Strata Council Mismanagement Leads to being Ordered to Hire Strata Manager

A dysfunctional strata corporation can lead to a court appointed administrator, which can be very expensive for the strata corporation, for the court proceeding and the cost of the administrator.

However, only the BC Supreme Court can appoint an administrator for a strata corporation, the Civil Resolution Tribunal doesn't have that power.

While the CRT doesn't have the power to appoint an administrator, in a unique decision, the CRT ordered a strata corporation to hire a strata manager because the strata council clearly wasn't able to manage the strata corporation on their own.

In the case of Lawrence v The Owners, Strata Plan VIS 86, 2017 BCCRT 58, the strata was a 50+ building, that was self-managed by volunteer owners. Several owners felt that the council wasn't acting properly and the CRT agreed. The following actions of the strata council were improper and contrary to the bylaws:
  1. removing a council member unilaterally to eliminate a dissenting opinion;
  2. spending funds out of the contingency reserve fund without a 3/4 vote or emergency situation;
  3. refusing to provide access to strata records in contravention of section 36 of the Strata Property Act; and
  4. refusing to hold a council meeting. 
All of the above actions of the strata council were deemed to be significantly unfair to the owner who had reasonable expectations that the strata council would:
  1.  comply with the statutory obligations under the Strata Property Act:
    1. prior to spending money from the contingency reserve fund; and
    2. to permit an owner access to records and documents upon request;
  2. permit an individual elected to council by the owners to sit on council; and 
  3. comply with the strata's own bylaws. 
As a result of the above mismanagement, the CRT ordered the strata corporation to hire a strata manager as an appropriate remedy.

The CRT noted that the remedy was necessitated by the actions of the strata council, and that the increased expense of hiring a property manager was a direct result of the council's actions. The CRT also ordered the strata council to stop breaching the bylaws and the Strata Property Act.





TAEYA FITZPATRICK

Taeya Fitzpatrick has specialized in strata law for most of her practice, has won cases for her clients in the BC Supreme Court, the BC Court of Appeal, and assisted with a client succeeding in defending a Civil Resolution Tribunal claim. Taeya offers full services to a strata corporation or a strata owner from redrafting the strata’s bylaws, collection of outstanding strata fees or other charges, issues with bylaw enforcement, to amending the strata plan. For more information on the services provided, you can reach Taeya by email, phone: 250-762-6111, or at her Web Page

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