The British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) remains open, and to help people resolve disputes during the COVID-19 pandemic, is extending statutory deadlines and waiving fees for those struggling financially.
The CRT, which operates online 24/7, has the authority to resolve disputes involving:
- strata property, societies and co-operative associations;
- small claims valued at $5,000 and under; and
- motor vehicle personal injury cases valued at $50,000 and under.
Recognizing that many British Columbians are struggling with disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CRT will consider extending deadlines for applications and dispute responses upon request.
The CRT has extended deadlines for respondents who are impacted by the pandemic until at least May 15, 2020. For this reason, the CRT will not process new applications for default decisions and orders from March 18, 2020, until at least May 15, 2020. A default decision is when the CRT decides in favour of an applicant because the other party did not respond to the dispute by the deadline.
Anyone who needs the CRT to consider waiving, suspending or extending a mandatory time period is encouraged to contact the tribunal immediately, with their dispute number and the reason for the request, by email or phone. The CRT can consider altering timelines only during a declared state of emergency. Once the state of emergency ends, regular deadlines will apply.
The CRT waives fees for those who cannot afford to pay them. CRT fees, for items such as filing an application for dispute resolution, adding third-party claims or filing a notice of objection over a decision, range from $25 to $200.
People with low incomes do not have to pay CRT fees. If a person cannot afford CRT fees due to a COVID-19 related loss of income, but do not yet fit the fee waiver guidelines, they can contact the CRT with their dispute number and the CRT will consider their request. People can also ask for a fee waiver at any time in the CRT process if their circumstances change.
The CRT is monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it progresses and may extend the May 15, 2020, timeline further in the interest of fairness. Further updates will be posted on the CRT website.
To learn more about the CRT’s COVID-19 response, visit: https://civilresolutionbc.ca/covid-19/
To learn more about CRT fees, visit: https://civilresolutionbc.ca/resources/crt-fees/
To learn more about CRT fee waivers, visit: https://civilresolutionbc.ca/resources/crt-fees/#what-if-i-cant-afford-crt-fees