- Defect : Defect in workmanship
Definition : Defect - Defect in workmanship
Work poorly performed, without affecting the solidity of the immovable, and which is caused by the failure to respect the rules of the trade or the applicable standards. For example, a new window, even though of the right size, that leaks.
March 10th 2022 - The pre-acceptance inspection is a critical step in the process of acquiring a new property. A thorough and careful inspection is the best way to protect buyers from any unforeseen issues. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the pre-acceptance inspection of the private portions and common areas of your co-owned property.
LITTLE REMINDER : Let us start by reminding you that in the new co-owned property market, the mandatory guarantee plan administered by Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR) covers buildings held in divided co-ownership that have no more than four private portions stacked one above the other, as well as detached, semi-detached or row-type single-family houses held in co-ownership. “Condo towers” are not covered by the mandatory guarantee plan.
Article 1726 paragraph 1 of the Civil Code of Quebec, provides that " The seller is bound to warrant the buyer that the property and its accessories are, at the time of the sale, free of latent defects which render it unfit for the use for which it was intended or which so diminish its usefulness that the buyer would not have bought it or paid so high a price if he had been aware of them. In other words, the latent defect prevents the buyer from enjoying, as he was entitled to expect, the property sold and its accessories. However, the purchase cannot be done blindly, as the buyer must exercise caution and diligence in the purchase process. Thus, a defect that was denounced by the seller at the time of the sale is not covered by the legal guarantee since the buyer then acquired the property knowingly. A buyer must therefore be particularly attentive to the representations and declarations of a seller, as well as to the documentation given by the latter before the sale
The law regulates the liability of contractors and building professionals for any problem related to the quality of construction work. In this regard, the legislator has provided for a specific protection regime for divided co-ownership. Section 1081 of the Civil Code of Québec recognizes the legal interest of any syndicate of co-owners to assert the rights of all co-owners to correct defects that appear, in the short or long term. This could occur during the initial construction of the building, or during work carried out several years after its erection. In short, when problems affect the common portions, the syndicate benefits from several legal warranties. Among them is the one against latent defects, design or construction defects. These warranties are worth their weight in gold, because very often, the cost of the work to be carried out in a co-ownership can be substantial.
The Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings differs from the private guarantee plans offered on the market by the nature of the guarantees offered and the mechanisms for asserting its rights. In this regard, the terms and conditions are set out in the the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings, which is the responsibility of the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). Finally, unlike private guarantee plans, any purchaser of a building covered by this plan automatically benefits from it. As this is a system aimed at the minimum protection of consumers'rights, consumers cannot waive this mandatory guarantee, even if they sign a document to that effect.
I am the co-owner of a new condo. Other owners and I have recently discovered cracks in the foundation of the building, as well as water infiltration in the garage. The promoter is mute, and we have not yet transferred the administration.
Question: Should we refuse to elect our first Board of Directors, until the issues identified have been corrected? And should I sell immediately before other major problems arise?
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In the same way as any other natural or legal person, a syndicate of co-owners is likely to incur civil liability towards third parties, including co-owners. Responsibility is the counterpart of power: where authority is, there is responsibility. This responsibility can be translated into the financial contribution of the co-owners, since in the event of a judgment condemning the syndicate to pay a sum of money, this judgement will be enforceable against him and each of the persons who were co-owners at the time the cause of action arose, in proportion to the relative value of their fraction.Therefore the law obliges any syndicate of co-owners to take out insurance covering its civil liability towards third parties.
The Civil Code of Québec confers juridical personality on the community of co-owners. Article 1039 of the Civil Code of Quebec provides that as soon as the declaration of co-ownership is published, the community of co-owners constitutes a legal person called a syndicate of co-owners.
Those duties and obligations are mainly aimed to ensure the preservation of the immovable, the administration of the common portions and the protection of the rights affecting the immovable or co-ownership, as well as all operations in the common interest. However, it is essential to understand them well because failure to comply with these duties and obligations towards a co-owner or a third party could lead to the civil liability of a syndicate.