The Maintenance Book Of A Co-Ownership (Condo / Coop)

Written by Me Sébastien Fiset , LL.B., B.A.A.
Mardi, 23 Février 2010 16:12


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The mandate of a syndicate of co-ownership is to ensure the preservation of the building, which means to keep it as close as possible to its original state, avoiding deterioration occurring over time and to maintain the common areas. A routine maintenance is necessary (cleaning, snow removal, landscape maintenance) through the periodic replacement of parts or equipment until the end of the useful life of mechanical components, electrical and structural.

Keeping a maintenance book is essential to identify all maintenance activities carried out by the syndicate. This will keep the record of the stock of building components, the history of actions taken for each of its elements. The maintenance book should therefore be an integral part of the register of the co-ownership. More than just a register, this will become an instrument for planning.

With a well structured maintenance and upkeep of equipment and building components, administrators and property managers will find it easier to cope with their tasks.

The maintenance book can also serve as a guide for maintenance employees and also as contractual provisions for contractors.

Contrary to an existing co-ownership already holding a maintenance book that requires a simple periodic update, for a new syndicate, in order to start on solid foundations, it is necessary first to address the physical condition of the immovable through an evaluation done by an expert (engineer, architect or building technologist) to ascertain the exact condition of the building components. A certificate of location will also have to be prepared by a land surveyor. These elements are part of a preventive maintenance programme.

The objective :

– Verify if the building complies with the building construction codes, municipal regulations and rules of art. Find out if the building has shown hidden defects of construction or design. If it has, an action against the developer, contractors, engineers or architects might be considered.

– Planning the maintenance of the building: the experts will produce the certificate of the building, identifying its common areas, subject to the contingency fund, design criteria and conditions of use of building components, indicating their estimated useful life, costs and repairs.

Nothing should be neglected, the syndicate being liable for damages that may be caused to co-owners by the lack of maintenance of common areas of the building!

Components of a good maintenance book :

  • General information about the co-ownership and its directors/administrators/managers ;
  • Contracts :
    • building’s insurances ;
    • damage insurance contracted by the syndicate ;
  • Information about the service providers ;
  • Dates when important work was carried out ;
  • Maintenance work, interventions on the building ;
  • Maintenance of shared facilities and their deadlines.

Keeping a maintenance book facilitates the preparation of budgets for determining the amounts to be paid for contributions to common expenses and to the contingency fund.

If the maintenance book is computerised it can be accessed more easily.

Since all co-owners and potential buyers (partly) may consult, upon request, the syndicate’s register, including the maintenance book, keeping a complete and updated maintenance book reflects good management of the assets of each co-owner and gives potential buyers the feeling of buying knowingly : it tells them if significant work is needed in the near future and if, for instance, legal proceedings are underway.

There are only advantages to be gained from establishing and keeping a good maintenance book.

The information provided on this page is general in nature and cannot compensate for the need to obtain legal advice specific to a particular situation.

Mise à jour le Samedi, 16 Août 2014 17:42

Me Sébastien Fiset
Me Sébastien Fiset