What is Bill 16?

Bill 16, which groups together several legislative provisions concerning housing, was presented to the National Assembly by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on April 3, 2019, and was adopted on December 5. Since that time, certain provisions came into effect on January 10, 2020, notably the obligation of condominium syndicates of co-owners to conduct a contingency fund study every five years.

How does Bill 16 aim to maintain condominium buildings in good condition?

In order to maintain condominium buildings in good condition, Bill 16 amends the Civil Code of Québec to add new responsibilities to the purview of all syndicates of co-owners, including the obligation to establish a building maintenance logbook (article 1070.2, CCQ) and to obtain a contingency fund study (conducted by an architect, engineer, or other professional) every five years (article 1071, CCQ). These changes aim to ensure that there are sufficient funds to pay for major repairs to common areas and replacement of common components. Bill 16 also stipulates that the amount of each co-owner’s annual contribution to the building’s contingency fund be based on the recommendations of the quinquennial study.

What is this reserve fund that is now regulated by Bill 16?

Reserve funds, also called contingency funds in Quebec, are separate from the funds allocated to the regular maintenance of the common parts of a building. They provide a cushion for major renovations and repairs. Each month, a portion of a co-owner’s condo fees is deposited into a contingency fund to ensure that the syndicate has enough money to pay for future repairs. The reserve fund is intended to be used only for major repairs of common areas and replacement of common components, not for their regular maintenance.

What does Bill 16 mean for condominiums and co-owners?

Newly built condominiums

According to Bill 16, for a newly built condo building, developers must, within six months of the special transitional general meeting, produce a reserve fund study, as well as a maintenance logbook, and provide them to the syndicate of co-owners. This special general meeting ensures the proper transfer of the administration of the property from the developer to the syndicate of co-owners.

Existing condominiums

For an existing condo building, the syndicate must also establish a maintenance logbook and conduct a reserve fund study, which must be done every five years. The maintenance logbook contains information on the history and technical characteristics of a condo building. It also lists any and all contracts for general and technical maintenance, as well as various warranties and insurance policies. Furthermore, it establishes the schedule for all work under the terms of a building’s asset management plan. For this reason, Bill 16 requires that the logbook be kept up to date.

An existing condo building that had not yet instituted a maintenance logbook by the time this provision of Bill 16 came into effect has up to 3 years to establish one and to conduct a reserve fund study. Condo buildings already equipped with maintenance logbooks as of January 10, 2020, are granted a similar timeframe in which to modify their logbooks in the eventuality of noncompliance with the new rules.

How does Genispec conduct reserve fund studies in accordance with Bill 16?

Our team of building engineers conducts contingency fund studies according to best practices and in accordance with the new provisions of the Civil Code of Quebec. While taking into account the requirements of Bill 16, Genispec will propose various contribution scenarios tailored to the needs of each syndicate of co-owners and each building manager in the greater Montreal, North Shore, and South Shore areas.

To learn more about these changes, you can consult:

  • Bill 16 at a Glance, an explanatory guide by the Association of Managers and Co-owners of Quebec (RGCQ) 
  • Bill 16, as published on the website of the National Assembly of Quebec