CRT Roundup—Limited common property, rental restrictions, responsibility to repair, unauthorized expenditures, chargebacks, and tribunal jurisdiction
June 29, 2017
BY Kevin Zakreski
Significant change in use or appearance of common property, rental restrictions, and second-hand smoke
Wong v Section 1 of The Owners, Strata Plan N.W. 2320, 2017 BCCRT 25, was a wide-ranging decision that canvassed six issues concerning “rental permission and related strata fines and loss of rental income, replacement of balcony doors and adjacent windows, replacement of a second handrail for limited common property balcony stairs, cigarette smoke from a strata lot (SL27) directly below, and expenses and fees associated with this application.”
The tribunal described the strata property at issue as follows:
The strata corporation was created in 1985. There are two sections of the strata created by bylaw amendments under the SPA. SL45 [the applicant owner’s strata lot] is part of section 1, which is made up of 54 residential strata lots. Of those 54 lots, 18 of them, strata lots 37 to 54, have limited common property stairs and balconies for the exclusive use of the adjacent strata lot. All strata lots with balconies, including SL45, are located on the third or top floor of the building. The applicant owner bought SL45 in 2005. SL45 is an end unit and shares a common wall with one other strata lot. SL27 is directly below SL45. Otherwise, SL45 does not connect to any other strata lots. The limited common property balcony and attached exterior stairs designated to SL45 are on the west side of the strata lot.
In the tribunal’s view, the “most complicated issue in this dispute” was the replacement balcony doors and adjacent windows. In response to problems with water ingress, section 1’s executive proposed repairs that would raise the door sill and replace the windows with shorter ones. The applicant “agree[d] with section 1 that it has an obligation to repair and maintain” the doors and windows, but she “submit[ted] the respondents have no right to alter her strata lot.” In section 1’s view, the doors and windows were all common property and not part of the applicant’s strata lot.
The tribunal noted that the parties’ submissions had raised an issue that has challenged courts and commentators. But, for the purposes of this decision, it wasn’t necessary to resolve whether the doors and windows were entirely common property or whether they were, at least partially, part of the strata lot. Instead, resolution of this issue turned on “who has the duty to repair and maintain those assemblies.” The tribunal found that this duty clearly fell on the strata corporation.
This answer didn’t close the issue, though. The tribunal went on to consider what the replacement should “look like,” in view of section 71 of the Strata Property Act. The tribunal found that this provision, which governs significant changes in the use or appearance of common property, applied in this case. It ordered section 1 to comply with this provision by obtaining a resolution passed by a 3/4 vote approving its proposed changes to the doors and windows.
The tribunal dealt with the handrails in a similar fashion. Here, section 1 had replaced two wooden handrails for the staircase leading to the applicant’s balcony with a single aluminum handrail. In this instance, the tribunal did “not consider the change from wood to aluminum to be a significant change in the use or appearance of common property.” Further, section 1 was also entitled to install one handrail instead of two. If a second handrail were to be installed, its cost would have to be borne by the applicant.
The rental-restriction issue turned on the applicant’s argument that she had permission to rent out part of her strata lot to “roommates.” The tribunal found that she wasn’t authorized under the act or section 1’s bylaws to do this. It also refused to extend permission granted by section 1 in one case to cover subsequent rentals. (“I acknowledge the owner’s argument that section 1 permitted rentals in 2009. However, I find I have inadequate evidence as to the terms of any such permission, if it was indeed granted. In any event, I find the relevant timeframe for this dispute is after 2011. . . .”) This claim was dismissed.
The second-hand smoking dispute was decided in the applicant’s favor: “On a balance of probabilities, I find smoke from SL27 and its deck is a nuisance to the owner and that it affects her use and enjoyment of SL45. Based on the evidence before me, I also find that section 1 has failed to adequately respond to the owner’s complaints as required under the bylaws.” The tribunal ordered “section 1 to deliver a letter to the owner of SL27 under section 135 of the SPA, demanding that they stop permitting smoking on their deck anywhere within 20 feet of the SL45 owner’s open windows, doors, or air intake. If the SL27 owner fails to comply, then I order section 1 to issue the applicable fines under its bylaws.”
Finally, in view of the divided success of the application, the tribunal ordered section 1 to pay one-half of the applicant’s tribunal fees and expenses.
