Maintenance Work in a Condominium

by | Nov 16, 2017

It is the members of the board of directors, elected via the annual general meeting of co-owners, who are responsible for condominium management and they must do so in the common interest of the syndicate of co-owners, which is equivalent to the condominium corporation in other provinces. While ensuring co-owners and other occupants of the building respect the principles and the regulations established in the declaration of co-ownership, the board of directors pledges to manage the affairs of the condominium with prudence and diligence. In addition to managing revenues and expenses and hiring necessary staff, this includes maintaining the building in good condition.

What constitutes maintenance of a condominium?

According to article 1039 of the Civil Code of Québec, the syndicate of co-owners must ensure the preservation of the building as a whole and take charge of the maintenance of common areas and elements. All the same, the syndicate’s actions are not limited to the common areas alone. In the case where work in a private area of the condominium is necessary in order to avoid damage to building as a whole, the syndicate has the authority to proceed.

Let’s look at a concrete example. If a co-owner of the building fails to replace an old water heater that no longer works properly, the syndicate may hire a contractor to do the work because, in this case, it is necessary to ensure preservation of the building.

Since the passage of Bill 122, owners of buildings of five storeys or more must have a preventive maintenance program in place. In this way, they are required to hire professionals to complete facade inspections every five years and keep the resulting verification reports in the condominium’s official register.

What are the syndicate’s bylaws?

This document establishes the rules regarding the use and maintenance of condominium units and common areas, the rules governing the operation and administration of the condominium, the procedures for contributions to the reserve fund, as well collection procedures for common charges.

What is the reserve fund?

Officially known as the contingency fund according to the Quebec Civil Code, the reserve fund, as it is known in other provinces, is equal to the total of funds available for maintenance work aimed to ensure the preservation and longevity of the building.

What is the building condition certificate?

This document identifies the common areas and elements of the building which are subject to the contingency fund. Officially known as the “Certificat d’état d’immeuble,” the building condition certificate indicates the estimated lifespan of the building’s components, including the predicted replacement date of common elements, a timeline for major repairs, and replacement or repair cost estimates. The certificate is produced by building professionals as a result of a detailed study of the contingency fund. Additionally, the board of directors uses this document to calculate the contribution of the co-owners to the contingency fund.

What is the maintenance logbook?

Kept in the condominium’s official register, the maintenance logbook in used to keep the inventory of the components of the building up to date and to keep track of maintenance and replacement of the components. Very detailed, this document must be prepared by a building professional and must provide a maintenance schedule for each common element.

What are the consequences of lack of maintenance?

The board of directors needs to keep in mind that a lack of maintenance of their building may have a negative effect on its insurance policy. In other words, the insurer could increase the syndicate’s insurance premium, require a higher deductible, or refuse to cover damage related to a lack of maintenance. The insurer could even outright refuse to cover the condominium.

To find out more about the rights and obligations of a syndicate of co-owners in terms of maintenance work, visit LaCopropriété.Info created by the Chambre des notaires du Québec at the request of the Ministry of Justice. This French language website gathers together all you need to know about the condominium laws in Quebec in one place. For information in English, CondoLegal is a site put together by a team of lawyers and notaries with the purpose of informing Quebecers on their rights and obligations in terms of co-ownership. You can also check out the Quebec Fact Sheet in the Condominium Buyer’s Guide from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The expertise of Genispec Inspections

Our building engineers provide facade inspection and contingency fund analysis services throughout Greater Montreal, including the West Island and Dorion, Laval and the North Shore, Longueuil, Brossard and the South Shore. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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