Strata Alert: Appeals and judicial reviews of Civil Resolution Tribunal decisions

Appeals and judicial reviews of Civil Resolution Tribunal decisions

By Paul G. Mendes and Robert A. Mallett


Paul G. Mendes, Partner                                                              Robert A. Mallett, Associate
Phone:  604-685-4894                                                                  Phone:  604-685-3560
Email:                                                               Email:


The Civil Resolution Tribunal is now the forum for resolution of many strata-related disputes. In fact, it is likely that the Civil Resolutions Tribunal has issued more decisions on strata property law since 2016 than the BC Supreme Court issued over the past two decades. But what if the Civil Resolutions Tribunal “got it wrong?” A Civil Resolution Tribunal decision may not be the end of the dispute.

The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act (the “CRT Act”) at present allows parties to appeal a strata property claim decision to the British Columbia Supreme Court within 28 days. This provision is found at section 56.5 of the CRT Act.

This is an area of potential confusion. The judicial review process is different than an appeals process, although both are handled by the BCSC. The judicial review process is governed by the Administrative Tribunal Act and the Judicial Review Procedure Act.

At present, only decisions regarding strata property claims may be appealed. Judicial review is applicable to all other decisions of the Tribunal.

The BCSC summarized the appeals process in its recent decision The Owners, Strata Plan BCS 1589 v. Nacht, 2018 BCSC 455.

The BCSC may confirm, change or set aside a decision of the Tribunal after a successful appeal. The BCSC may also refer the claim back to the Tribunal for reconsideration with an explanation of the court’s interpretation of the law.

A party cannot simply appeal a decision because they disagree with the result. The parties must all consent to the appeal or the BCSC must grant leave to appeal. Additionally, the CRT Act states that the appeal must be regarding “a question of law arising out of the [CRT] decision.”

This means that appeals based only on different views of facts or evidence will not be granted. The court will only intervene if the Tribunal’s decision can be shown to be unreasonable:  The Owners, Strata Plan BCS 1721 v. Watson, 2018 BCSC 164.

Proposed amendments to the CRT Act may soon change this. Bill 22 is at present moving through the Legislature and would specify that the process to revisit all Tribunal decisions is through a judicial review. The bill may require the BCSC to give more deference to some Tribunal decisions on strata-related matters.

Parties generally must represent themselves at the Tribunal. They may represent themselves at the BCSC although the processes there are more formal and complex. Parties should consider seeking legal advice if they are involved in the appeal or judicial review of a Tribunal decision.

WHAT WE DO: Lesperance Mendes represents and advises strata corporations and strata owners on disputes before the Civil Resolution Tribunal, including appeals and applications for judicial review. If you need help starting or defending a Civil Resolution Tribunal matter, please call Paul G. Mendes, partner, at 604-685-4894 or by email at

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE:  This article provides general information and should not be relied on without independent legal advice.