Minimize conflicts with your co-owners

Minimize conflicts with your co-owners

DAY

Do you always have to go to court when a conflict sours relations between co-owners, or between co-owners and their syndicate? There are faster and cheaper ways.

Barbecue forbidden on the balcony, smells of pot or yapping that disturb, disputed charges, condos rented when it is theoretically prohibited, tires with nails in the garage, clotheslines or gazebo that disturb: conflicts multiply and poison daily life co-owners.

Must we rely on the courts? When neighbors don't get along and bump into each other in the elevator, the garage or at condominium meetings, it worsens the quality of life…

Fortunately, there is compromise clause. The what?

Find a compromise

In most declarations of co-ownership (which have been modeled on that of the Chambre des notaires, since 2016), there is an arbitration clause. This little-known clause forces the parties in conflict to call on a mediator or an arbitrator to settle their dispute, before going to court.

In fact, the courts are increasingly verifying the existence such clauses in the declarations of co-ownership before accepting a lawsuit.

How it works? The co-owners submit their conflict to a mediator or an arbitrator, who is a lawyer. 

In mediation, we seek a compromise by exploring avenues that the parties had not thought of, without necessarily stick to the rules of law, showing creativity. Arbitration is closer to traditional justice: everyone presents their evidence and the arbitrator renders a final decision without appeal.

“In my experience, this process is friendlier and greatly reduces stress, as co-owners feel more heard and respected. They are often satisfied with the process even when they lose!”, explains Me Stefania Chianetta, president of the Center for Mediation and Arbitration in Co-ownership (CMAC), launched on October 1 by eight lawyers specializing in co-ownership law. < /p>

Especially since a dispute submitted to the court will drag on for months, even years, and will cost a fortune. A conflict in mediation or arbitration will be settled in a few days or a few weeks.

“We wanted to offer an alternative everywhere in Quebec, in person or in virtual mode, so that the co-owners obtain a personalized, uniform, affordable, continues Me Chianetta. Our service is simple: parties register online and we respond within 24 or 48 hours. It helps to demystify the process, reduce tension, facilitate discussions and the pursuit of solutions.”

Advice

  • You are experiencing a conflict and there is no solution in sight? Read your declaration of co-ownership: does it include an arbitration clause?
  • A promoter could be part of the mediation or arbitration process only if he is a signatory, as a contractor, of the declaration of co-ownership, but not its subcontractors (builder, architect, etc.).
  • Insurance disputes or construction defects are excluded from mediation or arbitration.