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The CRT is going to be very different from other dispute resolution options that have been available in British Columbia. The CRT will give you choices about how, when, and where you resolve small claims and strata property (condominium) disputes, built around your needs and your life.
When the CRT opens in 2015, you will be able to use it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from a computer or mobile device that has an internet connection. Your interaction with the other participant and/or the CRT can be done when it works for you.
I think that your direct and active participation is an important part of reaching a resolution with the other participant(s). CRT will provide a new process with information and support along the way to help you get to a satisfactory resolution as early as possible. We will only make a decision for you if you and the other participants cannot agree on your own solution.
The CRT provides a single online location for an end-to-end process that guides you from information through to resolution of your strata (condominium) property or small claims problem.
When it opens, the CRT will be voluntary for parties with small claims disputes as well as strata (condominium) owners and tenants. This means that you will be able to choose whether to resolve your dispute through the CRT process or the existing court system. However, if a party decides to use the CRT to resolve a dispute against a strata corporation, the strata corporation will have to participate in the CRT process.
We hope you’ll be able to reach a satisfactory result as early as possible – either directly with the other party, with the assistance of one of our expert case managers/facilitators or through adjudication by one of the members of the tribunal.
Need a bit of help? Telephone or chat assistance will be available in the information stage and an expert case manager/facilitator can be requested at a later stage.
Here are the phases in our end-to-end process:
Information, problem diagnosis and self-help
To start, you’ll use the Solution Explorer to answer straightforward questions about your issue. You’ll be guided to useful information, problem diagnosis and self-help. Self-help can include tools like templates, calculators or checklists that will help you prepare for and take steps toward resolution.
Once you know more about your issue, you can invite the other party involved in the dispute to negotiate using the online negotiation tool.
Case management and facilitated dispute resolution
If you and the other party are not able to resolve your dispute on your own, you may invite one of our expert case managers/facilitators to help you reach resolution. The case manager/facilitator can facilitate the discussion, provide a reality check or a neutral evaluation.
Not able to work it out? You can ask for the tribunal to make a binding decision.
We can provide some information and guidance about your options for obtaining the best results after completion of the dispute resolution process.
You will be able to file final decisions and orders of the tribunal with either the B.C. Provincial Court or B.C. Supreme Court. Once filed, the tribunal’s order can be enforced the same way as an order of that court.
Feedback and Continuous Improvement
The CRT will be asking people questions about their experience and will be using that information to modify and improve the service on a continuous basis.
What about people who can’t or don’t want to use an online tribunal?
The CRT is being designed primarily as an online tribunal. We believe that most people will find this a more straightforward, convenient, timely and affordable option. A lot of people currently find their resolution options too costly, time consuming and complex.
We will be providing some other options for people who want to use the CRT, but aren’t able to use the online process. For those who don’t want to use the CRT, the Provincial and Supreme Courts of BC remain options.