Civil Resolution Tribunal Act
British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal Act (2012) established a new dispute resolution body, the Civil Resolution Tribunal. The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act was amended in 2015. The Tribunal will be implemented in phases, starting with the early intake of strata (condominium) disputes in July 2016.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal will provide an accessible forum for the resolution of a wide variety of strata property disputes and small claims. The tribunal will encourage people to use a broad range of collaborative dispute resolution tools to resolve their disputes as early as possible, while still preserving adjudication as a valued last resort. It is intended, as with the Family Law Act, to encourage a collaborative, problem-solving approach to dispute resolution, rather than the traditional adversarial litigation model.
In order to cut cost, delay and complexity for the users of B.C.’s justice system, the Civil Resolution Tribunal will combine proven technology with the flexibility, case management and dispute resolution strengths of British Columbia’s administrative justice system.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act was amended May 14, 2015. The changes mean that the CRT will become the first step for people with small claims and many types of strata disputes once the CRT is fully operational.
The act provides the Civil Resolution Tribunal authority to resolve:
- Small claims disputes where the parties decide to take the matter to the tribunal instead of the court, up to a maximum value of $25,000 for
- Debt or damages
- Recovery of personal property
- Specific performance of an agreement relating to personal property or services, or
- Relief from opposing claims to personal property
- Strata disputes between owners of strata properties and strata corporations for a wide variety of matters such as:
- Non-payment of monthly strata fees or fines
- Unfair actions by the strata corporation or by people owning more than half of the strata lots in a complex
- Uneven, arbitrary or non-enforcement of strata bylaws (such as noise, pets, parking, rentals)
- Issues of financial responsibility for repairs and the choice of bids for services
- Irregularities in the conduct of meetings, voting, minutes or other matters
- Interpretation of the legislation, regulations or bylaws, and
- Issues regarding the common property
The tribunal will not decide tribunal matters that affect land, such as:
- Ordering the sale of a strata lot
- Court orders respecting rebuilding damaged real property
- Dealing with developers and phased strata plans
- Determining each owners’ per cent share in the strata complex (the “Schedule of Unit Entitlement”)
Such matters will continue to be heard in the Supreme Court, as will the following matters:
- Appointment of an administrator to run the strata corporation
- Orders vesting authority in a liquidator
- Applications to wind up a strata corporation
- Allegations of conflicts of interest by council members, or
- Appointment of voters when there is no person to vote in respect of a strata lot
How the Civil Resolution Tribunal will work
The Civil Resolution Tribunal will offer services designed to encourage early, resolution of disputes through online information and resolution, telephone facilitation and other such services. For the small number of cases where formal adjudication is required, the tribunal will actively case manage the dispute so that the adjudication is conducted quickly and efficiently. In all cases, the level of resources applied to a dispute will be proportionate to the nature of the dispute and the issues involved.
For more information:
- 2012 Civil Resolution Tribunal Act
- Civil Resolution Tribunal website
- News release and backgrounder
- Bill 44 Civil Resolution Tribunal Act (third reading)
- 2015 Civil Resolution Tribunal Amendment Act (third reading)
- News release
- Bill 19 Civil Resolution Tribunal Amendment Act
- Information for strata property owners