Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions we get about the CRT, the dispute resolution process, and using our services.
About the CRT
Is the CRT the same as a court?
The CRT is an administrative tribunal, not a court. But like a court, the CRT is part of the public justice system, its tribunal members are independent and neutral, and it is required to apply the law and make enforceable decisions.
The CRT has jurisdiction over most strata property disputes of any amount, and small claims disputes under $5,000. Starting April 1, 2019, the CRT will have jurisdiction over many motor vehicle injury disputes. Later in 2019, the CRT will also have jurisdiction over societies and cooperative association disputes.
In many cases, you have to use the CRT and not the court to resolve disputes in these areas.
Do you have an office in my city or town?
The CRT is Canada’s first online tribunal. All our services are available online.
Email is the best way to communicate with the CRT. If you can’t use or don’t have email, call us at 1-844-322-2292 (toll-free in North America).
The CRT office isn’t open to the public. Please mail any paper forms to the address specified on the form.
What if I don't have or can't use a computer?
You can save time and $25 if you apply online.
If you can’t apply online, call our friendly intake staff at 1-844-322-2292 and ask for a paper application form.
You can also apply at any ServiceBC location. They have Community Access Terminals for applying online, and paper forms if you don’t want to apply online.
Can you resolve my dispute?
The CRT can resolve most small claims disputes $5,000 and under, and strata property disputes of any amount.
On April 1, 2019, the CRT will also start resolving many motor vehicle accident and injury claims of up to $50,000.
But there are some types of disputes the CRT can’t resolve. See our Jurisdiction page for details.
Do you think my claim will be successful?
The CRT is an independent, neutral decision maker. Our staff can’t provide legal advice or tell you how likely you are to succeed.
If you need advice about your chances of success, you may want to get professional advice from a lawyer or legal services provider before applying with the CRT for dispute resolution.
How long will the dispute resolution process take?
The CRT aims to resolve disputes as fairly, quickly, and affordably as possible, but every dispute is different.
The time to resolve a dispute depends on whether the parties can reach an agreement earlier in the process, and the amount of issues and evidence in the dispute.
Getting started and using the Solution Explorer
What if the Solution Explorer doesn’t have a category for my dispute?
You can explore categories that you think are related to your dispute. You might still find useful information. You might also be able to apply for dispute resolution that way.
You can also make a general application for disputes that don’t fit any of the categories.
Where is the application form?
Use the Solution Explorer to classify your dispute and get the correct application form.
If your type of dispute is something the CRT can resolve, at the end of your exploration you’ll get a Summary Report with a link to start your application for dispute resolution.
Applying for dispute resolution
Can I have a lawyer represent me?
In some cases, yes.
For motor vehicle injury disputes filed on or after April 1, 2019, you can have a lawyer represent you.
For small claims and strata property disputes, you may need to ask the CRT for permission to have someone act on your behalf. Our application form will guide you through the process.
See our Helpers and Representation page for details.
My request for a representative was denied. How can I appeal it?
If the CRT decides you can’t have a representative, the representative decision can be judicially reviewed at the Supreme Court.
But if your circumstances change or you didn’t provide a reason for your request, you can submit a new request.
Keep in mind the person you wanted to represent you can always act as a helper, even if they aren’t allowed to speak on your behalf. See our Helpers and Representation page for details.
Can I make a claim against my ex-spouse or ex-partner?
Yes, if you lived together for less than 2 years or your dispute is about something that happened after you separated.
Other situations are generally family law disputes, which the CRT can’t resolve.
If you’re not sure if your dispute is a small claims or family law matter, you may want to get professional advice from a lawyer or legal services provider.
After your dispute application is accepted
Can I have more time to serve the Dispute Notice?
You can request a time extension for serving a Dispute Notice.
Log in to your dispute, follow the options to provide proof of notice, and choose the option “Request more time to serve the Dispute Notice”.
CRT staff will follow up with you about your request.
How can I make a change to my dispute?
It depends on what the change is, and at what stage of the dispute resolution process you’re at. Contact us for more information.
If you haven’t submitted your application yet, you can make changes at any time by logging in to your incomplete application. (If you created an application as a “guest” and didn’t create an account, you’ll have to start your application over again.)
I served someone the Dispute Notice, but they didn’t respond. Now what?
You’ll have to prove that you followed the instructions for giving notice by submitting the Proof of Notice form to the CRT.
If the CRT agrees that you gave notice properly, then a CRT member can issue a default order. This means the dispute resolution process will continue without input from the person or organization that didn’t respond.
How do I reset my password for the online portal?
Click the “Forgot Your Password?” link on our online portal and follow the instructions.
If it still doesn’t work, or the portal says you haven’t been granted access to the dispute, call our friendly intake staff at 1-844-322-2292.
