The trustee, whether professional or not, may be held liable if a fault committed in the course of his duties has caused damage. The nature of his liability varies according to who has suffered the damage.
His liability will be contractual if the damage was caused to a syndicate of which he is an agent and tortious if the damage was caused to a third party or to a co-owner.
To engage his liability, it is up to the plaintiff to prove the prejudice and the causal link.
If the trustee has performed the necessary diligence and fulfilled his obligations, he cannot be held liable for the damages of the co-owner. However, if he has committed a fault in the context of an excess of power, his liability may be engaged.
The trustee may first of all, within the framework of his contract of mandate, engage his liability towards the syndicate of co-owners.
The latter is responsible for the faults committed by the syndic in the course of his duties towards the co-owners. In return, the syndicate may take recourse action to compensate for the fault personally committed by the syndic.
Indeed, the syndic, as the principal of the syndicate, is liable for the prejudices committed within the framework of his functions, for example
For a fault committed in the convening and holding of meetings;
For acts carried out by the syndic without, or in excess of, the authorization of the general assembly;
For the non-execution by the trustee of the decisions of the assembly;
For negligence committed in the administration of the building or the realization of work;
For negligence in taking the necessary measures to put an end to infractions committed by co-owners, such as legal action.
Finally, the syndic can be held liable directly towards the co-owners individually.
In principle, the syndic is only liable to the syndicate. Nevertheless, the co-owners, if they can act directly against the syndicate, can also choose to sue the syndic in case of direct and personal prejudice, outside of any action already taken by the syndicate.
The limitation period to act, both in contractual and extra-contractual liability, is 5 years.
It should be noted that a professional trustee, by virtue of his status as a property administrator, is subject by the Hoguet law of January 2, 1970, to obtaining a professional card and to a financial guarantee, including the obligation to take out insurance covering his professional civil liability in the event of professional negligence.