- Insurance : Improvements made to a private portion
Definition : Insurance - Improvements made to a private portion
Work completed in a private portion and which have the effect of increasing its value by the addition of certain components or the use of higher quality materials to those included or provided during construction.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! Article 1070 C.c.Q. provides the obligation for a syndicate (constituted since June 13, 2018) to keep at the disposal of the co-owners "a description of the private portions that is sufficiently precise to allow any improvements made by the co-owners to be identified". It is also provided that the same description may be valid for several private portions, when they have the same characteristics. This description is commonly referred to as a "reference unit".
La question des assurances pour les copropriétaires (assurance-habitation) est un sujet délicat, car peu de copropriétaires sont conscients que ce type de produits d’assurances n'est pas homogène d'un assureur à l'autre. Ils risquent d’en faire les frais advenant qu’un sinistre important affecte leur immeuble.
Les copropriétés qui perdent leur assureur ne sont plus des cas isolés. Si la plupart d'entre elles parviennent à en trouver un autre pour recadrer le risque, les primes et les franchises n'en demeurent pas moins substantielles.
La loi oblige tout syndicat de copropriétaires à déclarer un sinistre, bien qu'il puisse ne pas réclamer d'indemnités. Ne pas déclarer un sinistre peut entraîner de graves conséquences.
June 28th, 2020 - The law concerning co-ownership insurance has undergone major changes since June 2018. Section 1070 of the Civil Code of Quebec now contains a third paragraph, which provides that the syndicate keeps a sufficiently precise description of the private portions available to the co-owners, for insurance purposes, so that the improvements made by the co-owners are identifiable. The same description may apply to several portions when they have the same characteristics.
Un copropriétaire doit s'assurer pour sa responsabilité civile, ses biens meubles et les améliorations qu'il a apportées à sa partie privative.
Bill 41 came into force on March 17, 2020. It creates a new obligation for any syndicate of co-owners formed before June 13, 2018 (the date of the publication of the declaration of co-ownership), namely the production and adoption, before June 13, 2020, of a description comprising one or more private reference parties.
However, some syndicates have neglected to do so. Nevertheless, there is still time (for them) to rectify this situation. Those who do not yet have this description of the private parties have a good interest in getting into it as soon as possible, otherwise the consequences could be severe, not only for a syndicate, but also for the civil liability of the directors.
Consult the practical sheet Who has to insure the improvements made to private portion? to learn more about this subject.
In your eagerness to finalize your offer to purchase, you may forget to ask the co-owner-seller if, over time, work has been carried out in the apartment. Yet, this question is of the utmost importance as it will allow you to ensure, as the case may be, that it has been executed correctly and legally. Also, it is required to refer to the declaration of co-ownership to know the rules that apply in this matter. Remember that when the work touches the common portions, it requires authorization. And sometimes even in a private portion, the declaration of co-ownership can impose constraints.
The insurance of the syndicate covers the common portions of the immovable, as well as your private portion. In the event of a loss, it will not cover you for the improvements made to your private portion. It is your responsibility, therefore, to ensure that these improvements are adequately, by the means of an individual insurance. This is generally the case, if renovations have been carried out with material of a higher quality than the original one. Your insurance policy must cover the value of the improvements you have made yourself, as well as those made by previous co-owners.
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.