The façades of a building not only ensure its watertightness, they alare also a main component of its appearance. In addition to protecting the occupants from the elements, the façades have an identity and style. It is therefore essential to ensure their structural and architectural integrity, if major work needs to be carried out to repair or replace them. More specifically, the main façades of a building, whose history and conceptual integrity require meticulous interventions. Whether it is on a stand alone building, a co-ownership by phases or on townhouses. This is especially true in co-ownerships, where respecting the specific intention of the architect who designed the building is essential.
In addition, some façades are subject to the Building Chapter of the Safety Code (BCSC), adopted in 2013 by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). They must be inspected at fixed intervals and, if necessary, corrective work must be carried out to keep them safe. A review of the components that make up the envelope of a building, and which require special attention.
Electric vehicles (EV) are increasingly seen as one of the ways to reduce the impact of car traffic on the climate. With the effort to be made to substantially reduce Quebec's greenhouse gas emissions and to contain the increase in temperatures by the end of the century, the sale of EV has become a must. In Quebec, in 2030, the number of EV is expected to increase to 1.5 million, or 30% of the Quebec car fleet. In 2035, the sale of new gasoline cars will be banned in Quebec and Canada. Paradoxically, the majority of buildings held in divided co-ownership are not equipped to allow EV charging. In addition, the declarations of co-ownership of these buildings have not provided for anything on this issue.
The law provides that a syndicate must keep a register at the disposal of the co-owners. Article 342 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the board of directors keeps the list of members and the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the legal person. This register is the memory of the syndicate, and consequently, its archives. In is thus invaluable. Much more than a mere witness of the sound management of an immovable, it is its prime instrument. Therefore, preservation and access are the hallmarks of this register.
The management of the staff of the co-ownership involves several responsibilities. If the employer is the syndicate of co-owners, it is the board of directors and sometimes even the condo manager, in his capacity as mandatary of the syndicate, who is competent to give instructions to the employees of the co-ownership. Whether it is the janitor, the caretaker or the gardener, the implications are financial and affect the supervision of the employees. This management must take into account the following elements: recruitment, remuneration, employee performance evaluation, training and occupational health and safety. It must therefore be done rigorously.
A syndicate of co-owners can sometimes evolve into a small and medium size enterprise, an SME. Even more so if it assigns personnel to the various common portions maintenance chores of the immovable. Yet, people hired by a syndicate have rights. In fact, their prerogatives are the same as those in force in the labor market. It is better to be aware of them and to understand the consequences.
In addition, the management of personnel within a co-ownership is the responsibility of the board of directors, whether it is the concierge, the security guard, the salaried manager or any other building employee. He is in charge of hiring and dismissal but also of training. He must ensure that the work done by the employees corresponds to the situation of the building knowing that the attributions can evolve over time.
Among the employees of a condominium building, we find the janitor. The latter's main mission is to carry out various housekeeping work in the common portions of the building. He takes care of both the interior and the exterior, the entrance, the hall, the corridors, the stairs and sometimes the garden. He also ensures general surveillance of the building and must report the disorders if necessary. The relationship between the syndicate and the janitor, like any contractual relationship, must be well defined from the beginning, in order to avoid conflicts that can be costly for the co-ownership.
Parasitic disorders in co-ownership are well and truly present. They take the form of infestations of various insects, including cockroaches, carpenter ants and Bed Bugs, not to mention rats, mouse,and field mice, whose presence has a repugnant effect and possibly harmful to human health. These insects and animals intrude unexpectedly into an apartment, or even an entire co-ownership, and can make its occupants live a nightmare. Noise in the pipes and noise at night caused by rats and mice add to the equation. Most of the time, it is up to the syndicate of co-owners, with regard to its obligation to maintain the common portions and preserve the building, to mandate a company specialized in pest management in order to carry out a disinsection or a deratization, or both.
If that is the case, three questions will need to be answered: who is to blame, who should act and who should bear the costs?
Large-scale real estate developments in divided co-ownership are often carried out in successive stages, the number of buildings and the duration of the work are a function of the marketing and interim construction financing. Some co-ownerships have more than one building that have in common community spaces such as a parking lot, a swimming pool and traffic lanes. In such a context, it is then a question of "co-ownership in phases". This type of co-ownership allows the developer to spread the design of a real estate project over several years, and to modulate the pace of construction work according to the evolution of unit sales. However, it is customary to announce in the preamble of the declaration of co-ownership the legal structure chosen for this type of co-ownership.
By purchasing a condo (apartment) in a residential tower, you automatically become an owner in a vertical co-ownership. You can also be in a divided co-ownership, if you purchase a house (semi-detached or townhouse), built on the same lot than other individual homes. It is then called a horizontal co-ownership.
If this is the case, you may not be the sole owner of the land surrounding your home. You will therefore share with others the ownership of the private streets leading to the homes and common areas, and the common equipment such as the swimming pool and collective parking.