The adoption of Bill 141 concerning condominiums and Bill 16 have introduced new obligations for condominiums and co-owners, with several effective dates. While Bill 16 tends to integrate the aging of buildings to take the necessary measures for the preservation of buildings, protect buyers, and prevent passive co-owners from blocking the syndicate’s decision making, Bill 141 respecting condominiums aims for its part to guarantee better insurance coverage for the building.
More obligations for co-owners
Since October 15, 2020, Section 1064 of the Civil Code of Québec has imposed the obligation for each co-owner to take out civil liability insurance.
As of April 15, 2022, this same section will establish the obligation for each co-owner to contribute to the expenses arising from the condominium and the operation of the building, as well as to the contingency fund.
Insurance better suited to condominiums
Section 1073 of the Civil Code of Québec has been amended in several points:
- The condo syndicate must take out replacement value insurance—that is, up to the real cost of reconstruction. In other words, the insured amount must allow for the reconstruction of the building in its entirety in the event of a total loss, obsolescence having no impact in this context. This aspect of Bill 141 on condominiums will enter into force as of April 15, 2021.
- This amount must be determined by a member of the Ordre des évaluateurs agréés du Québec and assessed at least every five years. This provision will also be applicable as of April 15, 2021.
- The insurance policy taken out by the syndicate de facto covers at least the risks stipulated by the government regulation. Otherwise, the coverage which is excluded from it must be expressly indicated in the contract or its rider.
- The deductible of the insurance contract must be reasonable, and the government reserves the right to stipulate by regulation the criteria characterizing an unreasonable deductible.
- The syndicate is required to take out insurance covering its civil liability and that of the members of the board, the manager, and the meeting officers toward third parties. This provision will be applicable as of April 15, 2021.
A clear description of the private portions
Bill 141 on condominiums has also amended Section 1070 of the Civil Code of Québec. The third paragraph specifies that the condo syndicate must keep available to the co-owners and occupants of the building a register precisely describing the private portions of the building.
After making the contingency fund study and maintenance logbook mandatory through the application of Bill 16, the legislature is adopting new measures aimed at forcing the syndicate to keep and preserve records and important documents. The goal is double: on one hand, they help preserve the history of the building and improve its management, and on the other hand, they allow the co-owners to access documents related to the condominium.