Date published: 29/12/2023

Club Marin II Co-Owner Ordered to Pay More Than $100,000 to his Syndicate

Current legal events tell us that it can be costly for a delinquent co-owner not to respect the declaration of co-ownership. Recall that Condolegal reported, in a news item of April 2, 2023, a judgment of the Superior Court condemning a co-owner who rented her apartment on a short-term basis, in contravention of the declaration of co-ownership, to pay her syndicate more than $90,000 in penalties and in reimbursement of the fees of the syndicate's lawyers. This case was led by Me Karl Michel of the firm LJT lawyers.

Recently, the Superior Court ordered Mr. Mokaddem, a co-owner who smoked cannabis in his unit, to pay a just over $100,000 in penalties and to reimburse the legal fees incurred by the syndicate in order to obtain an order to force him to stop consuming cannabis in the co-ownership in contravention of the by-laws of the building. Me Philippe Gagnon-Marin et Me Olivier Lessard of the same firm obtained this result. 

The Facts 

When he bought his apartment, Mr. Mokaddem was made aware of the existence of the by-laws regarding the consumption of cannabis. Moreover, in his deed of purchase, the latter had undertaken to respect the clauses and conditions of the Declaration of Co-ownership as well as the various regulations of the Club Marin II. As soon as this new co-owner arrived, his immediate neighbours complained about the smell of cannabis emanating from his unit. A first notice of violation was sent on October 16, 2019. Despite this, the complaints continued. A second notice was sent in January 2020. On January 28, 2020, the syndicate filed an originating application for a permanent injunction. As a result of the co-owner's failure to comply with its demands, the syndicate sought a permanent injunction prohibiting Mr. Mokaddem from smoking cannabis in his unit, the application of penalties under the cannabis by-laws, the reimbursement of the extrajudicial fees incurred and the payment of punitive damages.

The Judgment

The court found that syndicate had demonstrated that Mr. Mokaddem had not complied with the by-laws and was therefore entitled to a permanent injunction, penalties calculated in accordance with the by-laws, and the reimbursement of the lawyers' fees incurred. As a result, the co-owner was sentenced to:

  • Not smoke cannabis in the building;
  • Not produce cannabis odours or smoke, whether in his apartment, private portion, or on his balcony, common area for restricted use, or in all common portions of the building;
  • Pay fines;
  • Reimburse the Syndicate of Co-owners of the Club Marin II Condominium in the amount of $103,695 for extrajudicial fees.

Moral takeaways from these judgments

Some syndicates believe that spending legal or notary fees to have proper by-laws drafted is an expense, not a protection. These two judgments prove otherwise.

A good, well-drafted by-law will deter co-owners from violating it and impose penalties upon the offender and allow the syndicate to be reimbursed for legal fees incurred, in whole or in part. This expense therefore becomes a protection for the Syndicate and a long-term investment.