The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently upheld an
unprecedented order for the immediate sale of a condominium unit
following the "outrageous behaviour" of the unit's
owner and her son towards their neighbours. The decision in The
Owners Strata Plan LMS 2768 v Jordison1 gives
strata councils an enhanced enforcement mechanism by permitting
them to apply to the court for a forced sale order, but only in
extreme cases where the owner has failed to comply with previous
court orders requiring them to adhere to the Strata Property
Act and strata bylaws.
Rose Jordison and her 20 year old son, Jordy Jordison, moved
into their unit in a Surrey condominium complex seven years ago.
From the moment they arrived, neighbours were subjected to
harassment and intimidation. The primary culprit was Mr. Jordison,
whose abuse targeted female residents and included obscene language
and gestures, spitting at other residents, unacceptably loud and
unnecessary noise and interference with the activities of others.
Examples of Mr. Joridson's intimidation and abuse involved him
throwing water at female residents and loudly banging on the front
door of his mother's unit whenever someone walked past. The
strata council alleged that rather than curbing her son's
behaviour, Ms. Jordison actively encouraged her son's
harassment of other residents.
Strata Council's Attempts to Enforce Compliance
When contacting the police and fining the Jordisons over $20,000
did not alter the Jordisons' behaviour, the strata council
petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court for an order compelling Ms.
Jordison to sell her unit pursuant to section 173(c) of the
Strata Property Act.2 Section 173 of the Act
On application by the strata corporation, the Supreme Court may
do one or more of the following:
(a) order an owner, tenant or other person to
perform a duty he or she is required to perform under this Act, the
bylaws or the rules;
(b) order an owner, tenant or other person to stop
contravening this Act, the regulations, the bylaws or the
(c) make any other orders it considers necessary to
give effect to an order under paragraph (a) or (b).
In a 2012 decision,3 Mr. Justice Blair ordered Ms.
Jordison to sell her unit within 90 days, at which time the strata
council would be permitted to apply for conduct of sale, and
ordered her and her son to comply with the Act and the strata
bylaws. However, the Jordisons successfully appealed the forced
sale order, but not the order to comply with the Act and strata
bylaws. In its 2012 decision,4 the Court of Appeal held
that section 173(c) is not a "stand alone" provision
capable of independent relief; rather it is intended to enhance the
efficacy of the subsections (a) and (b). Nonetheless, the Court of
Appeal left open the question of whether an order for sale could be
granted under section 173(c) where an individual had failed to
abide by an order under subsections (a) or (b).
Jailed for Contempt or Forced to Sell?
In 2013 the strata council returned to the Supreme Court seeking
an order forcing Ms. Jordison to sell her property within 30
days.5 Mr. Justice Blair granted the forced sale order
on the basis that the Jordisons had failed to comply with his 2012
order requiring them to comply with the Act and strata bylaws. He
also found that the usual penalties for contempt of court –
fines or imprisonment – would be inappropriate.
The Court of Appeal upheld the forced sale order on appeal from
the Jordisons finding that a forced sale order would be appropriate
where it was the only way to enforce compliance with the Act and
strata bylaws. The old adage "a man's home is his
castle" was held to be subordinate to the exigencies of modern
condominium living, where an individual necessarily surrenders some
degree of proprietary independence. The Court of Appeal agreed with
the lower court decision that alternative penalties would not
ensure compliance with the Act and strata bylaws.
The Court of Appeal's ruling in Jordison permits
strata councils to apply to the court for an order forcing an owner
to sell their unit where the owner has failed to comply with
previous orders requiring them to adhere to the Act and strata
bylaws. However, the forced sale remedy must be exercised
reasonably and is only available in extreme cases.
1 2013 BCCA 484
2 SBC 1998, c 43 (the "Act").
3 2012 BCSC 31.
4 2012 BCCA 303.
5 2013 BCSC 487.
The foregoing provides only an overview. Readers are
cautioned against making any decisions based on this material
alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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