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September 5, 2018

Mould in Vancouver condo prompts human rights complaint against strata


A Vancouver condo owner enmeshed in a years-long battle against her strata has filed a human rights complaint saying there is toxic mould in her unit, which she says has exacerbated her health problems. 

Anne Kates owns an apartment in Vancouver’s West End. Like many residential buildings in B.C., hers is a strata-titled property. The strata manages the land in common and is responsible for repairs to that land. Homeowners are responsible for repairs to their units.

Kates first filed a complaint at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal against the strata in November 2016, saying toxic mould was permeating part of her condo.

She said it was caused by a water leak into the building, which the strata is responsible for repairing.

The strata argues that Kates is responsible for the damage in her suite.

The strata tried to have the case dismissed, but the tribunal recently denied its application and the case was allowed to go forward.

According to the decision, some of the ongoing health problems Kates has faced because of the mould include “significant heart and lung ailments.”

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Tony Gioventu, executive director for The Condo Home Owners Association of B.C., says the complaint is a classic case of a strata facing expensive maintenance and repairs. 

“One of the challenges with very high real estate prices is the affordability issue, which tends to put pressure on owners making decisions on things like maintenance and renewals and long-term planning,” Gioventu said.

Both Kates and the strata declined to comment.

Keep reading on CBC News


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