- Mediation : Mediation
Definition : Mediation
Private dispute prevention and resolution process whereby the parties voluntarily choose to resolve their disagreement with the help of a neutral and impartial specialist: the mediator.
Lorsqu'un litige survient en copropriété, les copropriétaires doivent bien souvent s’adresser aux tribunaux pour faire valoir leurs droits. Mais une majorité d’entre eux s’abstiennent de le faire, en raison des coûts astronomiques qui y sont associés. La solution à ce problème serait la mise en place, au Québec, d’un tribunal administratif de la copropriété. Sa mission serait comparable à celle du Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL), anciennement appelé Régie du logement.
Les copropriétaires irrespectueux du règlement de l’immeuble (déclaration de copropriété) sont nombreux. Leurs infractions peuvent notamment se traduire par du tapage nocturne (trouble anormal de voisinage), un animal bruyant ou le non-respect des règles relatives au stationnement. Ces comportements peuvent causer un préjudice sérieux à certains copropriétaires ou au syndicat.
En pareille situation, il revient au conseil d’administration d’agir, en faisant respecter les règlements prévus dans la déclaration de copropriété. Dès qu’un manquement est constaté ou porté à sa connaissance, en cette matière, il doit intervenir pour que cesse un comportement délinquant. Les copropriétaires concernés ne doivent donc pas hésiter à se tourner vers leur syndicat, en l’occurrence les administrateurs, afin que soient mises en œuvre diverses mesures visant à sanctionner toute personne fautive.
Yves Joli-Coeur is counsel at Therrien Couture Joli-Coeur. A graduate of the University of Montréal in 1981, he has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1983. He is also a mediator and arbitrator accredited to the Barreau du Québec, a member of Mediation and Arbitration in co-ownership and one of the founders of the Regroupement des gestionnaires et des copropriétaires du Québec (RGCQ) Since the founding of this organization in 1999, he has acted as Secretary-General.
In 2009, the Barreau du Québec awarded him the honorary distinction of Lawyer Emeritus (Ad. E.) for his great contribution to the profession and to the law of co-ownership. Me Joli-Cœur is indeed one of the pioneers in this field; he has made it his main field of expertise for many years. He advises and represents many co-owners and syndicates of co-ownership in the defense of their rights.
Me Joli-Cœur regularly collaborates with the media, both in terms of print, radio and television. Its interventions pursue the same objective: to raise awareness among the population and decision-makers of the specific characteristics of life in co-ownership.
The declaration of co-ownership is a contract that orchestrates and regulates the lives of co-owners, lessees and other occupants of the immovable. It represents the guideline for everyone who lives in the immovable.The declaration of co-ownership provides, systematically, that it is up to the board of directors to have its content abided to. However, it happens that people break the rules, in particular by a non-compliant use of a private portion with regard to the destination of the immovable, a noise nuisance and work carried out in violation of the by the laws of the immovable. Other examples illustrate the problems that can occur in the co-ownership, such as an encroachment on a common portion or the improper installation of a floor covering. Anyone who does not abide to the declaration of co-ownership is liable, inter alia, to a legal recourse based on article 1080 of the Civil Code of Quebec . This action may be brought by a co-owner or the syndicate.
Co-ownership conflicts often arise from a lack of knowledge of the rules governing the immovable, a lack of communication or transparency, or from an unresolved misunderstanding.
In such cases, a trial is not the only avenue. Before commencing legal proceedings, and even once they are engaged, it is still time to opt for the services of a mediator. The latter could resolve the conflict between co-owners or with the members of the board of directors.
Conflicts within co-ownerships are not uncommon. They can arise between co-owners, in particular in the context of neighborhood annoyances (noise, abusive uses of the common portions) but also between the board of directors and the co-owners. They can be resolved amicably, for example through mediation, or through the judicial process or arbitration. The Code of Civil Procedure encourages alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation, arbitration or conciliation. It even obliges the parties to "consider" the use of private methods of prevention and settlement of their dispute before judicializing their dispute. These methods of settlement are in principle more user-friendly, accessible and expeditious.
A pioneering lawyer in the field of divided co-ownership in Quebec, Yves Joli-Coeur is the founder and general secretary of the Regroupement des gestionnaires et copropriétaires du Québec (RGCQ).
In 2009, he received the honorary distinction of Advocatus Emeritus (Ad. E.) for being one of the lawyers who has contributed the most to the reflection in the field of co-ownership law in Quebec.
Since the beginning of his career, he has been involved in important achievements such as the www.condolegal.com website, a tool used for educating the general public of co-ownership law.