- Engineer : Engineer
Definition : Engineer
A professional, member of the Order of Engineers of Québec, whose mission is to develop plans, give opinions, prepare reports, computations, surveys, drawings, plans and specifications, design briefs, and to inspect or carry out the surveillance of the work related to foundations, structure or electrical and mechanical systems of buildings.
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.
Until December 31, 2014, the mandatory warranty plan was administered by various organizations associated with the builders' associations, namely The APCHQ's New Home Warranty, The Abritât Guarantee Inc. and Qualité Habitation. In order to eliminate any appearance of conflict of interest, the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings has been amended. Thus, the government constituted a regulatory framework allowing the creation of a new single joint body in this area, which would be made up, in part, of as many consumer representatives as manufacturers.
The façades of a building not only ensure its watertightness, they alare also a main component of its appearance. In addition to protecting the occupants from the elements, the façades have an identity and style. It is therefore essential to ensure their structural and architectural integrity, if major work needs to be carried out to repair or replace them. More specifically, the main façades of a building, whose history and conceptual integrity require meticulous interventions. Whether it is on a stand alone building, a co-ownership by phases or on townhouses. This is especially true in co-ownerships, where respecting the specific intention of the architect who designed the building is essential.
In addition, some façades are subject to the Building Chapter of the Safety Code (BCSC), adopted in 2013 by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). They must be inspected at fixed intervals and, if necessary, corrective work must be carried out to keep them safe. A review of the components that make up the envelope of a building, and which require special attention.
Buying an apartment in a co-ownership is a major investment in a lifetime. In order to avoid being caught off guard during the steps prior to this acquisition, you will need to be well accompanied. After finding the apartment, the first thing to do is to appreciate the condition of it, as well as that of the building that houses it. To do things right, you need to seek the services of a building inspector.The latter will examine the unit and building that are of interest to you.
However, some buyers mistakenly believe, when it comes to a purchase in a tower, that it is not useful. However, buying without an inspection can generate significant and unpredictable costs. The purchaser will also find it difficult to demonstrate that he acted as a prudent buyer during a possible recourse for a hidden defect.
When you buy in a newly built divided co-ownership, a portion of the fractions of the building (apartment, parking or storage space, etc.), or even all, can be the subject of a notice of legal hypothec of construction. The Civil Code of Quebec introduced this hypothec in order to protect the persons who participated in its construction or renovation (architect, engineer, supplier of materials, workman, contractor or subcontractor) so that they can be reimbursed for work and services carried out on an immovable.
As a buyer, will you be required to pay the developer's debts if it defaults on its construction creditors? If so, will the amounts claimed be distributed among all co-owners? And what will happen if they refuse to pay?
The law provides specific provisions, to protect syndicates of co-owners against defective work (article 1081 of the Civil Code of Quebec). The legislator aims to alleviate apparent deficiencies at the end of a project. Regarding work in common portions, the syndicate has several legal warranties. Among these are the warranties for poor workmanship, for hidden defects and for the loss of the work. These rights are worth their weight in gold, since more often than not the cost of work in co-ownerships is very high.
In addition to the legal warranties, which apply in any case, in accordance with the conditions that govern them, the contractual liability of the contractor may also be invoked, under the legal contractual regime. The contractor may also offer additional guarantees.
Work to be carried in common portions is to be undertaken by the syndicate of co-owners. In its capacity of the client, he is the instigator and the beneficiary thereof. It prepares the specifications and consequently the needs, the budget, the provisional calendar and the objectives to be achieved. In relation to such work, the syndicate should always be governed by its mission. It should never act as a substitute for the general contractor, such as mandating the subcontractors directly to do the work, or by interfering in the conduct of the construction site, in the place and stead of the people responsible therefor.
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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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.