Definition : Co-owner - Undivided co-owner

A person which owns with another person or more an immovable without this immovable being governed by a declaration of co-ownership. Article 1015 of the Civil code of Québec provides that the shares of the co-owners are presumed equal. Generally, this presumption should apply failing a provision specifying the  ownership share of the property in the deed of sale.

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In co-ownership, the rights of withdrawal and of preemption may disrupt the course of a real estate transaction. In my practice, I had to intervene a number of times before proceeding with a sale, often to the astonishment (and sometimes displeasure!) of the parties, to safeguard their rights.
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In my practice, many clients consult me to convert an immovable comprising several apartments into divided co-ownership. Unfortunately this does not always prove possible, more particularly because of the very high costs such a process implies (such as subdivision taxes known «Parkland taxes»  applicable in certain boroughs of Montreal or other municipalities) and vested rights in favor of tenants.
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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.
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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.
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June 7th, 2010 – As a Notary, I receive on a regular basis mandates dealing with divided or undivided co-ownership.
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Every co-owner should participate to all general meetings to ensure the general meeting can reach a quorum and therefore deliberate and take decisions. If you are unable to attend, or if you do not wish to participate, it is better to appoint a mandatary. He may thus represent you at the general meeting, by the means of a proxy you will give him. Remember that a proxy represents the ideal compromise to exercise your voting right.
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