- Occupant : Occupant
Definition : Occupant
Natural person other than a co-owner or tenant who occupies an apartment (a private portion) without being one of the co-owners of the immovable or a tenant. Anyone who is a member of a co-owner’s household, such as a spouse or the parents of a co-owner, is considered an occupant. The same applies to a person who occupies a private portion under the terms of a loan for use,or in his capacity as usufructuary. The rights of the occupant are limited to those available to the co-owner.
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.
Over time, there is several maintenance or improvement work that require the Syndicate to access Private Portions, and even sometimes, work to be executed inside Private Portions.
In order that such crucial work for the Syndicate of co-owners not be obstructed, Article 1066 of the Civil Code of Québec provides that no co-owner may interfere with the carrying-out, even inside its private portion, of work required for the preservation of the immovable, decided upon by the Syndicate or urgent work.
This obligation to allow said work is opposable not only to co-owners but also to occupants and tenants.
The law provides that the syndicate must keep a register available to the co-owners. Article 342 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the board of directors shall keep the list of members, as well as the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the legal person. This register represents the memory of the building for those who administer it. It constitutes the history of the experience of the condominium from its conception, and this by specifying its maintenance and the work undertaken, while listing the contractors and suppliers who intervened. In this sense, it is invaluable. The syndicate must preserve for organizational and management purposes, or for legal protection and evidence purposes, all documents and information relating to the operation of the co-ownership. That is why "preservation", "access" and "archives" are the hallmarks of this register.
A co-owner has repeatedly caused several water damages in our building, due to his negligence. This resulted in a surcharge for the syndicate's insurance.
Question: Can the board of directors claim the full amount from the co-owner who caused the loss?
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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.
When the rented property is an apartment, all tenants must comply with the by-laws of the immovable. However, tourists who rent a condo temporarily have often not received a copy. Therefore, without even knowing it, they may be in breach of the provisions included in this regulation. These tourists can use the parking spaces reserved for visitors, thus reducing the number of spaces available. Others park squarely in the spaces belonging to the co-owners. In addition, these temporary occupants may be less aware of safety considerations, as well as the tranquility of the co-owners. In short, they usually consider the unit they rented as a hotel room.
A co-owner may be liable to the syndicate, the other co-owners and the occupants of the immovable. As stated in Article 1457 of the Civil Code of Québec, every person has a duty not to harm others. As a co-owner, you must be careful and abide to the appropriate rules of conduct in accordance with the context and circumstances. Otherwise, you engage your civil liability and are required to remedy (financially third parties for moral or property damage and personal injury.Therefore, co-owners must take out civil liability insurance covering in particular claims arising from their private portion.