North Van strata seeks to force sale of former ‘hostel’ townhouse

The North Vancouver strata council that spent years in the courts trying to shut down a recalcitrant townhouse owner’s illegal hostel is again asking the courts to force the sale of the home.

In October 2018, Emily Yu was found in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order that she stop using her three-bedroom townhouse as a hostel, which was not permitted under her strata bylaws. She was later fined $5,000 for civil contempt.

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But rather than paying the contempt fine, Yu tried to have the courts’ earlier decisions tossed out at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, which dismissed her application.

In August, the court gave Yu 60 days to pay the $52,100 in legal bills her strata spent fighting her in court, which she still has not done, court documents state.

“Miss Yu spends her efforts trying to oppose instead of taking responsibility and dealing with the court’s orders and to compensate my client for a substantial sum of money that has only been created by her unlawful behaviour,” said Stephen Hamilton, the strata’s lawyer, in court on Wednesday.

In their application, the strata asks the court to grant them conduct of sale of Yu’s townhouse unit, meaning they could hire a Realtor, list the townhouse for sale, and force Yu to allow showings.

They also are seeking an order banning Yu from buying or renting a unit within the same complex.

The application was to be heard in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday, but Yu persuaded the judge she was not given enough time to prepare a legal response.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies tersely pointed out Yu had still not yet even paid the $5,000 contempt fine she was ordered to pay seven months earlier.

“This has been going on now for many, many months. When is it going to come to an end?” he said. “You are obligated to pay that money. There are court orders. Why should you get more time when you have not made any efforts to pay?”

In response, Yu produced a $5,000 certified cheque to cover the contempt fine. The cheque is now in the hands of the court.

“I have 100 per cent integrity to deal with this matter,” she said. “I just want it to be fair because I feel, in this process, I have not been fairly treated.”

Davies said he disagreed that Yu had been treated unfairly but, since she paid the contempt fine, adjourned the case for one month.

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