- Common portions for restricted use : Common portions for restricted use
Definition : Common portions for restricted use
Common portions for which the right of enjoyment is restricted to one or several co-owners (for example, the balconies, the entrance doors and the apartment windows, the storage and parking spaces). The exclusive right of enjoyment of a common portion is generally granted by the declaration of co-ownership. This right does not constitute a right of ownership, but a mere temporary or permanent right of private use attached to a private portion. This type of common portion is sometimes shown on an allocation plan of the common portions for restricted use (e.g. for parking spaces or lockers). Be aware that no one can hold such an enjoyment right, if he is not the owner of a fraction.
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?
Administrative, maintenance, replacement, improvement or alteration expenses of the common portions are divided among the co-owners. General common expenses are to be distinguished from particular common expenses, which are allocated under different rules. In the first case, it is the relative value of each fraction that is used to establish the co-owners contribution. As for special common expenses arising from common portions for restricted use, the co-owners using them are alone responsible of the expenses resulting therefrom.
Most often than not declarations of co-ownership (Constituting Act of co-ownership) designate the legal status of exterior parking spaces as common portions for restricted use. This is also true for indoor parkings, when the developer (declarant) decides that it is not necessary to create a specific lot number for each space. These are therefore an integral part of the lot constituting the common portions of the immovable.
A co-owner has carried out by himself work on his terrace (common portion for restricted use). Since then, the roof leaks.
Question : Who must pay to repair the damage?
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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.
As in common portions, work can be carried out in common portions for restricted use, such as building a terrace upon which a co-owner would have exclusive use or transforming a balcony into an additional room attached to an apartment. If such cases, the co-owners must keep in mind that article 1063 of the Civil Code of Québec governs the use they can make of the common portions for restricted use. This article stipulates that: "Each co-owner has the disposal of his fraction; he has free use and enjoyment of his private portion and the common portions, provided he complies with the by-laws of the immovable and does not impair the rights of the other co-owners or the destination of the immovable. "
When you purchase an apartment in an immovable held in divided co-ownership, you become the owner of your dwelling (private portion), but also the owner of an undivided portion of the immovable designated as common portion (for example: the ground, balconies, major components such as foundations and main walls). This, taken as a whole, including the common and private portion, is designated in legalese as: a fraction.
The fractions may contain one or more private portions. They are described in the declaration of co-ownership in the Section entitled the Description of the fractions, and they are physically identifiable. They may include an apartment, but also a parking space or a parcel of land (for example in townhouses or semi-detached homes).
Un copropriétaire désire que lui soit octroyé un droit de jouissance exclusif sur la terrasse située sur le toit, comme étant une partie commune à usage restreint. Quelles autorisations doit-il obtenir?
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