An Update on the Civil Resolution Tribunal
February 24, 2017
BY British Columbia Law Institute
While the BCLI is working on projects to reform the Strata Property Act and to identify opportunities for financing litigation, the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) continues to implement new programs that will bring changes in both areas.
The CRT has been handling strata property disputes since last year. Last month, in a presentation to the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC, the CRT reported that since their online strata property tribunal was implemented in July 2016, their Solution Explorer has been visited over 3,700 times and they have received 216 applications for dispute resolution.
In a major new initiative, this year the CRT will start handling small claims disputes. In a recent interview with Legal Feeds, CRT chair Shannon Salter said that the online small claims dispute resolution system will likely begin with a lower threshold than the $25,000 limit which applies for small claims and gradually increase. The CRT has taken the following steps in order to implement this new service:
Beta version Solution Explorer for Small Claims
In December, the CRT launched a beta version of the Solution Explorer for small claims disputes. The Solution Explorer, which is already fully functional for strata disputes, is a self-help tool that allows users to find legal information specific to their issue. The Solution Explorer asks users to answer several questions regarding their situation, before providing helpful information on how to resolve the problem.
Changes to the CRT Rules
In January, the CRT began public consultation on changes to the CRT Rules. The changes are meant to ensure that the Rules work for small claims disputes. Interested members of the public can read the draft changes to the CRT Rules.