What is a syndicate of co-owners?

The Civil Code of Quebec (C.c.Q.) provides that upon the publication of the declaration of co-ownership, the community of co-owners of an immovable constitutes a syndicate.This is necessary to reconcile the rights of each co-owner with the destination of the immovable. The syndicate acts as a legal person regrouping all the co-owners of the immovable.

 

Main object

The syndicate has a very specific purpose, which is defined by article 1039 of the Civil Code of Québec (C.c.Q): the preservation of the immovable (private and common portions), maintenance and administration of the common portions, the protection of the rights appurtenant to the immovable or the co-ownership, as well as all business of common interest.

Juridical personality 

To carry out its objects conferred by Law, the syndicate of the co-owners has rights and duties. This means that it:

  •  has juridical personality distinct from that of each co-owner;
  • has a name under which it exercises its rights and performs its obligations;
  • has a domicile where it operates;
  • has  a patrimony separate from that of its members; owns   (for example)  a patrimony  which can include immovables (such as , the janitor’s  apartment), movable property, receivables, amounts kept  for current operations or for future works (contingency fund);
  • represents the collective interest which takes precedence over the co-owners individual interests;
  • is independent from its members and its actions are theoretically its own commitments;
  • may take legal action if the interest of the co-ownership is threatened (including by a co-owner);
  • may acquire or sell private portions (if it owns it) and even common portions under certain conditions.

Composition

To take its decisions, the syndicate acts through two bodies: the Board of Directors and the General Meeting of the co-owners. The respective powers of these decision-making bodies are established by Law and by the declaration of co-ownership.

The Board of Directors (composed of one or more directors) manages the syndicate’s affairs and is responsible for the administration of the immovable. Its role is exercised on a regular and continuous basis.

The General Meeting of the co-owners deals with issues of interest to all co-owners. It is also consulted on the budgets of the co-ownership and is empowered to take certain decisions concerning the co-ownership, such as     the election of Directors and amendments to the declaration of co-ownership.

  WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ! By the mere fact of buying an apartment in a co-ownership, you become a rightful    syndicate member. No special formality is required, nor must any particular document be signed in addition to the deed of purchase.

  WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND ! No person other than an co-owner can be a syndicate member, nor may hold any rights in a syndicate.  Neither the developer, once he has transferred all the fractions he owned nor the hypothecary creditors can be part of the syndicate.

  WARNING ! The syndicate of co-owners is neither the private owner of the immovable nor the owner of the common portions. The latter are the undivided property of all co-owners.

 

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