A trend towards the rental of units held in divided co-ownership has manifested itself in recent years in large urban centres as well as resort centres. Although renting a property is a recognized right for a co-owner, he must know the rules applicable in this matter. The law and the declaration of co-ownership list the obligations to which tenants and co-owners-lessors commit themselves when they sign a lease, such as compliance with the by-laws of the immovable. Some of these obligations can cause the resiliation of the lease if they are not respected !
Contrary to other jurisdiction, Québec Law does not compel a lessee to subscribe “home insurance” which, in the event of a loss, covers his property and his civil liability. This “negative-obligation” becomes a problem if your lessee causes damages to a third party and he is not insured. In such cases, the declaration of co-ownership can hold you (the co-owner) solidarily liable for the damages he has caused.
Your lessee is liable for any damages he causes during the term of the rental. Civil liability insurance covers him against material damages or bodily harm he may inflict (unintentionally) to third parties, and against faults committed by persons he accommodates or lodges in his dwelling. This insurance also covers damages that his property may cause to third parties. For example, it will cover water damage to your apartment generated by an overflowing washing machine, and also in a neighbor’s apartment.
The declaration of co-ownership is binding upon the co-owners and, in principle, on the occupants and tenants of the immovable. It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to enforce its content. By failing to do so, the members of the Board may, in some cases, be held liable toward the co-owners. Anyone who does not respect it is exposed to legal proceeding based in particular on article 1080 of the Civil Code of Quebec. This action may be brought by both a co-owner and the syndicate.
A co-owner may be at home in his apartment, but the use he makes of it must comply with what is prescribed in the declaration of co-ownership. However, short-term rentals such as Airbnb's are sometimes prohibited if the declaration of co-ownership expressly indicates it or if the destination of the building is exclusively residential. This document may contain provisions prohibiting non-residential activities in the immovable. In order to ensure the well-being of the people who live there, it may be necessary for the syndicate to impose sanctions on co-owners or tenants who violate the by-laws of the immovable. He may even have, on certain occasions, to resort to the court to assert the rights of all the co-owners.