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B.C. strata owner sneaks in dog in bag, tribunal upholds $200 bylaw fine

A man claimed his family member's dog was his and was protected under old bylaws that allowed pets. B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal disagreed.
dog paw
A miniature poodle was seen taken into a strata suite in a bag.

A Surrey strata owner who allowed a family member to bring their miniature poodle into their building breached a pet bylaw, B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has decided.

Xiang Jiang Yan is co-owner of the unit and said he had owned a dog before the strata changed 2011 rules, which previously allowed pets. Prior to the 2013 changes, owners were allowed pets no larger than 18 inches in height and animals had to be registered with the strata.

In January 2021, a technician saw on security cameras a person carry a small dog up to the unit. The technician emailed the strata council about the issue.

DH, Yan’s wife and council member at the time, was copied on the email.

DH replied the same day, saying she did not have a pet. Instead, she said their family member, JY, owned a “mini poodle dog” that she brought sometimes when visiting.

The strata manager sent a letter to the owners advising they were in breach of the bylaw.

Six months later, council sent another letter after someone reported they had seen a dog being carried into the unit in a bag.

Yan then claimed the dog was his, that he had owned it prior to the bylaw change.

The council fined Yan $200, a fine he wanted removed.

“I find that JY owned the dog at all times,” tribunal member David Jiang said, noting vet bills confirm that decision.

The strata claimed reimbursement for $7,066.10 in legal fees and $77.51 in related disbursements.

In a separate May 31, 2022 letter, the strata’s lawyer says the strata is claiming for $17,997 in legal fees and $80.31 in disbursements.

Jiang said the evidence indicated no strong involvement by the strata’s lawyer and declined to order the reimbursement.

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