Repairs and maintenance, deadlock
In Bourque v McKnight, 2017 BCCRT 26, disputes over repairs and the condition of the strata property were exacerbated by a deadlock in the strata corporation. The strata property was a duplex, and the owners didn’t see eye-to-eye on the necessity and scope of repairs to a seawall on the property or the condition in which one strata lot was maintained. As this dispute ground on, the strata corporation became deadlocked. The tribunal summed up the situation as follows:
That the strata is a duplex is at the core of this dispute, because under the Strata Property Act (SPA) and the applicable bylaws, both owners are council members and both must agree before the strata can do anything. In particular, for several years the parties have been deadlocked on a variety of issues related to the repair and maintenance of both common property and of Lot A. Broadly stated, the applicants say the respondent owner has left the property, including the Lot A side of an oceanfront seawall, in an unsightly and potentially unsafe state. In contrast, the respondent owner says her approach has been reasonable.
The applicants sought orders respecting various repairs. They also sought an order “to provide for revisions to the strata’s bylaws, in particular to establish maintenance standards and a dispute resolution process.”
The tribunal found that the issues raised with the seawall were within the strata corporation’s duty to repair and made a detailed set of orders designed to effect the needed repairs. The tribunal also accepted the applicant’s claims regarding unsightly conditions at the respondent’s strata lot and made a series of orders concerning inspections and remedies.
On the final issue, the tribunal declined to order amendments to the strata corporation’s bylaws, “at least not at this point.” Instead,
to address the dispute resolution mechanism problem, I order the strata to become a member of the Condominium Homeowners Association (CHOA). Upon referral by a complaining owner, if the parties agree, the parties should follow CHOA’s opinion if CHOA provides one, which should address any associated costs. An alternative, if the parties agree in a particular dispute, is for the parties to together choose a third party to provide a decision in a dispute referred by a complaining owner. Here, my intention is for a less formal process than is described in sections 175 to 189 of the SPA. Again, the goal is for an informal but practical solution for day-to-day disputes that may arise. The parties should follow the third party’s decision. Finally, given my conclusions above, I find it should be clear to the parties that unsightly conditions may constitute a nuisance and interfere with an owner’s right to use and enjoy the property, within the meaning of bylaw 3. I do not find that bylaw amendments are presently further required in that respect.
Finally, the tribunal ordered the respondent to reimburse the applicants for their tribunal fees.
Parking, short-term exclusive use of common property, and reasonable accommodation
Thompson v The Owners, Strata Plan BCS 1455, 2017 CRTBC 27, involved a dispute over a parking stall. The parking stall was originally one of several stalls allocated to visitor parking. The strata corporation had bylaws prohibiting owners from parking in these stalls. Owners had access to their own limited-common-property stalls.
In 2016, an owner (referred to in the decision as “A”) asked for a visitor parking stall to be allocated to her. A explained that she suffered from a physical disability and the visitor stall was (1) closer to her strata lot and (2) easier to maneuver into. A said she “was prepared to file a complaint with the [BC Human Rights Tribunal] based on the denial of appropriate accommodation for A’s physical disability.”
The strata council decided that it was under an obligation to accommodate A and acceded to her request. In turn, another strata-lot owner applied to the tribunal, seeking an order that the “common property parking stall (the VP stall) reinstated as one of the strata’s visitor parking stalls.”
The tribunal considered whether the strata’s decision could be justified by reference to the Strata Property Act. The strata corporation argued that section 76 allowed it to “indefinitely renew A’s permission to exclusively use the VP stall.” The tribunal rejected this argument. It noted that section 76 is subject to section 71 (significant change in the use or appearance of common property), and that the strata corporation hadn’t complied with section 71’s requirements.
Justification for the strata corporation’s decision could only be found in the Human Rights Code. The tribunal began its analysis of this issue by noting its jurisdiction under the code:
This dispute raises the issue of discrimination and accommodation under the Human Rights Code (Code). Section 3.8(3) of the [Civil Resolution Tribunal] Act states that the tribunal does not have jurisdiction over a question of whether there is a conflict between the Code and another enactment. However, in my view, the Act permits the tribunal to consider the Code and whether a neutral enactment may have an adverse discriminatory effect.
