Co-ownership legislative reform: Lise Thériault inherited a sensitive issue

January 29, 2018 - After promising seemingly forever co-ownership legislative reform , Québec Minister of Justice, Stéphanie Vallée, passed the buck to her colleague Lise Thériault, Minister responsible for “l’habitation et la protection des consommateurs”( Housing and Consumer Protection) and this spring she wants to introduce a bill on a this pressing issue.

Some observers recently argued that this reform should be an electoral issue. It now seems obvious that the MPs are conscious of this matter. Lise Thériault, a public servant whose career is fraught with challenges, could make a difference by tackling, as soon as possible, the many co-ownership problems in Quebec.

This is what the Co-Ownership Working Group, implemented in 2009 by the Department of Justice and led by the Chambre des notaires du Québec(Québec Chamber of Notaries), hopes for. It has submitted a full report to the department in 2011. The group made a number of legislative recommendations, and also proposed diffusing relevant information, inter alia, to buyers, co-owners, directors and co-ownership managers.

Time bomb

RGCQ's secretary-general and lawyer emeritus, Yves Joli-Coeur, says there is no doubt the situation has become urgent. "We must not be complacent. A syndicate of co-owners that does not assume its responsibilities is the equivalent of a time bomb. If major work is needed in a co-ownership, and funds insufficient or nonexistent, it is more often than not a crisis… "

The province will need to review the whole question of co-owners duties. "Buying a condo is not like renting a hotel room or a dwelling. This choice comes with obligations, "he added.

Promote good governance

While the Quebec government is lagging far behind in terms of co-ownership legislation, Yves Joli-Coeur also believes that "we will have to promote good governance, and stop criticizing directors concerned with proper property management. Too often, boards of directors are criticized for the amount of common expenses (condo fees) and for the necessity to create sufficient contingency funds, which are essential when major work is required in the immovable. "No doubt, it now up to Lise Thériault to act.

Montreal, January 29, 2018

Source: La Presse and François G. Cellier for Condolegal.com