot despite the pet restriction or prohibition bylaw.

Otherwise, a strata owner may attempt to file a human rights complaint in order to argue that a medical condition requires the keeping of a ‘companion pet’. Such cases, though not uncommon, are difficult to prove.

Before taking legal action against your strata corporation at the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), you should request a hearing with the strata council in attempt to resolve the dispute. A hearing with your strata council can act as an early intervention mechanism that may assist to resolve your dispute before it escalates further. A hearing is also a general prerequisite before you start a claim at the CRT.

If you have reached the point at which legal action is required, it is best to contact a strata lawyer to assess the merits of your claim and to assist you in maximizing your odds of success before the CRT.

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