The owners of a Richmond city centre condo have been ordered to pay their former strata more than $120,000 in legal and sale enforcement costs – after a battle over a $7,500 lien.
Jasar Ajvazi and Helen Marie Price owned the apartment in the three-storey strata complex at 6560 Buswell Street, close to No. 3 and Cook roads.
For reasons unclear in B.C. Supreme Court documents, the strata filed a lien for around $7,500 against the unit in September 2019 and, in November 2021, after a catalogue of litigation – amid claims by Ajvazi of racism, perjury and harassment - the strata enforced the lien through a court-ordered sale of the unit.
The condo was eventually sold via the court for around $350,000, but not before a bailiff had to be called in to take possession of the unit, after Ajvazi – the only known occupant of the condo – refused to vacate it.
The strata, represented by its manager, Century 21 Prudential Estates, had wanted costs totalling $133,826.76, of which $110,782.84 were actual legal fees run up during a disturbing two-year debacle, where Ajvazi made all kinds of unfounded accusations against the strata management company and its lawyers.
At one point, according to court documents, a lawyer from the strata’s legal firm, Wilson McCormack Law Group, had to file a complaint to the police, alleging, among other things, threats of sexual harassment and violence.
Condo owner faked strata owners meeting
Ajvazi even faked notification of a special meeting of strata owners and walked out of a B.C. Supreme Court hearing in May of this year, accusing the court registrar of racism and bias.
Ultimately, the supreme court registrar ruled that the strata was entitle to around $95,000 in legal costs and another $25,000 for special costs.
In the court documents, the strata acknowledged that the costs it sought “are high (they exceed the amount found to be reasonable in other cases.”
But, because of the protracted enforcement proceedings and the continued actions of Ajvazi and his unwillingness to accept the court’s decisions, it felt the costs were not excessive.
Indeed, the court’s registrar noted that Ajvazi’s conduct in court “illustrates the challenges the Strata Corporation faced in enforcing the Lien.
“While in attendance, Mr. Ajvazi was disruptive and disrespectful to the Court and to the Strata Corporation’s counsel, frequently interrupting to object to the submissions and evidence, as well as to the Court’s directions.
“When I advised Mr. Ajvazi that his conduct was disrespectful of the Court, he accused me of being racist, disrespectful and bullying.
“He alleged that I had threatened him and scared him, and that his human rights were being violated.”
Condo owner filed complaints against lawyers, managers and strata council
Throughout the lien enforcement proceedings, Ajvazi repeatedly levelled similar allegations against the strata corporation’s counsel, strata council members and management staff, as well as filing complaints with the Law Society of BC and the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
In the middle of the two-year battle, Ajvazi even briefly employed Hong Guo, of the Richmond-based Hong Guo Corporation, to negotiate with the strata and its lawyers.
However, Guo, who is currently suspended by the Law Society of BC for a catalogue of professional misconducts, dropped Ajvazi as a client after a few months.