Condominiums – Leaky – Court Disallowed Fines for Breach of Rental Bylaw; Owners Entitled to a Hearing #316

Feb 01, 2000

CATEGORY:   
TAGS:            

PRINT


By Gerry Neely
B.A. LL.B.

Two strata owners, who were faced with a rental bylaw limitation, rented their condominium to their adult children without seeking permission from the strata corporation. At various times over several years, permission to rent was denied, then given, and then denied. The owners tried unsuccessfully, in a poor market, to sell their unit, which was located in a building showing signs of water damage. Eventually, fines were imposed. They exceeded $10,000 at the time the owners applied to the court for cancellation of the fines. The owners also applied for an order that the strata council’s failure to give them a hearing was oppressive. In turn, the strata corporation applied for an injunction to restrain the owners from leasing the unit to their children.

The judge cancelled the fines on the basis that, to enforce the bylaw, the strata council should have applied earlier for the injunction. Considering the history of the problem, failing to do so led unreasonably to the accumulation of fines.

The judge also said the owners were entitled to a full and fair hearing of their appeal based on hardship. To do this, the judge had to overcome a 1985 decision of the BC Supreme Court. The decision held that economic hardship alone wasn’t sufficient to establish the type of hardship that justified an appeal of a rental limitation bylaw to the strata council.1 The judge did this by accepting that economic hardship, combined with a leaky condo problem, required the strata council to not unreasonably refuse the owners' request for an exemption from the rental bylaw limitation.

It is interesting to speculate whether this reasoning would also apply to an owner attempting to sell in a poor market.2

  1. Von Scottenstein v. Strata Plan 730 (1985), 64 B.C.L.R. 376.
  2. Willson v. The Owners, The Highlands Strata Corporation (Strata Plan LMS 222), SCBC, Reasons for Judgment, November 26, 1999.

To subscribe to receive BCREA publications such as this one, or to update your email address or current subscriptions, click here.

Without limiting the Terms of Use applicable to your use of BCREA's website and the information contained thereon, the information contained in BCREA’s Legally Speaking publications is prepared by external third-party contributors and provided for general informational purposes only. The information in BCREA’s Legally Speaking publications should not be considered legal advice, and BCREA does not intend for it to amount to advice on which you should rely. You should not, in any circumstances, rely on the legal information without first consulting with your lawyer about its accuracy and applicability. BCREA makes no representation about and has no responsibility to you or any other person for the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of the information supplied by any external third-party contributors.

What we do



Popular tags within Legally Speaking



Popular posts from BCREA

  • Housing Market Update – February 2024
    Feb 16, 2024
  • Mortgage Rate Forecast
    Dec 13, 2023