Condo Smarts: Victoria residents’ holiday ruined by parties in unit
Times Colonist
Tony Gioventu
04 January 2017

Dear Tony:
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 neighbours.

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 hotel-type use.

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 damages.

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 strata bylaws.

To start a claim, go to

top  contents  chapter  previous  next