The owner of an illegal hostel operated out of a North Vancouver townhouse has been ordered to sell the property unless she can come up with more than $140,000 in cash.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge made the ruling Monday, finding that Emily Yu must pay her strata $52,000 and another $90,000 to the provincial government, or her assets will be sold for her.
Yu was found in contempt of court in October, 2018 after ignoring a judgment ordering her to stop using her North Vancouver townhome for short-term rentals.
She paid a fine for the contempt ruling, but still owes legal costs to her strata, and has repeatedly missed deadlines to pay it. Lawyer Steve Hamilton, who represents the strata, said the money owed to the provincial government relates to two judgments over unpaid PST.
“Today is a reckoning day for Ms. Yu,” said Hamilton.
“The court, I think after listening to her today, has decided that time was up for her and we needed to move on with the process, so the court has ordered the sale of her strata lot so that my client can recover the judgment that’s owing to it.”
Yu went unsuccessfully to the the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal this summer to try and have court orders against her 14-bed Oasis Hostel overturned, arguing she had a mental disability as a result of a concussion and that the hostel was essential to her income.
She also lost a case at the Civil Resolution Tribunal, which was initiated by the strata corporation.
Strata lawyer Paul Mendes told Global News it’s unusual — but not unheard of — for stratas to go to court and force a sale.
“It does cost a bit to do, which is probably why you don’t see too many cases in the strata field going to court for enforcement if the fines are small,” he said.
“But when the claims are larger, then it is common for stratas to do it, and there have been a few cases where stratas have obtained large judgments and fines and applied successfully to sell the owner’s unit.
Yu declined to comment on the order on Monday.
However, she has previously been defiant when questioned about the hostel and court battle.
In November, she accused Global News of working with her neighbours to attack her.
Monday’s judgment doesn’t guarantee Yu will be forced out of the home. If she is able to raise the funds owing, she’ll be able to retain the property.