- Rebuttable presumption : Rebuttable presumption
Definition : Rebuttable presumption
Legal presumption that can be rebutted or challenged by evidence to the contrary (e.g. the presumption of liability of the custodian of a property or the presumption that a undived co-owner absent at a meeting of co-owners consents to the other co-owners representing him, if he has not, in writing, mandated a third person for that purpose or has indicated his refusal to be represented.). Its antonym is irrebuttable presumption.
Deux (2) jugements récents rendus par l’Honorable juge Georges Massol, de la Cour du Québec, abordent l’article 1074.2 du Code civil du Québec et le sens qu’il faudrait donner à cette disposition introduite au Code civil du Québec en décembre 2018 et qui a été modifié en mars 2020.
L’audition de ces causes a eu lieu le 13 octobre 2021 et les deux jugements portent la date du 21 octobre 2021. Signalons que le sinistre à l’origine de ces réclamations est survenu en mars 2019. Il s’agit de deux poursuites entreprises pas des copropriétaires d’un même syndicat, afin de se faire rembourser des sommes qu’ils ont dû assumer personnellement, puisque les sommes réclamées étaient inférieures au montant de la franchise du contrat d’assurance du syndicat.
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).
Question: Are the co-owners of a vertical co-ownership considered undivided in the horizontal condominium? And if so, what would be the impact on representativeness at the general meeting of the horizontal condominium (AGM)? For example, could a few co-owners of a vertical condominium act for all the co-owners without having previously held proxies as for the undivided co-owners of a condo during the vertical condominium AGM?
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In co-ownerships, most water heaters (electric or gas) are installed within the apartments. In such a case, this device is an integral part of the private portions of the building. Each co-owners therefore has the responsibility to ensure the proper functioning, by checking (notably) any signs of dilapidation, and, if necessary, by replacing it at its own expense. Failing to do so, in the event of a breach, a co-owner could be held liable for any damages to the common areas of the building, as well as to the private portions owned by other co-owners, up to the amount of the deductible provided for the syndicate's insurance coverage.
The first sentence of article 1090 of the Quebec civil Code states that "Each co-owner is entitled to a number of votes at a general meeting proportionate to the relative value of his fraction." The number of votes is related to the share of property rights each co-owner holds in the building. Therefore, the co-owner of a private portion whose relative value is higher will have more voting rights. In return, he or she will have to contribute to a larger portion of the costs related to the preservation of the immoveable and the maintenance and administration of the common portions, since common expenses are also distributed among all the co-owners according to the relative value of each portion.
Question: I do not understand how my right to vote at co-ownership meetings works. As a matter of fact, I am not the sole owner of my unit: my spouse and I are both on the ownership title, we are co-owners of equal shares (50%-50%). I have the impression that if I go to a meeting without my spouse, I will not be able to vote validly. Is this correct?
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During a meeting of co-owners, important decisions are made for each member of the co-ownership. Whether for alteration or improvement of the common portions, the election of the members of the board of directors, it is up to the co-owners to decide. However, if a co-owner is absent and has not taken care to be represented at the meeting, his vote may be sorely lacking. This may also prevent the obtaining of a quorum and consequently the holding of the meeting of co-owners. When a co-owner cannot go there, he can ask the person of his choice to represent him. The mandatary the one who receives the proxy is not necessarily another co-owner. It may be a person outside the co-ownership. The latter will thus be able to represent him in this meeting and vote in his place on all the questions on the agenda.
A written instrument is compulsory
Tacit mandate being excluded, you must give a written instrument to the mandatary of your choice if you wish to be represented at the Meeting. The latter, who will represent you and vote on your behalf during the general meeting, can be one of the directors of the co-ownership (in his personal capacity), another co-owner, a friend or a person totally foreign to the co-ownership.