It's been under development for some time, and now the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is really starting to take shape. The CRT is a long-awaited voluntary mechanism to resolve many strata and small claims disputes.
The CRT is scheduled to launch in 2015, and will be available 24/7 online. High-level descriptions of the process and the tools that will be available are offered on the new CRT website, which debuted in November: www.civilresolutionbc.ca.
Shannon Salter was appointed as Chair of the CRT earlier this year. She is specifically qualified for this position, with her experience as a commissioner of the Financial Institutions Commission, vice president of the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals and vice chair of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal.
While the CRT will be able to handle many strata disputes, matters that affect land or that deal with significant issues in a strata complex will be outside of the CRT's mandate. The Civil Resolution Tribunal will be able to address disputes 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),
- issues of financial responsibility for repairs and the choice of bids for services,
- irregularities in the conduct of meetings, voting, minutes or other matters,
- interpretation of the legislation, regulations or bylaws, and
- issues regarding the common property.
BCREA has supported alternative dispute resolution since 2010, and congratulated the provincial government in 2012 when the legislation was passed. The Association believes the CRT will provide strata owners and renters with an affordable way to settle disagreements and help improve compliance with the Strata Property Act.