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Claim for damages by a co-owner

Claim for damages by a co-owner

Claim for damages by a co-owner – breakage of a pipe located in the common portions - damage to the private portion - repair by a contractor hired by the co-owner – work authorized by the syndicate – objection to the cost by the syndicate - offer of a lesser amount

The plaintiff co-owner files a damage claim against the Syndicate and the manager of the building for 2 073,89$ representing the costs of repair work following water infiltrations in his condominium unit.

The defendants contest the amount claimed- and offer the sum of 1300$ for the work done.

The Court orders the syndicate to pay the full amount claimed and dismisses the claim against the manager for the following reasons:

The evidence presented shows that the co-owner's condominium unit applicant suffered damage from a water leak. The applicant hired the services of a contractor who discovers that the source of the leak is a break in the plumbing of the building.-

All the parties admit that this broken pipe is located in a common area which which is the syndicate's responsibility.

The manager of the co-ownership was informed of the break and authorized the applicant to have a contractor perform all work relating to this pipe and the damage to his unit.

The contractor hired by the applicant was not asked for an estimate, and at the same time carries out other work inside his unit.

Once the work is completed, the applicant received an invoice from his contractor which he forwarded to the Syndicate for payment.

The Syndicate's representatives contest the invoiced amount and ask for a breakdown of the costs of labour and materials. According to the co-owner such a breakdown isn't possible because it was an all-inclusive contract.

The Syndicate contests the amount claimed by the co-owner by comparing it to more extensive work done in a neighbouring building at a lesser cost. The Court dismisses this argument.

The evidence shows that the syndicate's manager authorized the applicant to have the work carried out to solve the water leak problem originating from a common area without setting a budget and without first requiring an estimate.

The Court finds no reason to question the co-owner's good faith as he paid his contractor the sum of 2 073,89 $ for the completion of the work in question.

If the Syndicate finds the cost too high it should have hired its own contractor or asked for an estimate before starting the work.

The Court finds no reason for the Syndicate to dispute the total amount actually paid by the co-owner for work which solved the water leak problem at its source and the repaired the damage caused.

There is no fault in the way the co-owner proceeded.

The Court finds that there are no legal ties between the co-owner and the management company in the context of this file and as a result must dismiss the claim against the manager, and uses its discretion to do so without awarding court costs.

The Court finds that the co-owner has proved his claim against the Syndicate, to the amount of 2 073,89$, plus interest, additional indemnity and court costs.

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Québec Landlords Association (1)

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