Further, section 3.8(2) of the Act states that the tribunal may decline jurisdiction to apply the Code, which is a discretionary provision that allows the tribunal to apply the Code. Therefore, contrary to the strata’s submission, the tribunal’s jurisdiction extends to consideration of whether or not A has a disability that requires accommodation, even though the Human Rights Tribunal (HRT) also has that jurisdiction.
Ultimately, the tribunal found that the strata corporation had reasonably accommodated A:
In summary, I find that the strata’s neutral parking bylaws have an adverse discriminatory effect on A in that she requires accommodation by the strata in the form of a different parking stall. I find the strata reasonably accommodated her by giving her the exclusive use of the VP stall as that solution did not cause the strata undue hardship. The strata’s decision to do so did not violate the SPA, given the appropriate consideration of the Code.
The tribunal dismissed the applicant owner’s claims.
Responsibility to repair damage to strata lot
In Kantypowicz v The Owners, Strata Plan VIS 6261, 2017 BCCRT 29, the applicant owner’s strata lot “was damaged by a water leak after the building exterior had been power washed on the level above the owner’s.” The applicant sought “an order that the strata repair his ceiling, which the owner estimates will cost about $1,200.” The respondent strata corporation denied liability.
The tribunal began its analysis by noting that the standard a strata corporation is expected to meeting is reasonableness, not perfection.
The strata is not an insurer. As noted in my earlier decision in Rawle v. The Owners, Strata Plan NWS 3423, 2017 BCCRT 15, courts have held that a strata is not held to a standard of perfection. Rather, it is required to act reasonably in its maintenance and repair obligations, which in this case arise under bylaw 12. If the strata’s contractors fail to carry out work effectively, the strata should not be found negligent if it acted reasonably in the circumstances. The strata has no liability to reimburse an owner for expenses that the owner incurs in carrying out repairs to their strata lot that are the owner’s responsibility under the bylaws, unless the strata has been negligent in repairing and maintaining common property
“So,” the tribunal asked, “was the strata negligent here?” In the tribunal’s view, it was not, for three reasons:
First, it is undisputed that this incident was a first time occurrence and an isolated incident. There was no reason for the strata to expect that power washing would cause this sort of leak and in particular that it would be due to failing caulking around a door sill. Second, while the 2013 depreciation report identified “some loose caulking” in its 135 page report, I do not find that reference to have been sufficiently specific so as to warrant a complex-wide investigation. Again, the standard is reasonableness.
Third, based on the invoices and the strata’s evidence, I accept the strata provided reasonable training to its workers, including the new employee. Again, while it may be tempting for the owner to look back in hindsight as to what could have been done differently, a standard of perfection is not required.
In the result, the applicant’s claims were dismissed.
Reimbursement for repairs and maintenance
Possak v The Owners, Strata Plan KAS 1959, 2017 BCCRT 31, involved a dispute over reimbursement for the cost of resurfacing a deck. Both sides agreed that the deck was limited common property. As the tribunal noted, “[t]he combined effect of section 72 of the Strata Property Act (SPA) and the strata’s bylaws is that the strata has the obligation to repair and maintain the owners’ deck.”
The respondent strata corporation offered to repaint the applicant owners’ deck. This offer was consistent with the strata corporation’s past practice for maintaining decks. But the owners refused the offer, insisting that a more-extensive resurfacing was necessary. The owners ultimately obtained the strata corporation’s permission to resurface the deck on their own. Then the parties fell into a dispute over who was responsible to pay for the resurfacing.
Eventually, “the strata offered 3 choices: 1) the strata would paint the deck as had been done with several others, 2) take a vote at its AGM, or 3) the strata would reimburse the applicants 20% of the resurfacing cost. It is undisputed that the applicants refused all 3 choices at that time, which I infer was sometime in the summer of 2015.”
In December 2015, a motion was presented to the strata corporation’s annual general meeting to have the strata corporation reimburse the applicant owners in full for the cost of resurfacing the deck. The motion did not pass.
After minutes for the annual general meeting were distributed, the owners offered to accept 20 percent of the resurfacing cost as reimbursement. The strata corporation refused to pay, arguing that this option had been rejected and was not revived by the failed motion at the annual general meeting. The owners applied to the tribunal for an order that the strata corporation pay them 20 percent of the resurfacing cost as reimbursement.
