Life in co-ownership is like a micro-society where disputes are omnipresent. Many conflicts are neighborhood quarrels, which are usually settled with civility. However, it happens that some disputes are fueled by co-owners thirsty for justice who will want to assert their rights in court at all costs. This is why divided co-ownership is not immune to quarrelsome litigants who multiply legal recourses to redress real or fictitious damage. They usually represent themselves alone in court. They show stubbornness and narcissism by systematically trying to have indirectly what cannot be obtained directly.
To maintain the common portions of the co-ownership and ensure the preservation of the immovable, it is necessary for the syndicate to subscribe to a certain number of maintenance or construction contracts. As the representative of the syndicate of co-owners, it is the board of directors that generally has the power to subscribe to all the contracts of the co-ownership. To manage costs and determine the obligations of each, it is essential for directors to distinguish the main types of contracts. This fact sheet provides an update on the most common contracts in this area, namely the lump sum contract, the cost-plus contract and the flat-rate unit price contract.
A trend towards the rental of units held in divided co-ownership has manifested itself in recent years in large urban centres as well as resort centres. Although renting a property is a recognized right for a co-owner, he must know the rules applicable in this matter. The law and the declaration of co-ownership list the obligations to which tenants and co-owners-lessors commit themselves when they sign a lease, such as compliance with the by-laws of the immovable. Some of these obligations can cause the resiliation of the lease if they are not respected!
Harassment in co-ownership can take many forms and develop in a wide variety of contexts. When occupants of a building with very different temperaments share a place to live, it happens that the spirits heat up to the point of making cohabitation impossible. A co-owner who infringes on his neighbor's privacy and interferes in his privacy can be particularly irritating and even embarrassing. If he comes to photograph him when he walks through the common portions, monitors all his comings and goings or installs a surveillance camera in the corridor pointing towards his front door, then there is an illegitimate invasion of his privacy. Such serious conduct can be considered psychological harassment, in that it seriously harms the person who is the victim.
A source of permanent controversy in co-ownership, cannabis and tobacco smoking arouse passions. However, it is recognized that there is no inalienable right for a co-owner to smoke in the common portions or in a private portion. On the contrary, the common law on abnormal neighbourhood disturbances and the effects of second-hand smoke on the health of people exposed to it advocate prohibition. In this regard, the right to life and to the safety and integrity of the person enshrined in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms is moving towards an obligation to abstain from smoking in collective dwellings. Under the circumstances, should co-ownership syndicates banish this habit? This is not an easy question to answer. Easier said than done, some will say. And they are not wrong. Here’s a look at the whole legal issue that defines smoking in co-ownerships.
The declaration of co-ownership is a contract that orchestrates and regulates the lives of co-owners, lessees and other occupants of the immovable. It represents the guideline for everyone who lives in the immovable.The declaration of co-ownership provides, systematically, that it is up to the board of directors to have its content abided to. However, it happens that people break the rules, in particular by a non-compliant use of a private portion with regard to the destination of the immovable, a noise nuisance and work carried out in violation of the by the laws of the immovable. Other examples illustrate the problems that can occur in the co-ownership, such as an encroachment on a common portion or the improper installation of a floor covering. Anyone who does not abide to the declaration of co-ownership is liable, inter alia, to a legal recourse based on article 1080 of the Civil Code of Quebec . This action may be brought by a co-owner or the syndicate.
Your co-ownership is exposed to various risks, such as fire, water damage, theft and vandalism. When a loss occurs, the insurance of the co-ownership covers the immovable and the civil liability of the syndicate of co-owners.
The syndicate has the obligation to subscribe this type of insurance. The Law and the vast majority of declarations of co-ownership make it compulsory. The insurance contract describes the guarantees offered, their limits, exclusions, and the amounts of the deductibles.
Your syndicate must subscribe the following coverages:
The director plays a leading role in a co-ownership. As a mandatary of the syndicate of co-owners, he ensures the smooth running of the immovable’s day to day business, which implies a working knowledge of the tasks related to this key function. As such, directors must act with prudence, diligence, honesty and loyalty, and never lose sight of the co-owners community interests.
The civil liability of the directors with regard to the tasks incumbent upon them is largely ignored. Thousands of Quebeckers who sit annually on a board of directors, maybe including yourself, are unaware of this state of affairs.
The appointment of meeting officers is necessary to hold a general meeting of co-owners.The range of their titles and functions are without limitation: president, vice-president, secretary and scrutineer of the general meeting. It is the declaration of co-ownership, in the chapter By-laws of an immovable that provides the rules to be followed. However, the civil liability of a general meeting officer with regard to the tasks incumbent upon him is largely unknown. Yet many Quebeckers accept this charge, while not being aware of this reality.
The tasks of the condo manager are numerous. The latter may be mandated to manage the immovable, and thus ensure its preservation and maintenance; implement the decisions of the board of directors; settle major losses, take out the insurance required for your syndicate, but also to enforce the by-laws of the immovable. Therefore, his civil liability may be invoked. If he is at fault, he is exposed to recourses or claims for compensation, whether by the syndicate or the co-owners themselves. It is therefore imperative that civil liability insurance be underwritten for the duration of his contract for service or his contract of employment.