In condos, the declaration of co-ownership generally stipulates that the syndicate has the obligation and the responsibility to ensure the maintenance and cleaning of the condo common areas. It’s essential to implement an effective methodology and make the right choices to keep the building clean and safe at the right cost.
1. Identify the Tasks to be Performed Periodically
Section 1039 of the Civil Code of Québec specifies that the syndicate is required to keep the common areas in good condition. This involves having repairs done, but also organizing the cleaning of the condo common areas. Depending on the configuration of the building, the cleaning-related tasks can be numerous and varied; it is therefore necessary to list them exhaustively and estimate their frequency.
The cleaning-related tasks for the common areas of a condo
In particular, building maintenance management includes:
- Cleaning the hallways, stairs, elevators (including railings, mirrors, and switches), and parking lots;
- Washing the floors in all the condo common areas;
- Cleaning the windows;
- Maintaining the green spaces and surroundings of the building;
- Putting the garbage containers out and taking them back in;
- Snow removal.
The frequency of these tasks depends primarily on the size of the condominium and the number of occupants of the building. It is determined by the syndicate, which strives to maintain a fair balance between services and prices.
2. Divide Up the Tasks
From the defined list of tasks, the syndicate will choose to entrust the cleaning tasks for the condo common areas to employees, which requires human resources management, or to external providers, or even combine both.
This decision is made largely according to the size of the building, the outdoor spaces, the desired cleaning frequency, and the equipment and know-how required to clean the condo common areas.
In small condos, or in the case of restricted-use common areas, the co-owners may take care of certain tasks themselves.
3. Draw Up a Specification
To compare costs and prevent any misunderstandings regarding how to perform the tasks, it’s best to draw up a specification for the cleaning of the condo common areas, whether they are handled by employees of the building or external providers.
In particular, this specification should indicate:
- The list of the tasks to be performed;
- Their frequency, or even the intervention schedules;
- Any household products or equipment to be used, and by which party they are provided.
It is also customary to take a tour of the building with the building employees and/or the service providers consulted before entrusting them with the cleaning tasks for the condo common areas.