Definition : Insurance - Improvements made to a private portion

Work completed in a private portion and which have the effect of increasing its value by the addition of certain components or the use of higher quality materials to those included or provided during construction.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! Article 1070 C.c.Q. provides the obligation for a syndicate (constituted since June 13, 2018) to keep at the disposal of the co-owners "a description of the private portions that is sufficiently precise to allow any improvements made by the co-owners to be identified". It is also provided that the same description may be valid for several private portions, when they have the same characteristics. This description is commonly referred to as a "reference unit".

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For co-ownerships created before October 31, 2017, it is essential to adopt one or several descriptions of the private portions of reference before June 13, 2020. In the absence of one or several descriptions made available to the co-owners by this deadline, the co-ownership will be deemed having no improvement as of October 31, 2017. This could lead to situations of insurance insufficiency, since components that were previously insured by the co-owners, will then automatically fall under the coverage of the Syndicate's insurance. In addition, this could lead to unfair situations for co-owners, by having insurance paid by some for the improvements of others. To the extent that the preparation of this description(s) will require a consultation and a vote of the co-owners gathered in a general meeting, you have only a few months left to attend to this matter at your next annual general meeting to be held in the summer or in the fall of 2019. At the 2020 general meeting, it will already be too late!  
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In your haste to finalize the offer to purchase, you may forget to ask the co-owner/vendor if since his purchase, improvements have been carried out in the apartment. This question is of the outmost importance as it will allow you, if this is the case, to find out if they have been carried out correctly and legally.
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The insurance of the syndicate covers the common portions of the immovable, as well as your private portion. In the event of a loss, it will not cover you for the improvements made to your private portion. It is your responsibility, therefore, to ensure that these improvements are adequately, by the means of an individual insurance. This is generally the case, if renovations have been carried out with material of a higher quality than the original one. Your insurance policy must cover the value of the improvements you have made yourself, as well as those made by previous co-owners.  
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The duties and obligations of a syndicate are determined by law and the declaration of co-ownership. However, it is essential to fully understand those duties and obligations as their non-compliance towards a co-owner or another person could engage the civil responsibility of a syndicate. Those duties and obligations are mainly aimed to ensure the preservation of the immovable, the administration of the common portions and the protection of the rights affecting the immovable or co-ownership, as well as all operations in the common interest.
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