The tribunal rejected the application, coming to the following conclusion:
Once the applicants refused repainting and the strata’s 20% offer and demanded 100% reimbursement, and the AGM was called, I find the strata’s 20% offer was “off the table.” At that point, I find the applicants had assumed responsibility to bear the entire expense, subject to the outcome of the AGM. In other words, the strata was not required to make that 20% reimbursement based on its earlier July 2015 offer that the applicants had since refused.
I note the applicants’ argument that the strata was essentially responsible for the repair to their limited common property deck and thus they should be compensated. While the bylaws do require the strata to repair and maintain the deck, the applicants opted for a more complete repair that the strata council and the owners, after a vote, did not support. It is not unfair for the applicants to shoulder the burden of the associated expense which, for the 20% amount at issue in this dispute, could have been avoided had they accepted the strata’s offer in July 2015.
Limited common property balcony: gazebo, flag, and Christmas lights
The Owners, Strata Plan LMS2450 v Edwards, 2017 BCCRT 35, was a dispute over the use of a limited-common-property balcony. The applicant strata corporation asked “the tribunal to order the owner to remove a sunshade (gazebo) and a flag, along with an order to honour the time limit for displaying Christmas lights.” The respondent owner disputed the strata corporation’s interpretation of its bylaws and argued that he had permission from the strata council to install the gazebo and display the Canadian flag.
The tribunal rejected the owner’s arguments. Regarding the gazebo, the tribunal found that a gazebo wasn’t included in a list of approved items for balconies in the strata corporation’s bylaws. The owner had received permission in 2009 to install the gazebo, but that permission was capable of being rescinded. The strata council did validly rescind its permission for the gazebo, after it became the subject of a failed vote at a special general meeting on a resolution expressly to permit gazebos.
The owner was unable to cite evidence that the strata corporation had given permission to display a flag from his balcony. The tribunal found that the strata corporation had a bylaw that “sets out an exhaustive list of items permitted on a balcony, and a flag and flagpole are not included.”
Finally, the tribunal found that the strata corporation’s bylaws provided that an owner “is not permitted to display Christmas lights other than between November 15 and January 31.”
In the result, the tribunal ordered the owner to remove the items from the balcony, at his expense, and to reimburse the strata corporation for its tribunal fees.
Chargeback for damage to common property
Biddle v The Owners, Strata Plan NWS 1670, 2017 BCCRT 34, concerned a 30-unit strata corporation with bylaws restricting the age of occupants to 45 years and older. The applicant owner, who was over 80 years old, didn’t reside in her strata lot. Instead, it was occupied by her son, whom the parties characterized as a “tenant.”
The proceedings sprung from a dispute over water use. The strata corporation didn’t have individual meters for water consumption. From fall 2012 to November 2014, it noticed a marked increase in residential water consumption. A plumber was called in to investigate. The plumber provided a letter “stating that between the Fall of 2012 and November 2014 it had not been called upon to attend to any major leak or water loss in the building.”
The strata council president also did his own investigations. These investigations led him to conclude “that the increase in water usage was caused by the applicant’s son running hot water down the drain.” The strata corporation acted on this conclusion, issuing a demand for “payment of $11,000 for loss and harm to the strata arising from alleged nuisance and breach of the strata bylaws.” The applicant disputed responsibility for this loss.
The tribunal found that the strata corporation had failed to comply with section 135 of the act and set the strata corporation’s demand to pay aside:
Sections 135 (1) (a), (b), (d) and (e) of the Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c.43 (SPA) provide that a strata corporation must not impose a fine or require a person to pay the costs of remedying a contravention unless a complaint has been received about the contravention and the strata corporation has given the owner or the tenant written particulars of the complaint and a reasonable opportunity to answer it, including a hearing if one is requested. Section 135 (1) (f) of the SPA requires that if a tenant is the subject of a fine or requirement to pay the costs of remedying a contravention that notice of the complaint must be given to the person’s landlord and to the owner. After a hearing the owner or tenant is entitled to notice in writing of a decision of the strata corporation.
In Terry v. The Owners, Strata Plan NW 309, 2016 BCCA 449, the British Columbia Court of Appeal considered these sections of the SPA. The court accepted that for a fine or a requirement to pay the costs of remedying a bylaw contravention to be validly imposed that the owner or tenant must be given, in advance of the fine or the requirement to pay, notice of the complaint particulars and an opportunity to be heard. If the requirements of section 135 of the SPA are not met before the fine or requirement to pay is imposed then they are invalid and must be set aside.
