Relocations and move-ins involve going through the common portions of the building to transport furniture, boxes and other personal belongings. These operations could turn into a real mess or nightmare if, in a co-ownership, the framework for managing them has not been clearly established. While certain provisions of the Declaration of Co-Ownership are universal on this issue, nothing prevents a syndicate of co-owners from improving its content in order to adapt them to its own reality.
Declaration of Co-Ownership
This document generally sets out various prohibitions, sanctions, conditions or precautions to be respected during relocations and move-ins. It may provide:
If damage is done to the common areas during any of these operations, the Board of Directors is generally authorized to use all, or part of the security deposit paid by the co-owner as compensation to repair such damage. However, if the damages exceed the amount of the deposit, the syndicate retains all its recourses. On the other hand, if there are no damages or if a residual amount remains after compensation, the Board of Directors shall remit that amount or the residue thereof.
Disputes During a Move
Failure to notify the syndicate that a co-owner or tenant will be moving into the building could be a source of litigation. There are many who will not appreciate the fact that a new occupant shows up with a moving truck, on a nice Saturday morning, without having been announced beforehand. Most directors will want to be notified if a co-owner decides to rent his apartment to a third party, or if his tenant changes identity.
Newcomers may be denied access to the building until the owner of the apartment is contacted. For example, the latter will have to confirm that a tenant has been allowed to move in. It is important to remember that a syndicate has a duty to ensure the security of the premises. However, unknown and unannounced tenants can create a sense of insecurity.
In addition, tenants of a co-ownership apartment may leave before the end of the lease and sublet the unit to someone else. This is another area where things could get more difficult. This will often result in disagreement expressed by several directors, who will not approve of this type of manoeuvre, which could lead to a multiplication of keys giving access to a building.
Notification to the Syndicate of a New Occupant
Co-owners who rent or lend their private portion (e.g. an apartment or a parking space) free of charge must notify the syndicate within 15 days. They must also reveal the identity of the tenant or occupant, even if the rental or occupation lasts only a few days. They must also indicate the name of the tenant or occupant, the term of the lease or right of occupancy, and the date on which they gave the tenant or occupant a copy of the by-laws of the immovable (including any amendments).
Article 1057 of the Civil Code of Quebec stipulates that the by-laws of the immovable may be set up against the tenant or occupant of a private portion, as soon as a copy of the by-laws or the amendments to them is given to him by the co-owner or, failing that, by the syndicate. Once the by-laws of the immovable or the amendments have been communicated to the tenant or occupant, the latter is bound to comply with them in their entirety. If they fail to do so, a co-owner or the syndicate may not, in principle, reproach the tenant or occupant for failing to comply with the rules.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ! In most buildings, the mobilization of elevators is generally governed by rules. A designated person will make sure to install carpets and protective covers in the cabin to prevent a new occupant from damaging the interior. In some cases, the move may not be through the main entrance of a building, but rather through its underground parking lot.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND : If it is a co-ownership whose management is closely monitored, and where the building by-laws have been improved, a move could be accompanied by a clause that provides for costs. In other words, the co-owner/landlord or the newcomers will have to pay a deposit, which will be used to pay personnel who will take the necessary precautions in the building on the eve of a move.
WARNING ! In case of damage to the common areas, the co-owner will have to pay for the repairs. Unless otherwise stipulated, the amount of the security will not in itself constitute a limit to the co-owner's liability.