The tenant's obligations versus the declaration of co-ownership

In a recent decision concerning the question of whether a tenant is bound by the compromissory clause (mediation and arbitration) set out in the declaration of co-ownership, the Superior Court, in the case of “Syndicat de la copropriété Henri v. Développements Quorum MTL inc. and 9338-5110 Québec inc.”, ruled that the third-party tenant has no fewer obligations to the Syndicate than each co-owner, even if he or she is not a “signatory” to the declaration of co-ownership.

This Superior Court decision emphasizes that tenants in Quebec co-ownership must comply with the obligations and rules set out in the Declaration of Co-ownership, including the clauses on dispute resolution by mediation and arbitration, if included in the Declaration. In other words, even if the tenant has not signed the Declaration of Co-ownership, he or she is still bound by its terms and conditions, including the dispute resolution mechanisms set out therein.

Also, after referring to the relevant excerpts from the declaration of co-ownership, here’s how the Tribunal expresses itself on this issue:

First of all, in a world where co-ownership is more and more present, it would be illogical for a tenant to have more rights than a co-owner, who is himself bound to respect the rules of the game established by the declaration of co-ownership, including recourse to arbitration. Thus, implicitly or not, the tenant of a private portion is bound to respect the declaration of co-ownership, the lease being an accessory to the property, itself subject to the declaration of co-ownership. Otherwise, it would be all too easy for a co-owner to lease his unit, even to a legal entity under his control, in order to set aside his own obligations. However, the third-party lessee has no fewer obligations to the Syndicate than each co-owner.

This case law reinforces the rights and obligations of tenants in Quebec condominiums, and reminds them of the importance of understanding and complying with the Declaration of Co-ownership, as well as the building’s rules and regulations. In the event of a dispute or disagreement, tenants must be aware of their responsibilities and rights under the Act respecting divided co-ownership and the Declaration of Co-ownership.

The obligations of a tenant in co-ownership in Quebec are mainly defined by the provisions of the Act respecting divided co-ownership, the lease and the declaration of co-ownership. In 2021, certain changes were made to the legislation governing co-ownership in Québec, but the basic principles remain the same.

Sources: DJC (in french) et SolutionCondo

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