- This story was first published May 13, 2022

A poorly worded strata rule has allowed a Lake Country condo owner with Alberta plates to avoid paying the fines dished out against her.

The Lake Country strata had sent Jade Laycock $130 in fines because she'd failed to provide it with proof her husband's truck, registered in Alberta, was insured.

However, Laycock took the strata to the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal and won her case.

According to a May 11 Civil Resolution Tribunal decision, the Lake Country condo where Laycock lives with her husband passed a bylaw saying that all vehicles must have a valid license and insurance in the province of B.C. and condo residents with out of province plates must advise the strata council of the reason why.

Two weeks after the strata passed the rule, it emailed it to the residents of the condo, but with slightly different wording.

A month after the rule had been passed the strata emailed Laycock and asked her to provide insurance details for the truck with Alberta plates.

Laycock replied saying she "wanted to do some research" on whether the strata could request such information.

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Several months later she provided the strata with a letter from the truck’s insurer saying it was insured in B.C. through a brokerage in Alberta.

The strata then sent her a $130 fine for failing to provide the information earlier.

However, the Tribunal picked apart the wording of the rule and ruled against the strata.

The Tribunal said the email outlining the rule sent to condo owners only said out-of-province plate holders had to explain why.

"(Laycock) wrote that her husband drove the vehicle between Alberta and B.C. and used it in both provinces. I find that (the rule) did not require anything further," the Tribunal ruled. "In particular, it did not require Ms. Laycock to provide proof of insurance."

The Tribunal then ordered the strata to immediately cancel the fines.

In the decision, there is no explanation given as to why the strata needed to know why a resident had out-of-province plates, or what reasons for owning an out-of-province vehicle would be acceptable.

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- Correction: This story was updated 8:50 a.m. Saturday, May 14, 2022, to clarify it was rule that was badly worded and not a bylaw.

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