A Vancouver couple slapped with fines by their strata for advertising their downtown condo on a short term rental site are fighting back in court.
Nicole and Christopher Moore have filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court asking a judge to exempt them from strata bylaws that state no owner is allowed to advertise on sites like Airbnb, or rent their homes on a short term basis.
The owners say the tenant who signed a one-year-lease left last September. They then sought out short-term renters.
“In anticipation of the lot’s vacancy, the petitioners listed the strata lot for rent online in early August 2015 for a rental period of not less than 30 days.”
However, the building’s bylaws ban rentals for periods of under a year or subletting.
They claim someone lodged a complaint, after which they were assessed strata fines and had their key fobs to the building’s recreational facilities deactivated.
The pair alleges they tried to take their issue to the strata council, but were barred from making their case fully, and further penalized.
They claim the strata’s actions were “discriminatory, oppressive, unfairly prejudicial, burdensome, harsh, and lacking in probity or fair dealing,” and have cost them rental income, increased insurance fees, and the loss of use of their own property.
The pair want to be exempted from the rental bylaws, which they claim don’t apply to them since they are the first owners of the home, other than the developer, and further claim the building’s anti-Airbnb rule doesn’t apply since it refers to how a suite is advertised, not to the physical use of the property.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.