Definition : Obligation of means

A legal or contractual obligation under which the debtor is required to act with prudence and diligence in order to achieve the agreed result, using all reasonable means, without, however, assuring the creditor of the achievement of the result. In the case of an obligation of means, the creditor must prove, in order to hold the debtor liable, that the debtor did not exercise reasonable diligence and prudence in the pursuit of the intended purpose. The creditor, in order to establish the debtor's fault, must show that the non-performance of the contract is due to the fact that the debtor did not use all reasonable means to try to achieve the desired result. The debtor may attempt to exonerate himself either by demonstrating absence of fault, or by superior force or the fact of the victim himself.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ! The jurisprudence holds that the syndicates of co-owners and their directors have only an obligation of means towards the co-owners.

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The juridical personality of the syndicate is distinct from the one of the co-owners and directors. His acts are binding only on himself, besides for the exceptions provided by law. The faults committed by the syndicate have consequences only on its own civil liability and not on the directors. Under these conditions, they are held harmless by the syndicate and assume no responsibility for any costs, expenses, charges or losses they have incurred for the administration of the building and the syndicate. This is the basic principle, but it is important to bring several nuances to it. Indeed, a director must never lose sight of the interest of the community of co-owners.
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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.
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