All strata buildings have a set of bylaws and rules that owners and tenants must follow. When entering into a tenancy, your landlord should have you sign a “Form K”, which indicates that you have been notified of the current bylaws and rules. Even though you are not an owner, you may still be subject to fines or fees. For example, you might have to pay fees when moving in and moving out according to section 7(f) of the Residential Tenancy Regulation, or you may have to pay fines levied by the strata corporation if you disturb neighbours or damage property according to section 131 of the Strata Property Act (SPA).
If a strata corporation charges a tenant a fee or fine that the tenant feels is unjust, unfair, or is unreasonably high, a tenant can apply to challenge the fee through the Civil Resolution Tribunal. A tenant should consider inform themselves about the Strata Property Act and Strata Property Regulations before beginning such a process.
A strata corporation can also try to evict a tenant under section 138 of the SPA by serving a One Month Notice for Cause under section 47 of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA). However, even though this section exists in the SPA, the RTB has been known to deny jurisdiction in such cases at dispute resolution, claiming that a strata corporation does not fit the definition of “landlord” in section 1 of the RTA. This is a grey area of the law where the SPA and RTA somewhat contradict each other. If you receive an eviction notice from a strata corporation, the safest action is to not ignore it. Instead, apply for dispute resolution and allow an arbitrator to rule on the matter.
- Watson v The Owners, Strata Plan BCS 1721 – 2017 CRT 10 – a decision by the Civil Resolution Tribunal, where the Tribunal ordered move-in fees returned to the tenant.