What kinds of disputes can the CRT help with?
Learn more about which disputes the CRT can and can’t help with.
What kinds of motor vehicle injury disputes can the CRT resolve?
For accidents that happened on or after April 1, 2019, the CRT can resolve disputes about:
- Entitlement to accident benefits
- Fault and damages of up to $50,000
- Whether an injury is a “minor injury”
For accidents that happened on or after May 1, 2021, the CRT can resolve disputes about entitlement to Enhanced Accident Benefits. Learn more about these types of disputes.
What types of small claims disputes can the CRT resolve?
The CRT can resolve small claims disputes for claims up to $5,000, not including interest under the Court Order Interest Act and 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 you want to make a CRT claim for over $5,000, you must reduce your claim to $5,000 or less. 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.
What types of strata disputes can the CRT resolve?
Disputes under the CRT’s strata property jurisdiction involve a wide variety of issues between strata owners or tenants and their strata corporation or section, such as:
- Interpretation and enforcement of the Strata Property Act, regulations, bylaws or rules
- Issues about common property or assets of the strata corporation, including maintenance and repairs
- Money owed, including strata fees, special levies and fines
- Unfair actions, threatened actions or decisions of the strata or section
- Irregularities in meetings, voting, minutes or other governance issues
In a strata property dispute, the CRT can make an order requiring a party to do something, stop doing something, or pay money.
Under its strata property jurisdiction, the CRT can’t resolve disputes that don’t involve the Strata Property Act, even if they occur in a strata. For example, a dispute between two owners may not fall under the CRT’s strata property jurisdiction. See, for example, Alameer v. Zhang, 2021 BCCRT 435.
The CRT also doesn’t have jurisdiction over claims about harassment by another owner or council member, or claims about a council member acting in a conflict of interest. See, for example, Rishiraj v. The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 1647, 2020 BCCRT 593.
Depending on what your claim is for, even if it isn’t under the CRT’s strata property jurisdiction, you may be able to file it under the CRT’s small claims jurisdiction. The CRT can resolve small claims disputes for claims up to $5,000, not including interest under the Court Order Interest Act and dispute-related expenses. Some types of claims can only be resolved by the BC Supreme Court.
If you’re not sure whether your claim is within the CRT’s jurisdiction, use the Solution Explorer to learn more about strata disputes. You can also search the CRT’s decision database to read previous CRT decisions about similar issues.
How do I know if BC is the right jurisdiction for the dispute?
In order for the CRT to have jurisdiction over a dispute, there must be a real and substantial connection between British Columbia and the facts in the dispute.
Sometimes this happens if the situation giving rise to the dispute occurred in BC, or if the applicant or respondent lives or carries on business in BC.
If a party disagrees that there is a real and substantial connection between the dispute and BC, they can ask the CRT to determine if another forum is clearly more appropriate. A tribunal member may consider factors including:
- Where the alleged wrong occurred
- Where the parties carry on business
- Fairness to the parties
- The need for an efficient process to resolve the dispute
The legal test for this is known as “forum non conveniens”.
What types of disputes CAN'T the CRT resolve?
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 decide matters that affect land, such as:
- Ordering the sale of a strata lot
- Builder’s liens
- Court orders respecting rebuilding damaged real property
- 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 make orders about the division of family property or family debt under the Family Law Act.
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
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.
The CRT cannot decide a minor injury determination or damages and liability claim under its motor vehicle injury jurisdiction unless the claim happened in BC on or after April 1, 2019 and there was a bodily injury. Damages and liability claims for accidents that occurred before April 1, 2019 can be heard by the tribunal under the CRT’s small claims jurisdiction, which is limited to claims of $5,000 or less.
The CRT cannot decide an accident benefits claim under its motor vehicle injury jurisdiction unless the claim happened on or after April 1, 2019.
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 pay the application fee.
If you haven’t applied yet and aren’t sure if your dispute is within the CRT’s jurisdiction, you may want to get 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 resolve your dispute.
The first step is to use the CRT’s self-help tool, the Solution Explorer. It will help you learn more about your dispute, 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.
If your dispute is something the CRT can resolve, at the end of your exploration you will be given the right application form for your dispute type.
Our intake staff will review your application. If the CRT determines that it can’t help you, our intake staff will contact you to let you know.
You’ll be given the opportunity to make submissions to the CRT about why you think your claim is within the CRT’s jurisdiction.