In the present case there is no evidence that the strata provided either the tenant or the applicant with notice of the complaint or alleged bylaw contravention or of any proposed fine or requirement to pay to remedy the contravention. In this case the requirement to pay and any fine preceded any notice. As a result, in accordance with the Terry decision, I find that the $11,000 charge set out in the statement is invalid and must be set aside.
Chargeback for replacement of common property
In Crichton v The Owners, Strata Plan KAS431, 2017 BCCRT 33, a strata-lot owner asked the tribunal to remove a “$246.75 charge from her account with the strata.” The charge was for re-keying the building’s security locks.
In December 2015, the owner’s “car keys were stolen from her coat at a seniors centre and her car was stolen. As her car contained papers showing her home address, the strata re-keyed the strata building.” As the tribunal noted, “[t]here is one issue in this dispute: should the owner be required to reimburse the strata for its expense of re-keying the building, after her car keys were stolen?”
This issue turned on the application of the strata corporation’s bylaw 4.4, which provided that an owner must indemnify the strata corporation for losses flowing from “any replacement rendered necessary to the common property or common assets by the owner’s act, omission, negligence or carelessness.” As the tribunal observed:
section 158(2) of the SPA expressly provides for a charge-back: the strata remains free to sue an owner in order to recover the deductible portion of an insurance claim if the owner is “responsible” for the loss or damage that gave rise to the claim. Sections 130 to 133 of the SPA also contemplate chargebacks to an owner where an owner is considered responsible. Overall, I find the relevant point is that under the SPA an owner can be held responsible for their own conduct.
However, by enacting bylaw 4.4, the strata has narrowed the owner’s exposure to reimbursement to instances where she has been careless or negligent, and not just where she is “responsible” for it.
This led to the “crux of this dispute,” which was whether the owner was “careless or negligent in the circumstances that gave rise to the theft of her keys?” In the tribunal’s view, the answer to this question was “yes”:
I find a reasonable person would not leave their keys unattended and accessible to others, just as a reasonable person would not do so with their purse or wallet. What matters here is that the owner failed to reasonably safeguard her keys. That she did so is what provided the opportunity for their theft and in turn the required re-keying of the building. The owner could have brought her purse or kept her keys with her. That the owner should bear the burden of the re-keying expense, rather than all of the owners, is in keeping with bylaws 4.4 and 11.1.
In the result, the tribunal dismissed the owner’s claim.
Woytuik v The Owners, Strata Plan VIS 5970, 2017 BCCRT 32, concerned a dispute over alleged unapproved expenditures. At the respondent strata corporation’s 2016 annual general meeting, the owners approved an annual budget and a bylaw amendment allowing the strata corporation to spend up to $5000 on unapproved expenditures in a fiscal year. The bylaw amendment was duly registered in the land title office.
Minutes of a council meeting held in January 2017 and an associated interim financial statement disclosed that “expenditures for office expenses, insurance, repair/maintenance, catch basins, landscaping, snow removal and water/sewer for a total of $23,343 (year-to-date).” These items all related to line items on the approved budget. In addition, the strata corporation had incurred “an expenditure for fire safety of $394, which expenditure has no separate line item in the 2016/2017 budget.”
An owner objected to these charges. He asked the strata council to call a special general meeting to deal with them. When the council refused, the owner applied to the tribunal.
The tribunal dismissed the owner’s application, noting that it turned on a misinterpretation of section 98 of the act:
. . . I find the expenditures for insurance, catch basins, landscaping, snow removal, office expenses and water/sewer were all line items in the budget. The owners approved the budget at the AGM. Although fire safety was not a line item, the unapproved expenditure bylaw authorizes this expense. In the result, I find the fire safety expense of $394 complies with section 98(2) of the SPA and is not an unapproved expense.
The applicant has misread section 98 of the SPA. Section 98 applies to unapproved expenditures. The evidence shows that all of the impugned expenses have a specific line item in the budget with one exception, the fire safety expenditure. The strata adopted the unapproved expenditure bylaw at the AGM and registered it in the land title office. The fire safety expenditure is authorized by the unapproved expenditure bylaw. [emphasis in original]
Jurisdiction of tribunal to hear claim from former owner
Somers v The Owners, Strata Plan VIS 1601, 2017 BCCRT 28 (PDF) was a decision on a procedural issue about the tribunal’s jurisdiction. The claim involved a dispute over fines levied for an alleged contravention of the strata corporation’s bylaws. The applicant “paid the bylaw fines through his lawyer ‘under protest’ to allow the sale of the strata lot to complete.” After completion, the applicant applied to the tribunal for relief.
