Strata owners fight over a lot of things.
This one involved residents hanging bicycles off devices in their carports.
What device exactly?
Well in this case, it was a question of whether it was a rack or a hook.
As a B.C. Civil Resolution ruled, the distinction is important in deciding the dispute at hand.
George Chayka filed an application with the tribunal, claiming the strata was not enforcing its bylaws against bike racks.
Chayka thought that his next door neighbor's bike that was hanging on the wall was “unsightly”.
His neighbour, Nick Petrie, argued that his bike was hung on a hook by the wall, not on a rack.
The strata reasoned that hooks are not prohibited.
As tribunal member Kathleen Mell wrote in her reasons for decision, the main issue is whether the device is a hook.
According to Mell, the strata’s bylaws state that residents must “not display or erect fixtures, poles, clotheslines, racks, free standing storage sheds and similar structures permanently or temporarily on limited common property, common property or land that is a common asset”.
Mell noted that she reviewed the pictures of the bike hanging from the apparatus.
“It is not a simple hook,” Mell related.
“It is a hook that loops through the front wheel of the bicycle,” the tribunal member continued. “The hook is then attached to a metal piece that the wheel itself rests on. The longer metal piece connects to the entirety of the rounded part of the wheel where it meets the wall. The longer metal piece is affixed to the wall by screws.”
Chayka also submitted a picture from a seller’s website showing a similar device.
“It is called a ‘hanging bike rack wall mount’,” Mell wrote.
According to Mell, the strata and Petrie have “not provided any evidence that the device is not a bike rack except pictures from a distance where you cannot actually see the device in any detail”.
“The respondents’ submission is that it is a hook because it has a hook,” Mell wrote. “The close-up pictures show that the device is clearly larger and more complex than just a hook.”
Based on the evidence, Mell ruled that Petrie’s hanging device is a rank, and therefore prohibited under the strata’s bylaws.
Mell ordered Petrie to take down the bike rack.
Chayka claimed that other owners are using similar devices in contravention of the bylaws.
Since these owners were not named in the dispute, Mell declined to make an order regarding their contraptions.
“It is up to the strata to enforce the bylaws and take appropriate steps to ensure that other owners are complying with the bylaws,” Mell wrote.