Co-owner-lessors would benefit from reading the by-laws of the immovable

July 16, 2019 - The peak of moving in and moving out is now behind us, even though relocations to other addresses are not yet complete in Quebec. For example, many people will move into a co-ownership as lessees. It therefore seems appropriate to recall certain elementary rules to be observed, in order to avoid problems that have no reason to be.

First, it is important to remember that newcomers to a co-ownership could face a closed door if its directors have not been informed that a co-owner has rented its unit to third parties.

"These newcomers could face a closed door, even if they claim to have rented the condo in question. I have already seen scenarios of this kind in my practice," says Marie-Cécile Bodéüs, a lawyer specializing in co-ownership law and a partner at the Grandpré Joli-Coeur law firm. Distrust of strangers has increased over time, due to the phenomenon known as Airbnb or short-term rental (less than 30 days), which raises its share of concerns.

Unnecessary complications

This entry ban could be maintained until the co-owner-lessor confirms that he has rented his apartment to the alleged lessees. A conscientious syndicate will do this to ensure the safety of the co-ownership. If the lessor is an investor living abroad and is difficult to reach, the situation could become disproportionate.

Yet this purely logistical incident could have been avoided if the co-owner-lessor had read the by-laws of the immovable, which usually provide for certain standardized rules from one co-ownership to another. He would have known, first of all, that the syndicate must be informed that a lease has been signed.

Elevators: precautions to be taken

Elevators, which are in buildings with more than three floors, are governed by rules issued by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) (Québec Buildings Board). Under normal circumstances, an employee will install protective carpets to avoid damaging the inside of the elevators when moving in or moving out.

Remember that when a lessee moves into the apartment of a co-owner-lessor, the latter should give him a copy of the by-laws of the immovable. Moreover, having him sign an agreement requiring him to comply with its terms would be useful. In large complexes held in divided co-ownership, a lessee could even be given a welcome booklet, which summarizes the main points of the by-laws of the immovable.


To learn more about renting an apartment held in divided co-ownership, click on these hyperlinks: Gestion des déménagements et Assurance du copropriétaire bailleur (Moving Management and Co-owner-lessor Insurance).


By François G. Cellier for

Montreal, July 16, 2019