The law provides that a syndicate must keep a register at the disposal of the co-owners. In most cases the declarations of co-ownership list the items it contains. This register is the memory of the syndicate, and consequently, its archives. In is thus invaluable. Much more than a mere witness of the sound management of an immovable, it is its prime instrument. Therefore, preservation and access are the hallmarks of this register.
CONTENTS OF THE REGISTER OF THE SYNDICATE
The documents constituting the Register of the syndicate are listed in Article 1070 of the Civil Code of Québec. The list hereunder is non exhaustive:
Although it is not expressly mentioned in Article 1070 C.C.Q., the register of the syndicate shall also include all other documents relating to the immovable and the syndicate. These include, but are not limited to, the following documents:
ESTABLISHEMENT OF THE REGISTER
It is the duty of the Board of Directors to keep books and records necessary for the proper operation of the syndicate (Article 342 of the Civil Code of Québec). Moreover, the latter may delegate this task to a third party, such as the condo manager of the syndicate or an employee. This third party can issue copies of documents for which he is the depositary. Until determined otherwise, such copies are proof of their contents without having to prove the signature affixed to them or the authority of its author.
Since the register contains the identity of the co-owners, it is a document of reference for the exercise of voting rights and regarding the right to be represented at the General Meeting of the Co-owners. If, in a co-ownership, a person exercises his voting rights without having such rights, it will lead to an error in the calculation of votes, and without doubt to a possible legal challenge of decisions taken. This is why keeping the register up to date is extremely important.
The records of the syndicate must be made available to the co-owners. However, this does not mean they should necessarily be accessible anytime and anywhere. The law does not impose such an obligation to the syndicate.
The board of directors has entire discretion to adopt a by-law that limits consulting the records to certain hours, or even to require that an appointment be taken with one of the directors to do so. Similarly, the syndicate may decide whether access to the register will be free of charge or not. However, the fees and conditions for access to the register should not have the effect of depriving and restricting excessively the co-owner’s rights.
In addition, technological tools such as online registers facilitate access, while easing the burden of the board who no longer has to appoint a person to provide access.
LIMITATIONS TO CONSULTATION
The board of directors is not required to put at the co-owners’ disposal all the data it collects. This is the case, for example, regarding personal information concerning the co-owners. Moreover, in a judgment of the Superior Court, the Court decided that the co-owners could not have "unencumbered and total access to the syndicate’s accounting books". These are the working documents or "management tools of the board of directors."
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ! The register is the set of documents produced or received by the syndicate. The terms and conditions of consultation of the register are specific to each syndicate and are detailed in the by-laws of the immovable.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND : The board of directors shall, for the purposes of the administration of the immovable, safeguard all the documents and archives of the syndicate necessary for the accomplishment of its mission.
WARNING ! The Civil Code of Quebec governs the processing of information collected by the syndicate on any person, either co-owners or third parties. It cannot communicate it to third parties or misuse it, if it has not obtained the consent of the concerned person or if it is not legally authorized to do so.
Allocation plan of the common portions for restricted use Amendment Appraisal report Asset Management Plan By-laws of the immovable Cadastral plan Call for tenders Certificate of the state of the immovable Consultation Contingency fund survey Declaration of co-ownership Documents relating to the immovable and the syndicate Financial statements Horizontal cadastral plan Insurance policy Lease Legal proceeding Lessee (Tenant) Maintenance logbook Minutes Minutes Plans and specifications of the building (as) built Reconstruction cost Register of allocation of common portions for restricted use Register of co-owners Register of co-ownership Register of lessees Right of access to a leased private portion Safekeeping period Secretary Transfer of a co-owner's voting rights Vertical cadastral plan