I had brought a case against my ex-landlord. One of the claims was he wouldn't return some property of mine. In the settlement agreement, he said he would make available for pickup my property. He did not, and has been stringing me along ever since.

The settlement was neither reached by ourselves, or through small claims court. It was reached through the Civil Resolution Tribunal which is something new. CRT doesn't enforce orders and leaves it up to the Provincial Court. However I'm not sure if this is applicable in my case because a settlement was reached and there was no order. The settlement was reached in the "Facilitated Phase" and the case manager drew up the contract.

I asked them what happens next and their reply was " there was no order issued you would need to refile". What is meant by this? What's an order? How's it different than a settlement agreement? When I "refile" can I make new claims (such as cost for starting a new action, time spent trying to pickup belongings)?

In this previous question I asked, there was talk about how settlements are different if they are reached in or out of court. I do not get what difference this makes?

1 Answer 1


A settlement is fundamentally a contract where parties A and B promise to do certain things (one of them being "stop litigating"). A court order is an enforceable order to do something. A contract cannot be directly enforced (where force is used to make a person comply), it requires a court order for actual enforcement. The conditions of a contract might be enforceable, but you can't get the sheriff to come out based just on a contract.

It appears that you got to the "facilitation" phase where the parties talk about the issue and the CRT case manager talks to the parties in neutral terms, aiming for an agreement. If you don't reach an agreement, the Tribunal Decision Process escalates the matter. Under the decision process, the CRT member makes a decision, and it can be enforced in court.

They state that "For a $25 fee, the CRT can turn your agreement into an order, if both parties agree that an order should be issued. This is called a “consent resolution order”." I suppose that you did not go through that step, and you only have an agreement. So you would need a separate court process to get a court order. Because everything that you did in this negotiation phase is confidential, if you want CRT to give you something that is enforceable, you have to present the case from the beginning, since they don't have access to what has happened before.

The problem in your account is that a settlement has to be reached by yourselves – possibly with the assistance of the CRT case manager. I assume you did actually get a settlement (agreement) with the landlord, but have not filed for a consent resolution order. It may be that the case is too old for you to just pay the $25, and it does require agreement by the other party. Read their FAQ about how cases end.


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