The Civil Resolution Tribunal is an online dispute resolution tribunal that handles many strata disputes as well as small claims matters under $5,000. Recently, the CRT was asked to resolve a dispute between a former owner of a strata lot and the strata corporation. Before the CRT could make a decision, it had to consider whether it had jurisdiction to resolve the claim. Continue reading “CRT Jurisdiction doesn’t Extend to Previous Owners” »
Marriage has significant legal implications on the succession of property. Yet, I don’t come across either in my practice or my reading, that many cases where a marriage is challenged on the basis that someone did not have the mental capacity to marry. I certainly don’t see as many cases challenging the validity of a marriage as I do challenging the validity of a will or transfer of property. Continue reading “Capacity to Marry: Devore-Thompson v. Poulain” »
In British Columbia, if you make a gift to one of the two witnesses to your will, or to the spouse of one of the two witnesses to your will, the usual rule is that the gift is invalid. This rule can lead to very harsh results, invalidating significant gifts to close family or friends, thwarting the will maker’s intentions.
Fortunately, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act contains a new provision allowing the court to declare that a gift to a witness, or to the spousal witness, is valid and may take effect, if the court is satisfied that the will maker intended to make the gift.
The issue of whether a strata lot is residential can have significant impact on how the strata corporation operates. Of significant concern (in many cases) is whether there are both residential and non-residential strata lots which means that any bylaw change requires 3/4 vote approval from the residential units and 3/4 vote approval from the non-residential units. But how does a strata corporation know whether some of the units are residential or not? Continue reading “What is a Residential Strata Lot?” »
In British Columbia, a trustee acting in the administration of a trust is generally entitled to be reimbursed for his or her reasonable expenses out of the trust assets. But what if the trustee makes a contract in respect of the trust assets, and there are insufficient assets in the trust to pay the amount owing? Might the trustee have to pay the shortfall out of his or her own pocket? Continue reading “Johnson v. North Shore Yacht Works Corp.” »
In my December 2, 2016 post Owner vs Strata Corporation, I noted how I successfully represented an owner in suing a strata corporation for improper bylaw enforcement. The CRT has followed this decision in its decision of Biddle v The Owners, Strata Plan NWS 1670, 2017 BCCRT 34. Continue reading “Improper Strata Bylaw Enforcement” »
A strata corporation, in certain instances, is required to sue its own owners to achieve its goals, which can include, collection of strata fee arrears, special levy arrears, fines, prevent the owner from further breaching the bylaws, collecting insurance deductibles, etc. Continue reading “Suing Strata Owners” »
The issue to be decided by a jury in Parker v. Felgate (1883), L.R. 8 P. D. 171 (Eng P.D.A.), was whether Georgina Compton was competent to make her will. There was no question that Georgina Compton had capacity to make a will when she gave her instructions to Mr. Parker. In light of her capacity when she gave instructions, what level of functioning was required for her to make a valid will at the time she answered “yes” when asked if she wished Mrs. Flack to sign on her behalf?
The ability to rent a strata lot can be very important to some owners and the entire reason that they purchased the strata lot. However, the Strata Property Act does permit a strata corporation to restrict rentals: whether any rentals are permitted; how many strata lots may be rented at a time; or the minimal term for rentals (i.e. minimum one year). Continue reading “Strata Property Act doesn’t Protect Short Term Rentals” »
In three interesting decisions from the Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”), three different strata corporations sued individual owners to collect amounts from the owners. What is interesting about those decisions is that the individual owners failed to respond to the CRT disputes and the strata corporations were able to obtain default orders regarding the claimed amounts. Because the owners didn’t respond, the CRT did not consider whether the amounts were properly claimed from the owners: it assumed responsibility. Continue reading “Default Strata Collections” »