Condo Smarts: Victoria residents’ holiday ruined by parties in unit
04 January 2017
Our strata experienced several parties over the holidays that were
unbearable for the residents. One owner rented their unit out on a
short-term basis and the renters hosted several open-house-type parties
that resulted in security problems, damage to an entry door,
unauthorized parking, and constant noise and disruptions.
We immediately contacted the owner when the problems started, with no
success. At one point, the police had to be called to clear out a party
at 4 a.m., when one of the visitors became aggressive with the
How do we stop this from happening in our building?
Kerry M., Victoria
Unfortunately, you can’t stop bad behaviour by owners, tenants,
occupants or their visitors. But you can enforce bylaws that relate to
nuisance or use of property, and you can also consider adopting bylaws
that prohibit short-term use of strata lots for Airbnb, VRBO or
These are generally business bylaws and not rental bylaws, as you do
not want to provide automatic exemptions for people who may have
owner-developer rental-disclosure exemptions.
The Strata Property Act gives a strata corporation a fair amount of
clout in dealing with tenants or guests of an owner. The landlord is
responsible for any fines and the costs of remedying a contravention of
the bylaws or rules, including any damage caused by tenants or guests.
It is vital that your strata council document every incident, complaint
and event that occurred over the holidays and closely follow the
enforcement provisions in the act.
Issue the owner a notice of complaint, itemizing all of the complaints,
dates, times, details and potential violations of your bylaws and
rules. The owner will then have the opportunity to respond in writing
or request a hearing to address the claims.
Once a reasonable period has passed, generally by the next normally
scheduled council meeting, if the owner has not responded or has
responded in writing, the council can look at the claims and whether it
will impose any fines or costs for enforcement of the bylaws.
If the owner requests a hearing, you must hold the hearing within four
weeks of the request, and the council must respond in writing within a
week of the hearing if the owner requests a decision.
Ultimately, it is up to the council to determine what fines or
penalties to impose and whether damages can be claimed. Once those have
been determined by the council, document your decision in the council
minutes and send the owner a notice or statement of the fines and
With the Civil Resolution Tribunal now in place, owners can no longer
ignore the enforcement of bylaws and fines. Strata councils by majority
decide on when to make an application to the tribunal to collect fines,
damages or request an order for an owner or tenant to comply with the
To start a claim, go to civilresolutionbc.ca.