BC Supreme Court grants strata corporation wide-ranging order restraining strata-lot owners from engaging in further disruptive and abusive behaviour
April 12, 2016
BY Kevin Zakreski
The Owners, Strata Plan NW 1245 v Linden, 2016 BCSC 619, is another example of strata corporation going to court to obtain an order directing strata-lot owners to comply with bylaws or to refrain from disruptive behaviour.
The case involved a 95-unit residential strata property located in Burnaby. The petitioner was the strata corporation. The respondents were the registered owner and residents of a strata lot.
The petitioner sought injunctive relief from the court in the face of what its affidavit evidence described as
excessive noise by yelling, screaming, singing, playing loud music, slamming doors, and allowing their dog to bark not only in their unit, but also outside and in the common areas. They also describe abusive conduct and damage to property.
Although one of the respondents “appeared on the hearing of the petition and made submissions,” the respondents didn’t file any evidence of their own.
Ultimately, the court concluded that it was
satisfied that the extensive affidavit evidence supports the conclusion that the respondents have frequently caused excessive noise and engaged in harassing conduct that has unreasonably interfered with the rights of their neighbours to quiet enjoyment of their own units. This conduct is contrary to the Bylaws. Although the respondents have repeatedly been fined, their conduct remains unacceptable.
The court granted the strata corporation an order specifically restraining the respondents from the following conduct:
- communicating with or visiting members of Strata Corporation, as well as their families and guests, that have given affidavit evidence in support of the Strata Corporation’s Petition or such other members of the Strata Corporation that have asked the Respondents to refrain from having contact with them;
- uttering any abusive, obscene, or threatening comments or making obscene gestures directed at any member of Strata Corporation, their families or their guests;
- intentionally listening into other strata lots in the Strata Corporation;
- vandalizing common property, limited common property or other strata lots of the Strata Corporation;
- slamming or pounding on the doors in their strata lot or anywhere else in the Strata Corporation;
- allowing or encouraging their dog to bark incessantly in their strata lot or on the common property of the Strata Corporation;
- leaving dog feces anywhere on the common property of the Strata Corporation;
- yelling, screaming, singing or otherwise raising their voice on the common property of the Strata Corporation or on the outside deck of their strata lot; and
- yelling, screaming, singing or otherwise raising their voice in their strata lot in a manner that constitutes a nuisance between 8:00 pm and 8:00 am.
The court also granted the strata corporation “judgment in the amount of $3,400.00 for the unpaid fines levied against the respondents for their Bylaw infractions” and ordered the respondents to pay the strata corporation’s costs for the proceeding.
The strata corporation didn’t receive everything it requested from the court. The court declined to make “certain additional orders, such as an order that the respondents pay the cost of restoring the property to its original condition if they install the air conditioner without permission, and an order that the petitioner may apply for sale of the respondents’ unit if they do not comply with the other orders,” reasoning that such orders
anticipate that the respondents will ignore the orders for injunctive relieve that I have granted. In my view, the petitioner must proceed on the assumption that the respondents will govern their conduct in accordance with the orders that I have made. In the event that they do not, it will be open to the petitioner then to apply for the appropriate relief.