It may be time to update your bylaws and rules.
Picture this – you are at home in your condo cooking up a delicious dinner for your conservative parents who are set to arrive shortly. Suddenly you smell the distinct aroma of cannabis wafting through the open windows from the condo next door.
What do you do?
You immediately launch an official complaint to the strata council.
Dealing with a Complaint as a Strata Council
The strata council is now faced with a precarious dilemma. The council members need to respond promptly and when responding, they will be held to an extremely high standard. How should a council attempt to navigate this area of law? If a complaint like this was mishandled, there may be a human rights complaint to follow, with a Supreme Court of BC action or a Civil Resolution Tribunal claim headed your way.
The strata council needs to have carefully drafted and enforceable bylaws and/or rules on hand in order to address this issue. The strata council will look at what their bylaws and/or rules currently state in order to properly enforce the owner’s complaint. If the bylaws do not address this specific issue then there may be little the council can do to remedy the complaint.
Consult with a Lawyer Regarding Cannabis Changes
It is important that the strata consult with a lawyer and update their bylaws to take into consideration the changes that are and will be happening around marijuana in Canada. There are options for the strata on what restrictions are appropriate – and what the goals are of the strata in allowing or restricting use of marijuana. Most strata may currently have limited tools available to deal with a complaint – ie. a nuisance bylaw or a restriction against the use of the strata lot that may increase the risk of fire.
Growing Cannabis Plants in Strata Lots
Strata councils will also be faced with the issue of growing cannabis in strata lots, possibly up to 4 plants per household. Strata councils were previously able to restrict owners from growing plants by relying on the fact that such activity was illegal. But, this will change with the new cannabis laws in Canada.
Is Your Strata Ready for This Change?
Consult with Christy Lovig, Maris Holmes or another member of the Doak Shirreff Lawyers LLP strata property group today for legal advice on this and other strata matters. Our team works with your specific strata needs and can craft a plan for every budget!
This article does not address specific instances when medical marijuana is required for medical purposes for a strata lot owner, occupant or tenant – please contact us for further clarification.