Condo Smarts: What is a ‘reasonable’ alteration to a unit?

Dear Tony: We live in a 26-unit townhouse complex in the Tri Cities area (Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody). Unlike conventional side-by-side townhouses, we have one on top of the other. Thirteen owners enter their units from the lower road to a garage, and 13 enter through the upper road into a garage.  One owner on the lower level has requested permission for a makeover of her unit that would include removal of the interior walls, creating a large open-concept area. She claims it would have no impact on any other strata lot.  The neighbours on both sides and above have opposed the request, saying the changes in the structure could significantly affect their units. The owner has threatened court action if we don’t grant her permission, as our bylaws say we cannot unreasonably withhold our approval.  What does the term unreasonable mean? There is nothing in our bylaws or the act that provides a definition, and council is concerned that whatever decision we make, we will be exposed to a possible court action from the neighbours or the owner requesting the alterations.     Read the Q&A…………..


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