Responding to a dispute
I received a Dispute Notice. What is it, and how do I know it's legit?
A CRT Dispute Notice is a legal document. It tells you who made a CRT claim against you and what they want the CRT to order you to do.
Here’s what a sample Dispute Notice looks like.
Do I need to respond to a Dispute Notice?
Yes. If you receive a CRT Dispute Notice, it means a legal claim has been made against you.
Follow the instructions in the Dispute Notice package for submitting a response, and the timelines for responding.
What happens if I don’t respond to a Dispute Notice?
If you don’t respond to a CRT Dispute Notice, then the dispute will proceed without you.
The claim won’t just go away. You may have a default order entered against you, which can be enforced like a court order.
Can I have more time to respond to the Dispute Notice?
You can request a time extension for responding to a Dispute Notice.
Log in to Respond to a Dispute, and choose the option “Request more time to respond”.
CRT staff will follow up with you about your request.
I don't think this dispute has merit. Why did the CRT accept it?
When someone submits an application for dispute resolution, the CRT decides whether to accept the claim based on whether the CRT has jurisdiction.
We don’t decide at the beginning of the process whether a claim will be successful. That’s the job of the independent CRT member who makes a final decision on the dispute, if necessary.
Case management, negotiation and facilitation
What if I don’t want to negotiate?
The negotiation process is voluntary, and you don’t have to participate in it.
But if you reach a negotiated agreement, your application fee will be refunded and your agreement will be turned into an enforceable court order.
The other party ignored the request for negotiation. Now what?
The negotiation process is voluntary, and nobody can be forced or ordered to participate in it.
The other party might just be waiting for a case manager to help with settlement discussions.
Once a case manager is assigned to the dispute, they aim to contact all parties within 3 weeks after the Response Notice is sent.
Do I have to participate in facilitation?
Yes. Parties are required to participate in facilitation, where a case manager will help you try to reach an agreement.
If you can’t reach an agreement, an independent CRT member will make an enforceable decision about your dispute.
When will you assign a case manager to my dispute?
Case managers are usually assigned within 3 weeks after the Response Notice is sent.
How will I know who my case manager is?
Once a case manager is assigned to your dispute, they will contact you to introduce themselves.
When do I submit evidence?
Getting a decision
Who will make a decision about my dispute?
If you can’t reach an agreement, an independent CRT member will decide your dispute.
All CRT members are expert decision-makers and are appointed after an extensive merit-based competition process.
When will you assign a tribunal member to my dispute?
Your dispute will be assigned to a CRT member within 3 days after the tribunal decision preparation process is finished.
What won’t the CRT order someone to do?
Generally, the CRT won’t order a party to apologize.
For strata property disputes, generally the CRT also won’t remove members from the strata council, interfere with a strata’s democratic process, or write bylaws for the strata.
When and where is the hearing for my dispute?
CRT hearings are almost always done in writing.
This means both parties upload their evidence online, and submit their side of the story in writing.
For the decision preparation process, why do I have to re-submit information about my dispute?
Any discussions that happen during the negotiation and facilitation stages are confidential. That means the independent CRT member is not allowed to view them, and they can’t be used to make a final decision about your dispute.
If you weren’t able to reach a settlement, you need to tell your story again from the beginning so the independent CRT member can make a final decision based only on the facts and evidence.
Where are you located, so I can drop off my evidence?
How do I upload my evidence?
When will I get my decision?
Once your dispute is assigned to a CRT member, you will be given an approximate date of when your decision will be sent to you.
Will the decision and my name be made public?
In most cases, yes. The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act requires that final decisions and orders must be posted to the CRT’s website, where they are available to the public.
But if a party or witness is concerned that information in a final decision or order would be harmful to their privacy or security, they may request that this information be redacted or anonymized.
Generally, if a decision involves a minor or similarly vulnerable person, the CRT will anonymize the decision or take other steps to protect the vulnerable person’s privacy.
After a settlement or decision
How do I collect the money I’m owed?
It’s up to you to start enforcement proceedings for a CRT order. The CRT doesn’t enforce orders.
Your next steps depend on what type of order you’re enforcing (small claims or strata), and the amount of any payment ordered. See How the Process Ends for details.
What if I don’t agree with the decision?
If you don’t agree with a CRT decision, you have options.
If your Dispute Notice was issued: You can: Before December 31, 2018 Ask the BC Supreme Court for permission (“leave”) to appeal the decision. After January 1, 2019 Ask the BC Supreme Court for judicial review of the decision.
Small Claims Decisions:
If your decision is a: You can: Merit decision File a Notice of Objection form with the CRT, then file a Notice of CRT Claim with the BC Provincial Court. Default decision If you’re a respondent and had a default decision made against you, you can ask the CRT to cancel the decision by filing a Request Cancellation of Decision form.