Contrary to other jurisdiction, Québec Law does not compel a lessee to subscribe “home insurance” which, in the event of a loss, covers his property and his civil liability. This “negative-obligation” becomes a problem if your lessee causes damages to a third party and he is not insured. In such cases, the declaration of co-ownership can hold you (the co-owner) solidarily liable for the damages he has caused.
Your lessee is liable for any damages he causes during the term of the rental. Civil liability insurance covers him against material damages or bodily harm he may inflict (unintentionally) to third parties, and against faults committed by persons he accommodates or lodges in his dwelling. This insurance also covers damages that his property may cause to third parties. For example, it will cover water damage to your apartment generated by an overflowing washing machine, and also in a neighbor’s apartment.
To justify the importance of the lessee’s civil liability insurance coverage, you should explain to him that if he is held liable for damage, this insurance will protect him from any claims against him issued either or by yourself, the other co-owners and, in some cases, by the syndicate.
The co-owner- lessor’s insurance does not cover the lessee’s personal property. It is therefore in the best interest of the latter to purchase home insurance. Thus, all his movable property in his dwelling will be insured, in full or in part.
Additional living expenses
In case of fire or serious water damage, your lessee may have to be relocated. In certain cases, repairs in his apartment can extend over many weeks. For this reason, his home insurance policy should include a guarantee under this chapter, otherwise he will not be able to claim an indemnity for his additional relocation and food expenses. . This is why, his home insurance policy must include coverage under this chapter, as otherwise he will not be indemnified for such extra expenses.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!
According to a survey conducted by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, 37% of Quebec renters still do not have home insurance. As a co-owner lessor, it is in your own best interest to require, when you sign the lease or at each renewal that your lessee maintains home insurance for the term of the lease. The lease should thus provide a clause requiring your lessee to subscribe this type of insurance, and to supply you with proof thereof.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: There should be as many insurance policies as insurable persons in a divided co-ownership; they are the lessee, the co-owner- lessor, the owner-occupant and the syndicate. Furthermore, it is of primary importance that all these insurance products be complementary, to avoid that certain risks not be covered by the insurer of the party at fault. In other words, the lessee and of the co-owner’s insurance must be complementary with the basic insurance of the syndicate.
WARNING! The co-owner's insurance covers neither the tenant's furniture nor his civil liability. Furthermore, many declarations of co-ownership provide that the co-owner-lessor is (by the sole effect of the law) liable for any damageable act or omission which can be attributed to his lessee. In addition, the syndicate may invoke the liability of the lessee for damages caused by the latter.
CONSULT THE PUBLICATION: Condo Insurance: Everything you should know at pages and following.