Definition : Lack of maintenance of the common portions

Failures to carry out the work intended to preserve the immovable common portions in a good state of repair and to prevent their deterioration. The lack of maintenance can bring about the common portions' premature obsolescence, and also compromise the occupants' safety.  

 

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The law regulates the liability of contractors and building professionals for any problem related to the quality of construction work. In this regard, the legislator has provided for a specific protection regime for divided co-ownership. Section 1081 of the Civil Code of Québec recognizes the legal interest of any syndicate of co-owners to assert the rights of all co-owners to correct defects that appear, in the short or long term. This could occur during the initial construction of the building, or during work carried out several years after its erection. In short, when problems affect the common portions, the syndicate benefits from several legal warranties. Among them is the one against latent defects, design or construction defects. These warranties are worth their weight in gold, because very often, the cost of the work to be carried out in a co-ownership can be substantial.
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Toutes les copropriétés sont dotées de parties communes qui nécessitent d’être entretenues. Il peut notamment s’agir de couloirs, d’escaliers, de jardins et d’ascenseurs. Le syndicat a l’obligation d’assurer leur entretien, car la déclaration de copropriété prévoit, généralement, qu’il en est le principal responsable. De plus, l’article 1039 du Code civil du Québec stipule que le syndicat doit veiller à leur bon état. Quant à l’entretien des parties communes à usage restreint, par exemple les balcons, il peut être confié (en partie) aux copropriétaires qui en ont la jouissance. Cela diminue les recours à des fournisseurs de services externes, réduisant ainsi le montant alloué aux charges communes (frais de condo).
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Just like any other natural or legal person, a syndicate of co-ownership may be held civilly liable towards third parties, including co-owners.
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The Law and the overwhelming majority of declarations of co-ownership require that syndicates of co-owners insure their building. This may seem surprising at first glance as the syndicate does not own the private portions nor the common portions. However, its main object is to ensure the preservation and the longevity of the building and to manage and administer it diligently following rules of the trade. This is why the legislator has given to the syndicate an insurable interest and has made it compulsory that it subscribe building insurance.  
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The civil liability of a director for the tasks incumbent upon him is largely unrecognised. It should be noted that failure to act with prudence, diligence, honesty and loyalty in the performance of his duties may engage his personal liability. A director must always keep in mind the interest of the co-owners' community. Thousands of Quebecers who sit on an annual basis on a Board of Directors, such as yourself perhaps, are unaware of this reality.
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