September 8th 2015 – In the election campaign, the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec reminded the population of the candidates’ rights to access private units. Whoever prevents a candidate from entering the premises of a private unit can be subjected to a fine of $5,000 or an imprisonment sentence of a maximum of 6 months, or both. The syndicate of co-owners are especially targeted since ‟apartments or condos” fall under this umbrella.
It is important to note that only specific cases can be excluded from this principle and only under rare circumstances. I am of the opinion that an immovable of divided co-ownership such as condos cannot constitute an exception due to the number of people living in this type of habitation. Living in a condo does not mean living in a fortress where election candidates can be denied access. The candidate has a right to access the communal premises. It is then up to the co-owner whether she allows entry to her private condo.
Therefore, everyone (concierge, co-owner, administrator, etc.) should let the candidate access the immovable between 9 am and 9 pm. Candidates can also campaign in the common areas of the immovable during those hours.
I am aware of the inconvenience that such an access can cause, especially in an immovable where the security of its occupants constitutes a fundamental element and was a condition to purchasing the condo. In this vein, the administrators could post a written sign on the main door explaining the hours and/or dates when the candidates will be allowed to access the common areas. This could avoid candidates knocking on individual condos.
Ludovic Le Draoullec, Lawyer
DE GRANDPRÉ JOLI-COEUR
2000, avenue McGill College, suite 1600
Montréal (Québec) H3A 3H3
Phone : (514) 287-9535
Fax : (514) 499-0469
Mail: [email protected]
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