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The Description of the Private Portions in a Co-Ownership (“Condominium”)

Publication date: January 29, 2020 | Last update: April 27, 2020

Q. What role do agents and brokers play with respect to the syndicate of co-ownership’s obligation to maintain a description of the private portions?

A. It is not up to a broker or agent to draw up a description of the private portions; however, this description is one of the documents required to properly assess the needs of your client (the co-owner, or the syndicate of co-ownership) and provide them with the correct advice. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has created a model that you can share with your clients.  


Recently, a number of legislative amendments came into force that affect co-ownerships. 
Since December 13, 2018, all syndicates of co-ownership must keep “a description of the private portions that is sufficiently precise to allow any improvements made by co-owners to be identified.”1 One of this new provision’s objectives is to avoid any confusion in the event of a claim over what is covered by the syndicate’s insurance policy as opposed to what constitutes an improvement, which is covered by the co-owner’s insurance policy. Co-ownerships established before June 13, 2018, have until next June to draft their description. 
Assessing the value of property, a residence or a co-ownership does not fall under the competence of brokers or agents; it is therefore not your responsibility to draw up a description of the private portions. However, you must ask your client (the syndicate or the co-owner) for a copy of this description, in order to properly assess their risks and the coverage required. 
In fact, the IBC has created a model inventory for establishing the description of a private portion that you can share with your clients in order to help syndicates of co-ownership comply with this obligation. 
This article might also interest you: Explications à fournir à l’assuré quant à l’évaluation de leur résidence. [Explanations to give to insureds regarding the assessment of their residence (in French only)]
1. Article 1070 par. 3 of the Civil Code of Québec