Many of you may already know that effective June 1, 2013 the new Limitations Act (the “Act”) is now in force. Under the new Act (Section 6) the limitation period for most claims including debt claims/collections (e.g. arrears in strata fees, unpaid special levies, move in fees, and most other amounts due and owing by a strata owner to the strata corporation) has been reduced to two years – this is unlike the old Limitation Act which provided for 6 years for most claims in debt. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it is good practice to use two years as a rule of thumb and if you are unsure, consult your lawyer. The clock starts to tick on your limitation period on the date which you obtain right to commence an action.
Take note of the following:
- All causes of action that arose on or before May 31, 2013 remain subject to the old Limitation Act, which was generally 6 years for most claims in debt;
- All causes of action arising after May 31, 2013 will be subject to the new Act and most subject to a 2 year limitation period;
- A Form F may not be a useful tool to force payment because it is arguable that it cannot be withheld on a transfer where the limitation period associated with the debt has expired;
- Your limitation period may be reset for a further two years if the owner acknowledges liability (partial payment would typically constitute such acknowledgement); and
- Diarize your limitation periods to provide yourself with sufficient time to make a decision of whether to commence legal action or not.