Should a strata have gone to court over $40? ( photo)

Should a strata have gone to court over $40? ( photo)

Mission strata took owners to court over $40

Court time used to settle small case

Living under the rule of a strata council isn’t always easy because of the many rules and dealing with different personalities.

But usually calmer heads prevail and people find a way to get along.

Not, however, in the case of one 36-unit Mission strata council that battled with two owners over fees and ended up in court.

The amount of the fees the strata felt was owed? Just $40.

The battle ended up in the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal with the strata trying to get money from two owners, a mother and a daughter.

“This dispute is about $40 in strata fees the respondents each paid to the strata … the respondents each now say they did not owe. The strata claims that the respondents have not paid a shortfall in monthly strata fees … The $40 figure relates to the claimed shortfall because the respondents submit they were not legally obligated to pay a shortfall (but still paid). As such, the respondents each deducted $40 from the amount requested by the strata.”

Both sides had a chance to back down and accept the other party’s argument – or reach a compromise – but it instead ended up at the tribunal.

“It is undisputed that the respondents made other attempts to pay, by cheque and cash, the amount they thought they owed the strata after deducting the … shortfall they had already paid,” reads the tribunal report. “The strata refused to accept payment of any alternate amounts by returning the respondents’ cheques and refusing payment by cash.”

READ MORE: Bears ‘knock’ on Mission front door

Part of the dispute covered the timing of when the budget was actually approved.

That led to the tribunal report noting this: “If a fiscal year to which a budget relates ends before a new budget is approved, the owners must, until the new budget is approved, continue to pay the same monthly strata fees they were required to pay under the previous budget.”

In the end, the tribunal found that the shortfall of $90 demanded by the strata was only partially correct and the two owners were correct in withholding $40 of it. The two owners then only had to pay out $50.



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