The soon to be coming into force of the Regulations to improve the security in the building

Published on by Me Annie Lapointe notaire

Topic(s): Regulation

Source: Messier Soucy Avocats

The soon to be coming into force of the Regulations to improve the security in the building
Let us remind that in December 2010, Bill 122, being the Act amending the Building Act concerning, in particular, the modernization of the safety standards, went into effect without leaving the population indifferent. First, remember, because this legislation was due to unfortunate accidents that claimed the lives of two people (a concrete panel detaching from the facade of a hotel and a concrete slab detached from an underground parking). Moreover, because the regulations that would ensue might bring with them significant costs for landlords.
The draft regulations expected for several months were published on 20 June 2012 in the Gazette officielle du Québec. These Regulations, aiming at improving security in the building, will therefore add a chapter called Building to the Safety Code, as explained in a previous article.

We repeat that we encourage the Government in its policy surrounding the maintenance of buildings for increased safety. However, we presented during the consultation period of the draft regulations, which ended in early August 2012, our comments in some respects.

In December of last year the draft regulations were still being displayed as consultation. While informing ourselves at the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec on the progress of this initiative we were told that, the public consultation being completed, collecting feedback and analysis was completed by the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec. They were then in the process of finalizing the document to be presented to the Government for approval, with or without modification.
Representations to the Government having been scheduled for the month of December, the process of approval and publication in the Gazette officielle will follow. According to the draft regulations issued for consultation, if there is no change in this respect, most of the provisions will come into force on the 15th day of its publication in the Gazette officielle. Inspections will then have to begin according to the schedule enacted in the regulations.
All indications point towards an alignment for the application of these new rules in 2013.

Let us repeat that these new regulations will affect the general maintenance of buildings, especially at the upgrading of fire safety. Also, the maintenance regime for facades of 5 floors and more above ground was proposed for every 5 years by a professional engineer or architect. For underground or overhead parking lots with concrete slab and having a bearing surface that is not based on the ground a similar verification every 5 years by an engineer and an annual check-up by the owner was proposed.

It remains to be seen whether the proposals of the different stakeholders will have contributed to enhance the Draft submitted to make it more suitable to the reality of the owners. Our concerns are such that, if the regulations are adopted as such, they will allow a coherent policy to help rental property owners, more specifically, to pay for the costs related to such inspections. We believe that landlords should be able to account for these costs in the calculation of the cost of rent because it is in order to provide greater protection for tenants that these inspections and works will be done.

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