Are our condos in jeopardy?

October 10, 2017 - The jingle is familiar: our collective dwellings may not well withstand the passage of time, because of "a deficit in terms of the built quality of real estate ", says lawyer emeritus Yves Joli-Coeur, also the secretary general of the RGCQ.

« It is reminiscent of road infrastructures. When we pass under a bridge, we sometimes wonder if it will fall down on us. Is this the case for co-ownership? In part, yes», added Yves Joli-Coeur. According to him, the situation in Quebec would be worse than elsewhere in the country.

What is the cause of these construction deficiencies? Because currently, in Quebec, residential worksites supervision is not mandatory. A developer buildings condos is not required to provide this surveillance, underlines Yves Joli-Coeur. Some developers do it, but basically, “in the absence of supervision, one can get away with murder on a construction site, because the developer and the landowner are the one and same entity. There is no critical zone, "says Yves Joli-Coeur.

The first thing to check before buying a condo is precisely this supervision. Has the building one is visiting been the object of supervision during the work? If so, it is recommended to enquirer of the identity of supervisors, and whether they are independent of the developer.

The other co-ownership problem concerns the chronic maintenance deficits in several buildings, as well as insufficient or non-existent contingency funds to carry out major repairs and replace the common portions that have reached the end of their useful life. All of this could lead to endemic problems in Quebec, on account of directors who are often volunteers who do not master the essential tasks they must perform.

In summary, Yves Joli-Coeur proclaims that it is high time for the provincial government to announce legislative co-ownership reform. We have been promised a reform for more than two years, but it is not happening »,he concluded.

Montreal, October 10, 2017

Source: Radio-Canada