Richard LECOUFFE

Richard LeCouffe has been a lawyer since 1976. He is a graduate from the Université de Montréal, from which institution he received his law degree (LL.L.) in 1974.

During his career, although Me LeCouffe was mostly involved in labour and employment law affairs and negotiating labour collective agreements, he also had the opportunity to become very familiar with condominium law. Among other things, he has contributed in the writing of many articles, books, conferences, memoirs and legal procedures on the latter subject.

Your fundamental mission: the maintenance and conservation of the building

commune-privative-119.jpg

December 14th 2015 - Besides seeing to the respect of the declaration of co-ownership, you as directors of a condominium must ensure the maintenance and conservation of the building. It is your uppermost duty and the majority of your tasks ensue from this fundamental obligation.

 

 

 

This mission translates into various steps, such as:

  • Putting up a building maintenance policy, composed of a building status certificate, maintenance records, a reserve fund study and a financial plan for all maintenance, repair or replacement work to be performed. Of course, this is just the starting point and directors must not hesitate to use professional help, if and when necessary, for the preparation and subsequent updating of those precious documents and records;
  • Calling upon professional help (whether an architect, an engineer or a technologist) when an inspection or expertise is required for the maintenance or conservation of the building. You just cannot hide your head in the sand; as soon as there is a doubt concerning a possible defect or malfunction in the common portions of the building, your duty to act prudently requires that you call upon a competent professional to investigate the situation, if necessary, or that you have the problem solved;
  • Acting diligently in these matters, in order to have the problem solved as fast as possible;
  • Elaborating and preparing realistic budgets that take into consideration all perceivable maintenance, repair and replacement to be performed, and to subscribe the co-owners accordingly, either for the annual maintenance and repair (annual budget) or the proper funding of an adequate reserve fund.

It is regrettable that some directors neglect or even refuse to perform these tasks, on the pretext that it is too costly. In doing so, these directors fail to protect the interests of the co-owners as a whole. Such failure to act or procrastination is unacceptable, since the Syndicate (and possibly the directors also) could be held responsible for damages incurred by the co-owners or any other person for that matter.

Indeed, your mandate as director requires that you act responsibly and that you avoid sumptuous or unnecessary expenses. However, you cannot neglect your duties to ensure the maintenance and conservation of the building, which require that every necessary step is taken to fulfill this obligation. It is your uppermost mission and duty. Please do it correctly!

Richard LeCouffe, Lawyer
Mail :  richardlecouffe@hotmail.com

Chronic express the personal opinions of the author and in no way engage the responsibility of the site editor , CondoLegal.com Inc. The content and opinions expressed in a column are those of the author.

Back to chronicles