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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June 28th, 2020 - The law concerning co-ownership insurance has undergone major changes since June 2018.  Section 1070 of the Civil Code of Quebec now contains a third paragraph, which provides that the syndicate keeps a sufficiently precise description of the private parts available to the co-owners, for insurance purposes, so that the improvements made by the co-owners are identifiable. The same description may apply to several parties when they have the same characteristics.   
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Un copropriétaire doit s'assurer pour sa responsabilité civile, ses biens meubles et les améliorations qu'il a apportées à sa partie privative.
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For co-ownerships created before June 13, 2018, it is essential to adopt one or several descriptions of the private portions of reference before June 13, 2020.This will help avoid confusion as to what is covered by syndicate insurance on the one hand and that of the co-owners on the other. Consult the practical sheet Who has to insure the improvements made to private portion? to learn more about this subject.     
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In your eagerness to finalize your offer to purchase, you may forget to ask the co-owner-seller if, over time, work has been carried out in the apartment. Yet, this question is of the utmost importance as it will allow you to ensure, as the case may be, that it has been executed 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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