The Human Rights Tribunal recently released an interesting decision on the duty to accommodate an owner with a disability. In Taite v. Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 91  O.H.R.T.D. No. 166 the owner claimed the condominium had a duty to accommodate his disability by allowing him to park his truck outside near the front entrance and not underground in the parking garage as offered by the condominium (note: the truck did not fit in the underground). The tribunal disagreed.
The tribunal, relying upon an earlier decision, stated that “the purpose of the Code is not to accommodate individuals’ preferences”. The tribunal found that it was not sufficient for the owner to show his preference to drive a truck, even if that preference was because of his disability. The tribunal found the owner failed to provide any evidence that the truck was required because of his disability. The tribunal dismissed the application because the owner failed to show that “his choice of vehicle is anything other than a personal preference.” The tribunal found that the owner could have purchased a vehicle that would have permitted him to park in the space offered by the condominium in the underground parking garage.
The case is important because it confirms that an owner with a disability is not entitled to demand the condominium accommodate him as he sees fit. The requested accommodation must relate to the disability. There is no duty to accommodate a preference.
Written by Michelle Kelly, Sutherland Kelly LLP and republished with permission. Michelle Kelly practises law in the areas of condominium and real estate. She works with developers, condominiums, and unit owners across Ontario. She provides assistance to her development clients on the creation, sale, and turnover of condominium corporations. She provides assistance to her condominium clients on a range of matters, including unit owner disputes, owners’ meetings, collection procedures (i.e. liens), opinions on declarations, by-laws and rules, and enforcement.
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