Starting a Dispute
How do I file my dispute with the CRT?
The following outlines the basic application process for starting a dispute with the CRT. You may also review the CRT rules for starting a dispute through the button below.
Use the Solution Explorer for free legal information and tools to resolve your dispute! You’ll need to use the Solution Explorer before you can file an application for dispute resolution with the CRT. The Solution Explorer will lead you to the CRT’s application form.
2 Request a Hearing
If your dispute is with your strata, you must request a hearing with your strata council before applying for dispute resolution with the CRT. If you apply for dispute resolution without first requesting a hearing, the CRT will direct you to request a hearing before accepting your dispute. If you have a good reason why you cannot request a hearing, the CRT may waive this requirement.
3 APPLY FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION
At the end of your Solution Explorer exploration, you’ll see a Summary Report. The Summary Report has a button to begin your application for dispute resolution, if you can’t resolve your dispute on your own. You’ll be given an application checklist, which you should review before you start your application. You can review some CRT Dispute Application examples below.
If you’re having difficulty with the Solution Explorer, you can contact the CRT directly.
4 Pay the fees
You’ll need to pay the fee for an application for dispute resolution before the CRT will accept your dispute. If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver. You can pay your fee or ask for a fee waiver as part of your application for dispute resolution (Read more about CRT fees.)
5 Receive the dispute notice package
We’ll send you a dispute notice package. This will contain information about your next steps.
6 Provide notice to all parties
You’ll need to provide a copy of the dispute notice package and a blank response form to all parties in the dispute. This must be done within the time frame provided by the CRT.
7 Provide proof of notice to the CRT
After you provide notice to the other parties, you’ll have to complete a Proof of Notice Form. This form has to be returned to the CRT within 10 days of providing notice to the other parties.
8 Wait for other parties to respond
After you’ve provided notice to the other parties, you’ll have to wait for them to respond. We’ll send you a copy of their response when we receive it, or let you know if they don’t respond within the applicable time frame. If they do respond, we’ll let you know what the next steps are. This will depend on whether they agree with your claim, disagree with your claim, make a counterclaim against you, or make a claim against a third party. If they don’t respond, you can apply for a default order using the Request for Default Order form.
Can I hire a lawyer or have someone else help me with my application?
The CRT is designed to be used without being represented by a lawyer. You are welcome to have a helper though. This helper can be a lawyer if you want, or a trusted friend or family member. Helpers can help you fill out paperwork and deal with the CRT. However, a helper can’t speak on your behalf. If you need someone to speak on your behalf, and you aren’t a minor or someone with impaired mental capacity, you can ask the CRT’s permission during the application process.
How do I name parties in my application for dispute resolution?
Sometimes it can be complicated to name the other parties, especially if you are dealing with a strata corporation or a business. The CRT’s application form and staff members will help you figure out how to name the other parties properly. This is important, because if you want to enforce a decision against them, you’ll need to have named them accurately. More information on identifying parties can be found here.
How do I provide notice to the other parties?
After you submit an application for dispute resolution, you’ll receive your Dispute Notice package. You’ll need to provide this to the other parties in the dispute. There are rules about how and when you have to provide notice. These rules are in the instructions in the Dispute Notice package. If you don’t follow these rules, the CRT might dismiss your dispute.
Do I need to start my claim within a certain time period?
Any legal claim that can go to a court or a tribunal almost always has to be started within a set period of time. After this time runs out, a court or tribunal can refuse to consider your claim, no matter how strong your case would have been.
The time limit is called a limitation period. It’s like a countdown that only stops once a case is started with the CRT or a court. Learn more about limitation periods.
Can the CRT refuse my application?
The CRT may refuse to provide a Dispute Notice if you do not provide the requested information or payment by the requested date. The CRT may also refuse to provide a Dispute Notice if the claim is not in CRT jurisdiction, or the limitation period has expired.
If the CRT refuses to provide the Dispute Notice, you may re-apply to the CRT. However, it’s likely the CRT will take the same action unless you are able to provide the required information and payment.
Here are four dispute scenarios. These will help you to understand how to use the CRT application form when you are submitting an application for dispute resolution to the CRT. Pay attention to the way that each person has filled out the application form. This will help you to understand the type of information that you should provide. Remember to be as brief as possible when filling in the application form, and to use respectful language.
Example 1 – Strata
The first example is of a couple who own a strata lot. They have left town twice, and both times their son has got into trouble with the strata. The first time, their son and his friend were using the pool after it had closed for the night. When they got back from their trip, they had a fine from the strata for $200. The second time their son got into trouble, he parked his car in the visitors parking for a few nights. When they got home from their trip, they had a fine from the strata for $1,400 for this. To see how they would fill out an application form for this issue, click Example Dispute 1.
Example 2 – Strata
The second example is of a person who owns a strata lot. A few months ago, their neighbour brought home a dog. The neighbour works graveyard shifts, and the dog barks all night long. The person filing the dispute isn’t able to sleep since the dog’s barking keeps them up all night. They’ve tried talking to the dog’s owner about it, but were not successful. To see how they would fill out an application form for this issue with the CRT, click Example Dispute 2.
Example 3 – Small Claims
The third example is about improperly performed services related to a home renovation. A couple hired a construction company to renovate their kitchen including a granite countertop which was quite expensive. Upon completion of the contract the contractor invoiced and the couple paid for the services provided as outlined in the agreement. One month later the countertops started to crack and pull away from the rest of the kitchen cupboards. The couple repeatedly tried to contact the contractor by email and phone to see if he would come by to fix these deficiencies and yet the contractor did not respond. The couple tried to reach him for about four weeks. When he still did not respond they decided they needed a better way to resolve the situation. They wanted the contractor to repair the countertop back to a satisfactory condition as it was upon completion of the renovation. To see how they would fill out an application form for this issue with the CRT, click Example Dispute 3.
Example 4 – Small Claims
The fourth example is about defective or faulty goods. A woman purchased a used vehicle from a car dealership. She drove the car home that night and it seemed to run well. The next day when she was driving on the highway smoke started coming from the engine. She pulled over immediately, was upset and frightened and had to get a tow truck to bring the vehicle to the nearest garage. The mechanic let her know that the vehicle engine was on its last legs and was probably not worth fixing given the overall value of the car. The woman contacted the car dealership and spoke to the person who sold her the vehicle. She was upset because the car sales person was not willing to refund her any money or fix the vehicle. She decided she needed to pursue in a different approach and get some help as this did not seem fair to her. To see how they would fill out an application form for this issue with the CRT, click Example Dispute 4.