Focus On

CONDOMINIUMS - Financial management - Unit holders - Duties of

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 @ 6:12 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Application by Strata Plan LMS 2154 (the strata corporation) for an assessment of its reasonable legal costs and related disbursements as against the respondent 0752737 B.C. Ltd (075). 075 was a registered owner of one of the strata units. On June 16, 2016, the strata corporation’s strata manager wrote to 075 requesting payment of outstanding arrears of strata fees in the amount of $5,356. On September 8, 2016, the strata manager again wrote to 075 regarding the outstanding arrears. On June 7, 2017, the strata corporation filed a lien on title to 075’s unit, claiming that the amount owing was $7,467 as of June 2, 2017. By September 27, 2017, the strata manager retained Access Law Group to pursue collection of the arrears. On or about October 27, 2017, 075 paid the outstanding arrears in full plus $450 toward the strata corporation’s legal fees. However, by that time, additional unbilled legal costs had been incurred. The strata corporation took the position that 075 was obliged to pay those as well, which it declined to do. In September 2020, the strata corporation changed legal counsel to Hamilton & Company. Hamilton & Company’s mandate was to recover the balance of the outstanding legal fees for the work done by the strata corporation’s previous counsel. The demand for legal costs was now for $11,946.

HELD: Application allowed in part. Some of the times recorded were high and there were some examples of duplication. The total for the second Access Law account was assessed at $4,015. The total for the Hamilton & Company accounts and anticipated fees and disbursements was assessed at $2,839. Therefore, the reasonable legal expenses and related disbursements of the strata corporation were allowed against 075 in the amount of $6,855.

Strata Plan LMS 2154 v. 0752737 B.C. Ltd., [2021] B.C.J. No. 1507, British Columbia Supreme Court, Master J.W. Bilawich, July 9, 2021. Digest No. TLD-August162021003