I live in an apartment. I was not aware of the strata bylaws and as such I erected a shed on my deck which is a

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Customer: Hi there. I live in an apartment. I was not aware of the strata bylaws and as such I erected a shed on my deck which is a contravention of the bylaws. I received a letter notifying me of the infaction. I responded within the specified period. Within my response, I requested to be heard on the matter in person at the next council meeting. I was never invited to attend a meeting on this matter. Council held the meeting and voted that the shed be removed. I have since received a notice saying that they will be levying fines of $200 for each month the shed stays up. However, Under the strata property act of BC, Pursuant to section 34.1 of the strata act, council must hold a meeting to hear the applicant within one (1) month of the date of receipt of the council application.I was never invited to be heard on this matter.Further to the above, I applied for permission to keep the shed. I included detailed plans and a written description of the alteration and agreed in writing to take responsibility for any expenses relating to the alteration. The strata corporation must not unreasonably withhold its approval under bylaw 7.1. Can they still fine me? Or, can I keep the shed up (without being fined) as they missed their deadline for hearing me on the matter?
JA: Hi. What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: BC, Canada
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I replied to their first letter advising of the infraction on May 2, 2021. I requested a hearing in that letter and also submitted a request to keep the shed. I head nothing back until I checked my mail yesterday. In it was a letter dated July 7. They advised me that the shed must be removed immediately and that they have levied a fine of $200/month until it is removed. I have until 14 days of the date of the letter (so I have until Juy 21) to reply. I have not replied yet.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not other than I live in the apartment with my best friend who is the owner. She is in the loop on all communications.
Answered by Joey in 4 hours 1 year ago
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Joey
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Joey, Expert

Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer.  My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.

Just a general disclaimer that this conversation is for informational purposes only. I am licensed Canadian lawyer; however, you would need to retain a lawyer to take any legal action and/or preserve any of your legal rights. I may be away from my desk from time to time, but rest assured I will always return back as soon as possible.

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Joey, Expert

Good morning – sorry to hear about your situation. Generally speaking, the strata can fine you for any violation of the bylaws. It appears they are not following the rules regarding your request for a hearing. You could try to call a special general meeting if you have 20% of the owner’s votes to have this rule changed. If none of the above works and they refuse to consider your request, then you could bring a claim against the strata with the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). The CRT deals with strata disputes and rules that are unfair. Here is a link with more information on that process: https://civilresolutionbc.ca/how-the-crt-works/getting-started/strata-solution-explorer/

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Joey, Expert

Hi again – just wanted to do a final follow up before ending our conversation. Did you have any additional questions about this issue?

Customer
Hi Joey. If they did not grant my hearing within 4 weeks as per the the strata act, is there a statute of limitations that applies? Ie. they missed their window and therefore, I can keep the shed?
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Joey, Expert

Generally speaking, you have a right to be heard in person under Rule 7.2.  Since you requested it and they did not respond, your fine likely is not enforceable at this time. However, the rule would still remain on the books and is still enforceable.

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Joey, Expert

Does that help answer your question today or did you have any follow up questions?

Customer
I think that answers my question. Thank you.
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Joey, Expert

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I wish you the best of luck. If you have any follow up questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

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