An owner sued the strata corporation and the strata corporations’ property manager alleging she suffered injuries as a result of inhaling toxic paint fumes when a painting company engaged by the strata corporation repainted the common property hallways and stairways in both of the strata buildings: Wingrave v. Pure Painters Inc. ,2018 BCSC 58.
The owner’s claims against the strata corporation and its property manager were summarily dismissed. The court found that the strata council and strata property manager acted reasonably in hiring the painting company. The strata corporation and strata property manager chose the painting company because they had a good reputation and were a reasonable choice. The strata council observed their work and found it to be reasonable and done in a professional manner. The owners of the building were all provided with notice of the painting in the building through meeting minutes and signs were posted everywhere in the building one could expect to find them during the work.
The court further found that the painting never reached a stage of posing an objectively reasonable risk of harm. Furthermore, the owner failed to prove that the defendant, the strata corporation breached their duty of care required in the circumstances. A strata council’s standard of care is set out in Section 31 of the Strata Property Act.
Strata Council’s Standard Of Care
This case is a reminder as to the strata council’s standard of care. The Strata Property Act sets out a council member’s standard of care at section 31:
31 In exercising the powers and performing the duties of the strata corporation, each council member must
(a)act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the strata corporation, and
(b)exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person in comparable circumstances.
This standard of care is not one of perfection. The court will review the actions of the strata council members and consider whether based on the evidence the council member did not act in the best interest, honestly and in good faith. The standard is an objective, meaning that the court will hold the council member to the standard expected from a reasonable person who is informed of all the facts and put in a comparable situation. The courts will also look at the context in which the standard of care was executed.
The moral of the story is make sure you hire companies that are reputable and are a reasonable choice. As well, make sure that the strata council is following section 31 of the Act.
This article is for general information only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. If you have questions or require legal advice please contact Maris Holmes.