A man who helped his girlfriend purchase a 2007 Honda Civic months before they broke up is entitled to a share of the vehicle’s resale value, according to B.C.’s small claims tribunal.
Unfortunately for him, the car was recently appraised at $0.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal heard that Joshua Andrews and Shatara Crowe split the Civic’s $5,400 purchase price back in October 2020 – and less than seven months later, they split as a couple.
Andrews then asked his former partner to reimburse his $2,925 contribution, plus a portion of the vehicle’s annual insurance premiums covering the remainder of the year.
When she refused, Andrews turned to the tribunal, seeking an order that his ex fork over a total of $3,487.
For her part, Crowe claimed they had a verbal agreement that in the event of a breakup, she would retain ownership of the Civic, which was registered in her name alone. She also denied Andrews helped with the insurance.
Tribunal member Leah Volkers ultimately found Andrews is entitled to a share of the vehicle’s value – but also that the vehicle has no value.
“The parties agree that they split the car’s purchase price,” Volkers wrote in her April 1 decision.
“They do not dispute that they shared the car and its expenses during their relationship. I find this suggests that Ms. Crowe and Mr. Andrews jointly owned the car, despite Ms. Crowe being the only registered owner.”
Volkers also noted there was no evidence of a verbal agreement between the two.
Still, the tribunal member said Andrews was wrong to expect a full reimbursement of the money he paid for the Civic. Instead, Volkers found he is entitled to “half the car’s resale value when the parties’ relationship ended in May 2021.”
And due to a number of mechanical problems, the Civic needs roughly $8,000 worth of repairs. Crowe presented an appraisal from Vancouver Honda dated Dec. 15, 2021, that listed the vehicle’s value at $0.
Andrews suggested the vehicle would still be worth something if sold — “such as via Craigslist” – but didn’t provide any documentation establishing a potential price.
“As the applicant, Mr. Andrews bears the burden of proving his claims. Without further evidence of the car’s resale value, I find Mr. Andrews has not proved on balance that he is entitled to any reimbursement,” Volkers wrote.
As for the insurance, receipts showed Crowe paid the premium in full using her credit card, and Volkers failed to present any record that he had contributed.
Crowe also told the tribunal her ex-boyfriend owed her money for various expenses incurred during and after their relationship, including for rent, hydro and Wi-Fi.
Volkers said those could have been used to offset a potential award for her ex-boyfriend, had the dispute gone in his favour, but since Crowe didn’t file a counter-claim, they were irrelevant.
Source: CTV News