The City will not be held responsible for costs unless evidence can be provided that the City committed a negligent act or omission which resulted in injury or damage. The City of Fort St. John only compensates when it is legally liable for damage sustained.
Circumstances of how a property became damaged will determine if there is any liability on the City's part and each scenario will be reviewed individually. If there is evidence the City is responsible, by either an act or omission on its behalf, then consideration may be given to a claim.
Local Government Act
The Local Government Act, Section 744states:
"A municipality, council, regional district, board or improvement district, or a greater board, is not liable in any action based on nuisance, or on the rule in the Rylands vs. Fletcher case if the damages arise, directly or indirectly, out of the breakdown or malfunction of:
a) a sewer system;
b) water or drainage facility or system, or;
c) dike or a road.”
The Local Government Act, Section 736(1) states:
"A municipality is in no case liable for damages unless notice in writing, setting out the time, place, and manner in which the damage has been sustained, is delivered to the municipality within two months from the date on which the damage was sustained."
Filing a Property Damage Claim
If you believe your property has been damaged because of work done by the City of Fort St. John and you wish to make a claim against the City, you may do so by written notice.
Please note that your right to make a claim has strict time limitations under the Local Government Act for claims to be submitted.
Your written notice should include the following information:
- your name, home address, email address and telephone numbers where you can be reached during the day;
- what was damaged;
- how the damage occurred;
- where the damage occurred, being as specific as possible;
- why you feel the City is responsible for your damage;
- the date and time of the incident; and
- name(s) of anyone else involved, including contractors, equipment operators, etc. and their contact information if available.
Any photographs you take may be included with your letter, or provided at a later date. Please include all original invoices and bills of sale, and retain damaged property for possible future inspection.
Report claims to
By Mail or In Person
City of Fort St. John
Attention: Director of Finance
10631 100 Street
Fort St. John, BC
250 787 8181
Filing a Claim with Your Insurance Provider
Notify your insurance company of the damage. Your insurance policy may provide coverage for your damage, and this may be the quickest way to recover costs and have the repairs done. Your insurance company can then pursue any party they believe to be responsible for the damage.
Types of Claims
A water service is an underground pipe that brings water from the water service box shut-off valve to a building. The water main normally runs underneath roadways and provides water to properties.
Property owners are responsible for the section of pipe from a building to the shut-off valve at the property line while the City is responsible for the section of pipe between the shut-off valve and water main.
Section 744 of the Local Government Act, provides that a municipality is not legally liable for damages that arise from a breakdown or malfunction of a water system. The municipality must be negligent in its maintenance of the system to be liable. The City cannot entertain claims for compensation in a case where there is an absence of negligence.
The sewer service from a house to the sewer main is the section of underground pipe between a building and the City's sewer main. Property owners are responsible for cleaning the sewer service. The City is only responsible for maintaining the sewer main line. The City will repair damages to the portion of sewer service that runs from the property line to the sewer main line.
Most sewer backups happen because the sewer service is plugged; blockages may be caused by:
- fishing line
- clippings from shrubs
- rocks and other debris
- a broken service
Section 744 of the Local Government Act, provides that a municipality is not legally liable for damages that arise from a breakdown or malfunction of a sewer system. The municipality must be negligent in its maintenance of the system to be liable. The City cannot entertain claims for compensation in a case where there is an absence of negligence.
Potholes and Road Hazards
Do not continue to drive a vehicle if it is not operating properly after driving into a pothole. See a licensed motor vehicle mechanic, contact your insurance company to make a claim, and notify the City of the exact location of the pothole or road hazard by calling 250 787 8150 or using the Report a Problem Form. Section 744 of the Local Government Act, provides that a municipality is not legally liable for damages that arise from a breakdown in a road. The municipality must be negligent in its maintenance of the system to be liable. The City cannot entertain claims for compensation in a case where there is an absence of negligence.
If a property has been damaged as a direct result of construction activity, write down the details of how and when the damage occurred. Be sure to include the date, time, location, vehicle or equipment number/license plate. If possible, identify the company and take photos. Notify your insurer and contact the City in writing to report the damage.