- Common portion : Common portion
Definition : Common portion
Portion of the immovable owned by all the co-owners and which serves for their common use or for the use of some of them (common portion for restricted use). The declaration of co-ownership (description of the fractions) determines what is common. Save and except for contrary provisions stipulated in the declaration of co-ownership, are presumed to be a common portion: the ground, yards, verandas or balconies, parks and gardens, access ways, stairways and elevators, passage ways and halls, common service areas, parking and storage areas, basements, foundations and main walls of buildings, and common equipment and apparatus, such as central heating and air conditioning systems and the piping and wiring.
A source of permanent controversy in co-ownership, smoking arouses passions. A growing number of co-owners are complaining about neighbors who smoke. Given the abnormal neighbourhood disturbances that second-hand smoke can cause, many non-smoking co-owners want it completely banned. They worry about the effects of second-hand smoke on their health. 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.
A bathtub or a washing machine that overflows into the apartment below, a hot water tank that conks out and spills down six floors: losses involving the civil liability of a co-owner are many co-ownerships. And they are expensive! This is why the amount of insurance premiums and deductibles have increased significantly in recent years.
Worse still, some insurers no longer want to insure co-ownerships, because of a loss ratio that has become out of control. This situation is directly related to the insurer of the syndicate, which is almost always called upon to cover a loss, when damage has been caused to the common and private portions. Thus the question of who is responsible arises. It is also necessary to know the applicable law to the owner at fault. Other considerations affect both the insurer of the syndicate and those of the co-owners concerned, to determine who will pay what?
Any co-owner may have the relative value of their fraction, as well as the allocation of common expenses, revised according to certain conditions and formalities. To do so, it is necessary to proceed with an appeal to revise the relative value of the fractions. Furthermore, a co-owner may wish to modify the relative value of their fraction. Therefore, they will have to request the prior consent of the Board of directors or the general meeting of co-owners, depending on what is required.
This revision or modification of the relative value has an impact on the proportionate share of the right of ownership (which the co-owners hold in the common portions), the number of votes they can cast at the meeting of co-owners and the allocation of common expenses. On this question, Article 1064 of the Civil Code of Québec stipulates that: “Each co-owner contributes to the common expenses in proportion to the relative value of his fraction.”
Toutes les copropriétés sont dotées de parties communes qui nécessitent d’être entretenues. Il peut notamment s’agir de couloirs, d’escaliers, de jardins et d’ascenseurs. Le syndicat a l’obligation d’assurer leur entretien, car la déclaration de copropriété prévoit, généralement, qu’il en est le principal responsable.
De plus, l’article 1039 du Code civil du Québec stipule que le syndicat doit veiller à leur bon état. Quant à l’entretien des parties communes à usage restreint, par exemple les balcons, il peut être confié (en partie) aux copropriétaires qui en ont la jouissance. Cela diminue les recours à des fournisseurs de services externes, réduisant ainsi le montant alloué aux charges communes (frais de condo).
Relocations and move-ins involve going through the common portions of the building to transport furniture, boxes and other personal belongings. These operations could turn into a real mess or nightmare if, in a co-ownership, the framework for managing them has not been clearly established. While certain provisions of the Declaration of Co-Ownership are universal on this issue, nothing prevents a syndicate of co-owners from improving its content in order to adapt them to its own reality.
Question: During our last general meeting of co-owners, the president of the board of directors suggested to sell a parcel of land located in the backyard of our immovable. According to him, the amount that we could receive would allow to replenish the contingency fund. Can you tell me if that is possible? If this is the case, I would like to know who has the authority to make this decision.
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Despite increased congestion and gridlock in major urban centers, many co-owners still favor the automobile as their means of transportation. The densification of cities accentuates chronic congestion, which contributes to scarce parking spots on the streets. The situation is not much better in the suburbs, since it is generally forbidden to park (at night) in the winter time. Access to parking is therefore an important issue for many co-owners and buyers.
The essence of divided co-ownership (condo) is to divide the building into private portions for the exclusive use of a co-owner, and into common portions for the common use of all the co-owners or of one or more co-owners.
The private portions are the fractions of the immovable in which the co-owners have an exclusive right of property. They are described in the part of the declaration of co-ownership dedicated to the cadastral description of the fractions. These portions are physically identifiable. It can be an apartment, a parking space or a parcel of land in the case of townhouses. Each private portion has its own cadastral designation.
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.
Buying an apartment in a co-ownership is a major investment in a lifetime. To avoid being caught off guard during the process leading to your purchase, you should seek proper assistance.
The Law and the overwhelming majority of declarations of co-ownership require that syndicates of co-owners insure their building. This may seem surprising at first glance as the syndicate does not own the private portions nor the common portions. However, its main object is to ensure the preservation and the longevity of the building and to manage and administer it diligently following rules of the trade. This is why the legislator has given to the syndicate an insurable interest and has made it compulsory that it subscribe building insurance.