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Washing machine in Richmond strata living room uninvolved in leak, says owner

A strata-banned washing machine first found in a kitchen dishwasher space and then a living room had nothing to do with a Richmond strata leak, the owner told B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal.
washing machine
A Richmond strata owner must pay $3,711 to cover damage from a banned washing machine leak. Image: Pixabay

A Richmond strata owner has denied using a washing machine despite having one discovered in his living room and wet hoses in the sink.

However, B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal doesn't buy that and has ordered the owner to foot the $3,711 bill for water damage caused by the machine.

The strata claims Weidong Sun installed and used the machine in his unit contrary to strata bylaws. A resident reported water running into a suite below Sun's in January 2021, the strata told the tribunal.

The on-site building manager investigated and found a washing machine installed where the standard dishwasher would be. The manager said the water lines had been installed improperly.

When the contractor hired to repair water damage to the building's hallways arrived, they found the machine in the living room.

“They observed a dishwasher in the kitchen, but it did not appear to be hooked up and was being used for storage,” tribunal member Leah Volkers said in her May 16 decision ordering Sun to pay up.

The contractors determined the water was coming from underneath Sun’s sink.

Sun denied using the machine recently.

Sun said the leak originated from the wall under his kitchen sink, and it worsened on rainy days.

But, he had never reported this to the strata.

“Mr. Sun has not reasonably explained or provided evidence to indicate the water leak originated from the wall behind his kitchen sink cabinet rather than from his washing machine or water lines,” Volkers said.

“Mr. Sun also did not explain why large black hoses were installed under his kitchen sink, why they were wet and wrapped in plastic bags, or why there was an uninstalled washing machine in his living room,” Volkers said.

“Mr. Sun has not provided any reason why he kept a washing machine in (the unit) since 2015, in particular given his assertion that he never used it,” Volkers said.

Volkers said the machine was seen installed in the kitchen when they investigated the leak. She found it likely that Sun used it.

Volker ruled evidence was persuasive that the washing machine had been installed and accepted expert evidence that the leak came from the machine.

The strata wanted Sun to pay the common property emergency repairs bill.

Volkers ordered Sun to pay up.

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