Definition : Syndicate of co-owners - Liability

The fact, for a syndicate of co-ownership, of having to answer for his or her actions and decisions. Article 1077 of the Civil Code of Quebe provides also that the syndicate is liable for damages caused to co-owners or third parties in the occurrence (amongst  others) of problems related to faulty design or construction defects of the immovable, or due to a lack of maintenance of the common portions  of the  co-ownership. In the latter case, the syndicate is subject to a no-fault liability regime, for it must ensure the preservation of the immovable and maintenance of common areas.

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Question : Je viens de subir un important sinistre causé par le bris du tuyau d’alimentation de la douche mon voisin. Le dégât d’eau a affecté considérablement mon appartement et mes biens meubles. J’ai dû être relocalisé pendant plus d’un mois à l’hôtel. Comble du malheur, je n’étais pas assuré pour ces dommages. Or, j’ignore si la canalisation défectueuse se trouve dans les parties communes de l’immeuble ou bien dans celles de mon voisin. Suis-je en droit de revendiquer de mon voisin ou du syndicat les sommes que j’ai dû à ce jour débourser ?  Réponse : En principe, vous êtes en droit d’obtenir une indemnisation. Toute personne a un droit de recours pour les dommages qu’elle a subis. Quant à celui qui est tenu d’indemniser, la réponse différera selon l’emplacement du tuyau défectueux, à savoir s’il est qualifié au terme de la déclaration de copropriété de partie commune ou de partie privative. 
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The concept of water damage also includes the liability of the syndicate, the co-owner and the tenant, who could be engaged in the event of damage suffered by third parties. The question of who is responsible for this constantly arises. However, it is necessary to know the law applicable to the culprit. Other considerations affect both the insurer of the syndicate and that of the co-owners concerned, in order to determine who will pay what. However, water damage can originate from a private portion, but also from a common portion (roof, façade, terrace, sewage discharge column that crosses the apartments, terrace).
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  The windows of our unit are at the end of their lives, according to a specialist who changed the thermos of a window that don't 2 windows have already cracked. Despite my express request to the syndicate to change our windows, he prefers to wait a few years to change all the windows. We have been losing the enjoyment of one of our main windows for 2 years. Its opening is a danger, because it is too heavy, weighs on the closing mechanism, and I am afraid that it falls from the 4th floor, or that the thermos breaks again. Question:  What do you think are our remedies?
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L’obligation du Syndicat d’entretenir les parties communes, plus particulièrement les parties communes à usage restreint, a fait couler beaucoup d’encre depuis la réforme de 1994. Souvent, les administrateurs se font tirer l’oreille lorsque des copropriétaires réclament l’exécution de certains travaux majeurs, soit un balcon sérieusement endommagé ou, comme c’était le cas dans l’affaire MARCHAND, pour une verrière qui est la source constante d’infiltration d’eau(1).  
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Work carried out in the common portions concerns the community of co-owners. This is reason why they are often carried out by the syndicate. Not only is this action consistent with its purpose and mission (article 1039 of the Civil Code of Québec), the purpose of which is to ensure the maintenance and preservation of the immovable, but it also arises from the onerous liability incumbent upon it if the work is poorly executed.
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Just like any other natural or legal person, a syndicate of co-ownership may be held civilly liable towards third parties, including co-owners.
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