The declaration of co-ownership is a convention that organizes and regulates the collective life of the co-owners and occupants of the building. This Convention defines in particular their rights and obligations. It is usually developed unilaterally by the developer or owner of the building. Legally, the declaration of co-ownership is a real contract of adhesion, because any new co-owner is obliged to adhere to it.
This is a key legal document. Its publication gives rise to the co-ownership and the syndicate. Look at the different aspects of the declaration of co-ownership.
Usually declarations of co-ownership list the patrimony of the syndicate of co-owners. Among the items owned by the syndicate is the register of co-ownership. It contains all the syndicate's archives, such as the declaration of co-ownership, the up-to-date list of co-owners and tenants of the immovable and the minutes, enabling it to carry out its mission adequately. The co-owners must have access to this register, which can be entrusted to a director or a manager.
From the first day of existence of the co-ownership, that is to say when its declaration of co-ownership is published in the Land Register of Quebec, the co-owners as one body constitute a “syndicate of co-owners”. This legal person must ensure the "preservation of the immovable and manage the common portions." To form this co-ownership several steps involving many protagonists are necessary.
The Internet spawned a collaborative economy. Web sites such as Airbnb allow co-owners to rent their apartments to third parties a few days a year. This accommodation formula, intended for travelers, sometimes generates substantial income. For this reason, some owners are tempted by these easy pickings. And they believe they are entitled to do so, (wrongly in many cases) and to use their private portion as they see fit.
Many co-owners are unaware that this activity is prohibited in their building. Others are fully aware, but are unconcerned. However the incessant ins and outs of strangers brings its lot of disadvantages. Late and noisy arrivals, as well as departures at dawn are generally not compatible with the lifestyle sought by the resident-co-owners of the building. This practice can potentially have a negative impact on their safety.
An immovable whose dwellings are all occupied by undivided owners, can be converted into divided co-ownerships, subject to certain conditions. But carrying out this conversion requires to overcome several steps involving all owners concerned.
The divided co-ownership of an immovable is not necessarily destined to last forever. The termination of the co-ownership, and by the same token the dissolution and liquidation of the syndicate, is a question that will eventually arise for some co-ownerships. Furthermore, its termination is governed by articles 1108 and 1109 of the Civil Code of Québec, which refer to the rules applicable to legal persons concerning their liquidation.
When shopping for an apartment, you must find out if it is in a divided or undivided co-ownership. Even though both concepts are similar in that their ultimate goal is the partition of an immovable between several persons called co-owners, the financial and legal commitments are different.
By purchasing a condo (apartment) in a residential tower, you automatically become an owner in a vertical co-ownership. You can also be in a divided co-ownership, if you purchase a house (semi-detached or townhouse), built on the same lot than other individual homes. It is then called a horizontal co-ownership.
The essence of divided co-ownership (condo) is to divide the building into private portions for the exclusive use of a co-owner, and into common portions for the common use of all the co-owners or of one or more co-owners.
The private portions are the fractions of the immovable in which the co-owners have an exclusive right of property. They are described in the part of the declaration of co-ownership dedicated to the cadastral description of the fractions. These portions are physically identifiable. It can be an apartment, a parking space or a parcel of land in the case of townhouses. Each private portion has its own cadastral designation.
The purchase of a condo gives you easier access to property, on account of lower costs compared to a single family home. Young couples and tenants take advantage of this formula. An increasing number of them opt for condo life, which allows them at last to become owners.