- Legal proceeding : Legal proceeding
Definition : Legal proceeding
A procedure whereby, a natural or legal person makes an application to the courts to obtain the enforcement or recognition of their rights or the protection of their legitimate interests. The parties must consider opting for the private dispute prevention and resolution process before instigating legal proceedings.
The failure to pay general or special common expenses (condo fees), as well as those relating to the contingency fund, is one of the most contentious co-ownership’s issues. It is the duty of the board of directors of the syndicate of co-owners to collect them, unless this task has been delegated to the condo manager.
When a co-owner's contributions have been in arrears for more than three months, the law provides, ex officio, that he automatically loses his right to vote at the general meetings of the co-owners. He is also exposed to legal recourses, so that the syndicate can recover the amounts owing. A review of the options in such cases.
A bathtub or a washing machine that overflows into the apartment below, a hot water tank that conks out and spills down six floors: losses involving the civil liability of a co-owner are many co-ownerships. And they are expensive! This is why the amount of insurance premiums and deductibles have increased significantly in recent years.
Worse still, some insurers no longer want to insure co-ownerships, because of a loss ratio that has become out of control. This situation is directly related to the insurer of the syndicate, which is almost always called upon to cover a loss, when damage has been caused to the common and private portions. Thus the question of who is responsible arises. It is also necessary to know the applicable law to the owner at fault. Other considerations affect both the insurer of the syndicate and those of the co-owners concerned, to determine who will pay what?
En principe, tout copropriétaire a le droit de jouir de sa partie privative comme bon lui semble. Cet usage comporte néanmoins des limites, à savoir que ce droit de jouissance ne doit pas excéder les inconvénients normaux de voisinage. Dans le cas où les nuisances provoquées par un occupant de l’immeuble deviennent excessives, elles constituent un trouble anormal de voisinage. Il est fréquent qu’un tel cas d’espèce constitue un non-respect de clauses relatives à la jouissance paisible des parties privatives, qui sont prévues dans le règlement de l’immeuble. Cela dit, un trouble anormal de voisinage ne constitue pas, systématiquement, une violation à la déclaration de copropriété. Il faut savoir que dans certaines circonstances, ce type d’inconvénients peut être sanctionné, même si leur auteur n'a commis aucune faute.
The law provides that a syndicate must keep a register at the disposal of the co-owners. In most cases the declarations of co-ownership list the items it contains. This register is the memory of the syndicate, and consequently, its archives. In is thus invaluable. Much more than a mere witness of the sound management of an immovable, it is its prime instrument. Therefore, preservation and access are the hallmarks of this register.
The declaration of co-ownership is binding upon the co-owners and, in principle, on the occupants and tenants of the immovable. It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to enforce its content. By failing to do so, the members of the Board may, in some cases, be held liable toward the co-owners. Anyone who does not respect it is exposed to legal proceeding based in particular on article 1080 of the Civil Code of Quebec. This action may be brought by both a co-owner and the syndicate.
Au même titre que toute autre personne physique ou morale, un syndicat de copropriété est susceptible d’engager sa responsabilité civile envers les tiers, incluant les copropriétaires de l’immeuble. Cette possibilité concerne aussi pécuniairement l’ensemble des copropriétaires puisqu’un jugement condamnant le syndicat à payer une somme d'argent est exécutoire contre lui et contre tous les copropriétaires qui l’étaient au moment où la cause d'action a pris naissance, proportionnellement à la valeur relative de leur fraction.