Government of British Columbia Creates Online Arbitration Service1778
Seeking a way to deal with property disputes more efficiently, the British Columbia government has launched an online service for arbitrating disputes concerning condo fees, parking, pets and other property issues. The government is promoting the online service as a better solution than litigation to most petty disputes, and is preparing legislation that would make it mandatory for all disputes valued under 10,000 dollars.
The new service will be up and running by summer of 2015. People can initiate arbitrations, upload materials, and check the status of their case 24 hours a day.
Most people in the property or legal professions applaud the move, citing the expensive, slow-moving, and often confusing process of litigating such disputes – with costs often towering far above the actual value in dispute. Many condominium associations also hop the tribunal behind the online service will block frivolous disputes. Many associations have problems with moneyed members using constant complaints to dominate and wear down the other owners with fees and legal actions, but the new online service will be empowered to block and dismiss such frivolous actions at little or no cost.
The online arbitration process is expected to take an average of 60 days and will cost about 200 dollars. The process will begin with a simple application. The named party will be alerted and given time to respond formally. There will be no cost at this stage, and if the two sides can agree without further activity the case will be closed at no charge. If no agreement is reached, a mediator will be assigned and will work with both parties to find a solution. If this is unsuccessful, the case will be referred to an arbitration tribunal.