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Burnaby strata owner on the hook for Airbnb guest breaking into mailboxes

The Civil Resolution Tribunal has ruled a Brentwood condo owner using his apartment as an Airbnb is responsible for a $5,000 strata repair bill after his guest vandalized the building's mailbox and stole letters and parcels.
Juneau Street strata
A condo owner at 4465 Juneau St. in Burnaby is on the hook for a $5,000 repair bill after his Airbnb guest vandalized the building's mailbox and stole letters and parcels.

A Burnaby condo owner who was using his apartment as an Airbnb when a guest vandalized the building’s mailbox and stole letters and parcels has failed to get a $5,000 repair bill from the strata cancelled by the province’s Civil Resolution Tribunal.

Xu Yang, who owns a condo on the fifth floor of a Brentwood highrise at 4465 Juneau St., applied to the tribunal to stop the strata from charging “the unreasonable amount of money,” according to a CRT ruling last week.

Yang said he’d been charged a total of $7,201.15 in repairs to the mailbox and other unrelated fines.

The strata charged Yang $5,001.15 after it concluded a guest using Yang’s strata fob had vandalized the mailbox and stolen letters and parcels on Sept. 7, 2020, according to the ruling.

Tribunal member Micah Carmody found the strata’s conclusions about how the mailbox was vandalized were supported by the evidence.

“That evidence includes fob-use records identifying when Mr. Yang’s strata lot fob was used to access the front door and elevator, video surveillance footage, photos and statements from a concierge and from a strata council member,” Carmody wrote in a July 28 ruling.

Yang, who didn’t deny he was running an Airbnb at his condo, contrary to strata bylaws, was also fined three times for using the apartment as a short-term rental, according to the ruling.

Carmody concluded the strata was entitled to impose the fines.

Ten out of 11 other fines – for things like guests making excessive noise at 2 a.m., cigarette butts and a cigarette box falling off the apartment’s balcony, an oil stain in the parking garage and guests not waiting for the parking gate to close before proceeding – were also allowed to stand.

“The evidence shows that before imposing each fine, the strata wrote to Mr. Yang advising of the complaint, providing details, and advising Mr. Yang that he could respond in writing or request a hearing,” Carmody wrote. “There is no evidence that Mr. Yang responded to any letter.”

But Carmody did knock about $500 off the fines based on technicalities in relation to the Strata Property Act.

And the strata was also ordered to reimburse Yang $112.50 in CRT fees.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor


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