Bylaw complaints may be received by phone or email. Please be advised that we do not respond to anonymous complaints.
When reporting a violation, the following information is required:
- Your first and last name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- The address of the violation or concern
- A brief summary of the problem, as well as any involvement you may have had in resolving the matter
If your complaint pertains to a strata property, you must direct your complaint to the property management company or strata council.
Complaint frequently asked questions
How do I report a Bylaw infraction/complaint?
Bylaw Enforcement Officers can be contacted by telephone at 604-935-8280, by email at email@example.com. If you reach the voicemail, please leave a detailed message as the officers may be out on patrol. An officer will respond within 72 hours to general nuisance complaints, although we aim to respond sooner. Health, safety and environmental impact complaints will be prioritized.
What if I don’t want to provide my name on a complaint?
You must identify yourself when making a complaint to the RMOW. However, the identity of any complainant is confidential unless the complainant has agreed to be identified or unless an order has been made by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia or another lawful order. If you submit an anonymous complaint, the Bylaw Services department will not act on the information unless there is a potential safety issue.
What happens after a complaint is made?
The complaint is reviewed to determine if it is related to RMOW Bylaws. In some cases, the complaint is valid, however if it relates to a law that is administered by another government agency. In that case, you will be provided with contact information for the other agency.
If the complaint is related to an RMOW bylaw the complaint will be issued to a Bylaw Officer who will start an investigation. Complaints are handled in the order that they are received and based on the severity. You should receive a response to your complaint within 3 business days. If during an investigation, the Bylaw Officer determines that the issue is a civil matter, any persons involved will be notified and the investigation halted.
How will the complaint be enforced?
It is Bylaw Services goal to achieve voluntary compliance through public education. If it becomes obvious that voluntary compliance is not occurring, the Bylaw Enforcement Officer may either issue tickets/notices or recommend that the RMOW approve legal action to acquire a court order to gain compliance.
Do Bylaw Enforcement Officers proactively patrol or respond only on a complaint basis?
Bylaw Enforcement Officers work in the community proactively for compliance that relates to public safety or Council Priorities. The rest of our resources are community driven based on complaints.
Will my complaint be kept confidential?
Complaint related information will be kept permanently on file. The identity of a complainant is considered confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone with the exceptions of the following circumstances:
a. If the complaint has been publicly disclosed by the complainant;
b. If the investigation results in legal proceedings;
c. If disclosure is required pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information
and Protection of Privacy Act;
d. If an order for disclosure is issued by the Information and Privacy Commissioner
under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
e. As otherwise required by law.
Is the RMOW required to enforce its bylaws?
No. If this was a legal requirement, it would require on-going patrols and considerably more resources at the taxpayers’ expense. Council adopts an annual budget for bylaw enforcement that it considers adequate for the job, yet affordable for taxpayers. Bylaw enforcement activities take place within the limits of the annual budget. Officers can also use their discretion.
What if I live in a strata?
If you live in a strata, the rules are slightly different when it comes to property use concerns. Stratas are governed first by the provincial Strata Property Act. Each strata can then make their own rules within that framework. These strata bylaws overrule Municipal bylaws if they are stricter. For many property use concerns, you need to contact your strata council or strata manager, and learn how they enforce your strata bylaws.
Hours of operation: Monday to Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After hours, phone RCMP non-emergency: