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B.C. strata owner loses $32K bid for door repairs, accommodation

A strata owner requested a French door instead of a sliding one to accommodate her disability but the Civil Resolution Tribunal found no disability evidence.
B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal said strata owner didn't prove disability her claim was based on.

The Civil Resolution Tribunal has rejected a B.C. woman’s bid for $32,000 to cover patio door repair to accommodate a disability, accommodation during repairs and asbestos abatement.

Amy Mitchell told tribunal member Kate Campbell that a sliding door to her patio was damaged in a fire. The fire occurred Dec. 28, 2019, according to the Nov. 20 decision.

Mitchell claimed the strata received insurance money for the door damage, but has not replaced the door or the surrounding trim, siding and drywall.

Mitchell requested a tribunal order that the strata repair the door and surroundings, or pay her $13,085.79 for the repairs. She also wanted $19,585.99 for security for the exposed wall, temporary accommodation during the repairs, and asbestos abatement.

Mitchell further requested the new door be installed in a manner accommodating her disability, specifically a French door rather than a sliding door.

The strata admitted its insurer accepted its claim for fire damage repairs, including replacement of the contested patio door.

However, it said Mitchell has not permitted its contractor to access the patio door to do the repair work, or to complete asbestos testing that Mitchell requested.

The strata says that after some discussions with Mitchell, it offered to either replace the door or give her the $4,850.39 it received from the insurer, but Mitchell refused both options.

“The strata says there is no asbestos, so no abatement is required,” Campbell said. “It also says Ms. Mitchell never requested a disability accommodation, but the strata it is willing to install a French door if she signs an alteration agreement.”

Mitchell also wanted a white door instead of the previous beige and was told by the strata she could have it if she signed an assumption of liability agreement.

She had threatened in August 2021 to go the tribunal if she didn’t get a beige door.

In July 2022, the strata’s lawyer wrote to Mitchell offering a sliding door or insurance money for installation of the beige French door.

A month later, the lawyer again wrote saying as Mitchell had not responded, the strata would install a sliding door.

Mitchell filed the dispute Aug. 12, 2022.

Campbell found Mitchell had not proven a disability that needed accommodation by the strata and dismissed the claim.

The strata claimed reimbursement of $10,000 in dispute-related legal fees.

Campbell denied both monetary claims.

Second dispute

Mitchell and unit co-owner Ian Brett lost another tribunal bid for apartment repairs the same day.

In that decision, Campbell awarded them $8,431 in a flooding dispute instead of the claimed $210,848.

Mitchell requested anonymization of the published version of both decisions, arguing a professional colleague has received threats unrelated to the dispute, and could be tracked using the strata corporation’s name.

“She also says it would not be safe for her or others if her name was published, due to her work,” Campbell said.

The strata objected to the request, citing the need for transparency and the open court principle and that Mitchell hadn’t proven any specific threat.

“I place significant weight on the open court principle,” Campbell said. “I deny Ms. Mitchell’s anonymization request.”