Civil Resolution Tribunal Jurisdiction
What types of strata disputes can I bring to the CRT?
The CRT can resolve a wide variety of disputes between owners and tenants of strata properties and strata corporations, 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
- Unfair, arbitrary or non-enforcement of strata bylaws, such as noise, pets, parking, rentals
- A strata’s failure to enforce its bylaws
- Financial responsibility for repairs
- Irregularities in meetings, voting, minutes or other governance issues
- Interpretation of the legislation, regulations or bylaws
- Issues about common property
The CRT can only help with disputes where the event triggering the dispute happened in BC.
What types of small claims disputes can I bring to the CRT?
The CRT can resolve small claims disputes $5,000 and under, not including interest or dispute-related expenses. These disputes include:
- debt or damages
- recovery of personal property
- personal injury
- specific performance of agreements involving personal property or services
If your claim is over $5,000, you must reduce your claim to $5,000 or less in order to make an application for dispute resolution at the CRT. This means you “abandon” the amount that is over $5,000. But be aware that once you abandon an amount, that part of your claim is gone and you can’t claim for it again, at the CRT or anywhere else.
For more information about the CRT’s small claims jurisdiction, see the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, section 3.1.
What types of disputes can’t be taken to the CRT?
The CRT is not able to decide certain disputes. Some of these will need to be filed in BC Supreme Court, BC provincial court, or with another tribunal. Others may not be valid legal claims at any court or tribunal.
The CRT cannot decide matters related to terminating or dissolving your interest in land or your strata lot.
The CRT cannot resolve disputes by or against former owners of strata property.
The CRT cannot decide matters that affect land, such as:
- Ordering the sale of a strata lot
- Builder’s liens
- Court orders respecting rebuilding damaged real property
- Dealing with developers and phased strata plans
- Determining each owner’s percent share in the strata complex
The CRT cannot decide matters that involve slander, defamation or malicious prosecution.
The CRT cannot enforce orders from the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) or the Employment Standards Branch (ESB). These need to be enforced at the BC Provincial Court.
The CRT cannot decide the following matters relating to significant issues in a strata complex:
- Appointment of an administrator to run the strata corporation
- Orders vesting authority in a liquidator
- Applications to wind up a strata corporation
- Remedies under section 33 of the Strata Property Act for an alleged conflict of interest by a strata council member
- Appointment of voters when there is no person to vote in respect of a strata lot
The CRT cannot resolve a dispute if the event triggering it did not happen in BC.
If someone has already filed a dispute at the CRT, the same dispute cannot be filed with the CRT a second time.
The CRT cannot decide a claim if that dispute has already been filed or resolved through another legally binding process or other dispute resolution process.
The CRT cannot resolve a dispute if it is frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process.
The CRT cannot resolve an issue requiring the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The CRT cannot resolve a dispute if the limitation period has expired.
The CRT cannot decide a dispute if the claim is against the government, or if the government is a party to the dispute.
Can I claim CRT fees and dispute-related expenses?
Which parties are government?
Provincial Government – Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of BC (including ministries, tribunals, etc)
Federal Government – Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (including ministries, tribunals, etc)
Local Government (for example, a municipality)
Can you tell me if the CRT has jurisdiction over my issue?
The CRT can’t tell you if we have jurisdiction over your dispute until you submit your application for dispute resolution, and you pay the required fee.
If you want to know if your claim is within CRT jurisdiction before you file your dispute with the CRT, you may want to seek legal advice.
The CBABC’s Lawyer Referral Service may be able to put you in touch with a lawyer who will provide a 30-minute consultation for a nominal fee.
Access Pro Bono operates clinics around British Columbia that offer free legal services to those who qualify.
If the CRT can’t help me, when will I be notified?
You may be able to find out on your own whether or not the CRT will be able to help you. The first step is to use the CRT’s self-help tool, the Solution Explorer. It will help you learn more about your problem, and what you might be able to do to resolve it. The Solution Explorer may also give you letter templates to send to the other party, and can tell you what your legal rights are.
At the end of your exploration, if the Solution Explorer says that your problem is something the CRT can help with, then you can file an application for dispute resolution online. The CRT will receive your dispute application, and a Resolution Support Clerk will review it. If the CRT determines that it can’t help you, a Resolution Support Clerk will contact you to let you know.