Every syndicate of co-owners has obligations regarding common portions maintenance. Article 1039 of the Civil Code of Québec provides that "Upon the publication of the declaration of co-ownership, the co-owners as a body constitute a legal person, the objects of which are the preservation of the immovable, the maintenance and administration of the common portions, the protection of the rights appurtenant to the immovable or the co-ownership, as well as all business in the common interest”. In the event that the latter fails to maintain and preserve the immovable, the syndicate may incur civil liability.
This means that it is bound to have the necessary work carried out to prevent deterioration of the common portions of the immovable. The declaration of co-ownership and other legal provisions impose this obligation.
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 façades of a building not only ensure its watertightness, they alare also a main component of its appearance. In addition to protecting the occupants from the elements, the façades have an identity and style. It is therefore essential to ensure their structural and architectural integrity, if major work needs to be carried out to repair or replace them. More specifically, the main façades of a building, whose history and conceptual integrity require meticulous interventions. Whether it is on a stand alone building, a co-ownership by phases or on townhouses. This is especially true in co-ownerships, where respecting the specific intention of the architect who designed the building is essential.
In addition, some façades are subject to the Building Chapter of the Safety Code (BCSC), adopted in 2013 by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). They must be inspected at fixed intervals and, if necessary, corrective work must be carried out to keep them safe. A review of the components that make up the envelope of a building, and which require special attention.
A co-owner has carried out by himself work on his terrace (common portion for restricted use). Since then, the roof leaks.
Question : Who must pay to repair the damage?
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The law provides specific provisions, to protect syndicates of co-owners against defective work (article 1081 of the Civil Code of Quebec). The legislator aims to alleviate apparent deficiencies at the end of a project. Regarding work in common portions, the syndicate has several legal warranties. Among these are the warranties for poor workmanship, for hidden defects and for the loss of the work. These rights are worth their weight in gold, since more often than not the cost of work in co-ownerships is very high.
In addition to the legal warranties, which apply in any case, in accordance with the conditions that govern them, the contractual liability of the contractor may also be invoked, under the legal contractual regime. The contractor may also offer additional guarantees.