Whether or not the garage was actually fixed, a Coquitlam-based development company won’t have to pay for it, following a recent Civil Resolution Tribunal decision.
GM Garage Doors Inc., a Vancouver-based company, claimed it was hired to work on a commercial property owned by Circadian Developments.
Circadian, a real estate development company based on Coquitlam, denied those repairs were done.
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GM contended they were hired by one of Circadian’s tenants and that the development company should pay the $525 bill. Garage doors in commercial buildings are “typically the landlord’s responsibility,” the company argued.
However, the garage door company failed to establish that it was Circadian that owed them the money, ruled CRT member Alison Wake.
GM essentially argued that the tenant who asked for the repairs acted as Circadian’s agent, which meant the repair contract was between GM and the development company.
Circadian claimed it was not responsible for the bill, “given it did not hire GM,” Wake noted.
GM needed to prove its claim on the balance of probabilities. However, Wake dismissed the company’s argument.
“I find no evidence or argument that Circadian gave the tenant actual authority to bind Circadian to a repair contract,” Wake wrote.
GM provided some evidence but nothing that showed Circadian was aware of the repair request.
“GM provided screenshots of text messages that it says it exchanged with the ‘customer,’” Wake wrote. “However, the screenshots do not identify who the ‘customer’ is and GM does not provide further explanation in its arguments,” Wake wrote.
GM argued Circadian benefited from the repair work.
However, Wake concluded there was insufficient evidence to conclude Circadian was enriched, calling the claim “speculative.”
Under the terms of their lease, Circadian said the tenant would be responsible for garage door repairs, according to the ruling.
While Circadian didn’t submit that lease as evidence, Wake determined GM had the burden of proving Circadian owed them the money, “rather than Circadian having the burden of proving it should not.”
GM’s claim was dismissed.
Dealing with small claims
The Civil Resolution Tribunal has jurisdiction over small claims.
Hearings can be held through written submissions, telephone, videoconferences, or a combination. For this hearing, Wake assessed the documentary evidence and submissions.
Wake determined that an oral hearing would not be necessary “in the interests of justice.”