Owner forced to sell unit for son’s bad behaviour

 

The Court of Appeal for B.C. has ordered an owner to sell her unit after years of bad behaviour by her son (click for the decision). The owner and her son ignored the condominium’s warnings and fines (which are permitted under the Strata Property Act, but not under the Condominium Act, 1998). The court acknowledged that these types of cases often involve competing interests: the individual owner’s right to property and the other owners’ rights to quiet enjoyment. The court said:

[25]         A large and liberal interpretation of s. 173(c) should empower the court to provide an effective remedy.  The competing private property interest which supports strict interpretation must, in my opinion, yield to the rights and duties of the collective as embodied in the bylaws and enforceable by court order.  The old adage “a man’s home is his castle” is subordinated by the exigencies of modern living in a condominium setting.  In Principles of Property Law, 5th ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2010) at 366, the learned author, Bruce Ziff, writes:

            Participation in condominium projects necessarily involves a surrender of some degree of proprietary independence.  An owner is at the mercy of the rules enacted through the internal decision-making process.  That is only logical. … Likewise, uses that directly and adversely affect the physical enjoyment of neighbouring properties need to be regulated.  These are problems that occur in all communities, and one of the attractions of the condominium lifestyle is that there can be a measure of control over the petty annoyances that often occur in urban habitats.