Article 1085 of the Civil Code of Québec authorizes your Board of Directors to entrust a portion of its duties to a manager. The latter can be retained to manage the immovable which entails overseeing its preservation and maintenance, execute the decisions of the Board of Directors, settle major losses, subscribe and maintain the necessary insurance of your syndicate, and enforce the By-Law of the immovable
As the mandatary of the co-ownership, the manager engages both his own and the syndicate’s liability. It is therefore essential that he subscribes civil liability insurance. If your declaration of co-ownership does not require it, the Board of Directors should nevertheless make it compulsory that he subscribes and maintains such insurance.
What if the manager is an unpaid co-owner or an employee of the syndicate?
He should be insured by the syndicate, and in many cases, complementary insurance may be necessary as this type of manager is not always automatically covered.
What if the manager is an independent contractor?
He must subscribe his own insurance. However, the Law does not provide that he is required to do so, unless he is a member of a recognized professional order by the “Office des professions du Québec” (the Québec Profession Bureau) such as the “Ordre des administrateurs agréés du Québec (Ordre des ADMA)” (the Order of Certified Administrators of Québec). This being said, many co-ownership managers are not members of a professional order, which should remind the syndicates to be extra careful.
To protect the members of the Board, including yourself, your Board of Directors should require the manager to prove that he carries civil liability insurance. This proof should be given before signing the contract for his services. Afterwards, he should be required to maintain its policy in force for the duration of the contract. At every renewal, the manager should confirm that his insurance has been renewed.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! When the Board of Directors signs a contract for services with an independent manager, it must require satisfactory proof that the manager is covered by civil liability insurance, to protect your syndicate against his errors and omissions. The directors will therefore be able to evaluate the general and specific provisions of his insurance coverage.
WARNING! As a director, you should communicate in writing with the manager’s insurer, to verify if his insurance policy is still in force or if it has been modified.
CONSULT THE PUBLICATION: Condo Insurance: Everything you should know at pages 48 and following.