Not only can the CRT make default orders against a respondent that fails to file a response to a claim, but the CRT can make default orders against a party that files a response and fails to respond to communications from the CRT.
As previously discussed in a past post, there is an ability to overturn default orders. However, once a default order is granted, overturning it will be more difficult than simply responding to the process in the first place. Further, there is always the risk being denied the request to overturn the default decision.
In the case of Johnston v The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 67, 2017 BCCRT 124, the strata corporation representative failed to respond to several emails and phone calls from the CRT. The CRT found that the strata corporation had abandoned the process after providing a response. As a result, the appropriate remedy was to award the owner their requested orders without further input from either party.
As a result, the strata corporation was ordered to:
- Refund the owner $400 for unauthorized withdrawal of funds from the owner’s bank account;
- Refund the owner $45 for the non-sufficient funds fee charged to the owner’s account; and
- Remove the $100 parking bylaw fine from the owner’s account.
All orders were granted without consideration as to whether the strata corporation had properly charged the amounts to the owner because the strata representative failed to respond.