Can CRT decisions be appealed?

The case of The Owners, Strata Plan BCS 1721 v Watson, 2017 BCSC 763, is the first case where a strata corporation has sought leave to appeal a Civil Resolution Tribunal ("CRT") Decision. The CRT decision was regarding the reasonableness of a move-in, move-out fee levied by the strata corporation.

The CRT Member had determined that the amount of the fee was unreasonable because it did not reflect the actual cost that the strata corporation experienced when an owner moved in or out and reduced the amount that the strata corporation was permitted to charge.

To be granted leave to appeal the strata corporation had to meet the test set out in Section 56.5 of the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act:
(a) whether an issue raised by the claim or dispute that is the subject of the appeal is of such importance that it would benefit from being resolved by the Supreme Court to establish a precedent;
 (b) whether an issue raised by the claim or dispute relates to the constitution or the Human Rights Code;
(c) the importance of the issue to the parties, or to a class of persons of which one of the parties is a member; and
(d) the principle of proportionality.
 The Court was satisfied that it was important whether the CRT member made an error of law in her analysis and that the Supreme Court's decision would establish a helpful precedent for these types of cases in the future. As a result, leave to appeal was granted on the question of:
  1. Whether the tribunal member correctly considered whether the strata corporation's approach to setting the fee amount was objectively reasonable; and
  2. Whether the tribunal member correctly considered whether the fee was significantly unfair to the tenant. 
The amount in question was over a few hundred dollars in user fees. However, the strata must have decided that the cost of appealing the decision was worth it because of the effect of the CRT decision on the strata's ability to charge user fees to owners.





TAEYA FITZPATRICK

Taeya Fitzpatrick has specialized in strata law for most of her practice, has won cases for her clients in the BC Supreme Court, the BC Court of Appeal, and assisted with a client succeeding in defending a Civil Resolution Tribunal claim. Taeya offers full services to a strata corporation or a strata owner from redrafting the strata’s bylaws, collection of outstanding strata fees or other charges, issues with bylaw enforcement, to amending the strata plan. For more information on the services provided, you can reach Taeya by email, phone: 250-762-6111, or at her Web Page

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