At issue in this procedural decision was “whether the tribunal has jurisdiction to resolve the applicant’s strata property dispute as a former owner of a strata lot within the strata.” Resolution of this issue turned on “the interpretation of ‘owner’ in the legislation.”
Section 1 (1) of the Strata Property Act defines “owner” as “means a person, including an owner developer, who is (a) a person shown in the register of a land title office as the owner of a freehold estate in a strata lot, whether entitled to it in the person’s own right or in a representative capacity, or (b) if the strata lot is in a leasehold strata plan, as defined in section 199, a leasehold tenant as defined in that section, unless there is (c) a registered agreement for sale, in which case it means the registered holder of the last registered agreement for sale, or (d) a registered life estate, in which case it means the tenant for life.” The tribunal found “that definition to be clear and unambiguous” and that it did not encompass former owners. Under section 189.1 of the Strata Property Act, only an “owner or tenant may make a request under section 4 of the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act asking the civil resolution tribunal to resolve a dispute concerning any strata property matter over which the civil resolution tribunal has jurisdiction.”
In the result, the tribunal found that it “must refuse to resolve this dispute pursuant to section 10 of the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act and I so order.”
Default orders to pay fines and correct deficiencies
The Owners, Strata Plan NW 1340 v Gounder, 2017 BCCRT 24 (PDF), was a default order concerning “outstanding bylaw fines assessed against the owner’s tenants totaling $3,588.00.”
As the tribunal noted, “[t]he owner sold their strata lot prior to the bylaw fines being paid, resulting in money being paid to the applicant at the time of sale.” There was a slight discrepancy between the amount claimed and the amount the strata corporation held in trust:
If there is a dispute over whether an owner or tenant owes money to a strata corporation, Section 114(1)(b)(ii) of SPA permits the owner or tenant to pay the disputed amount to the strata corporation to hold in trust if the tribunal has given a party an initiating notice under the Act. I am satisfied that the action taken by the applicant’s strata manager to deposit the strata’s funds of $3,577.50 relating to the outstanding amount claimed by the applicant in this dispute is in keeping with the intention of section 114(1)(b)(ii) of SPA. As a result, I find that such funds are being held in trust by the applicant strata in accordance with that section of SPA.
In the Dispute Notice, the applicant strata claimed a total of $3,588.00. However, I have found that the strata currently holds $3,577.50 in trust under section 114 of SPA. The amount of the claim and the amount of money held in trust by the strata appear to relate to the same bylaw fines and both amounts were calculated by the applicant. I cannot explain why there is a discrepancy of $10.50 between the two amounts. The discrepancy is not great and may result from a mathematical error made by the applicant when calculating either the amount claimed in this dispute or the amount it received into trust. As the applicant accepted the lessor amount at the time the strata lot was sold and released the Form F, indicating there were no monies outstanding to the strata corporation at the time of sale, I accept the correct amount of the bylaw fines is $3,577.50.
In the result, the tribunal ordered that the $3 577.50 held in trust by the strata corporation be released to it and that, “[w]ithin 30 days of this order, the respondent pay the applicant $157.14 comprising $150.00 for tribunal fees paid and $7.14 interest.”
In The Owners, Strata Plan KAS 2014 v Bracher, 2017 BCCRT 30, the applicant strata corporation obtained a default order requiring the respondent owner to “correct outstanding deficiencies [in the respondent’s strata lot] identified by the applicant in its April 2014, April 2015 and April 2016 inspection reports.” The default order also required “[w]ithin 30 days of this order, the respondent must pay the applicant: i) $5,000.00 for bylaw fines assessed under the strata bylaws and the SPA; and ii) $150.00 for fees paid to the tribunal comprising $125.00 for the application fee and $25.00 to request a default order; and iii) $12.85 in prejudgment interest under the [Court Order Interest Act].” Regarding the fines, the tribunal noted “I have not reviewed whether the fines were properly assessed as liability is assumed in default claims such as this.”