It is possible to make a decision without having a meeting. Article 354 of the Civil Code of Québec recognizes the value of a written resolution: "Resolutions in writing signed by all the persons qualified to vote at a meeting are as valid as if passed at a meeting of the board of directors, at a general meeting or at a meeting of any other organ”.
Co-owners and directors may make a decision by the means of a resolution in writing, without any general meeting of the board of directors or meeting of co-owners being held as such.
This mechanism is provided by law, when it is not essential for a meeting or a general meeting to be convened, since the salient points of the subject to be discussed have already been dealt with, to everyone’s satisfaction. This is to avoid cumbersome formalism, although written resolutions should be used with caution and parsimony.
The Law states that your syndicate's object, therefore its mission is "[...] the preservation of the immovable, the maintenance and administration of the common portions [...]." This implies that it has a duty to have carried out, over time, the work required to prevent the deterioration of the common portions of the immovable. The maintenance and conservation of its built up patrimony are therefore a must for any self-respecting co-ownership.
Legal fees may hold back those co-owners wishing to assert their rights. Legal expenses insurance overcomes this obstacle.
What is legal expense insurance?
This insurance allows the reimbursement, in part or in full, of lawyers' or notaries' fees to prevent or resolve a dispute. However, this guarantee is subject to pre-established conditions, deductibles and caps.
Insurance companies offering legal fees insurance can propose a lawyer, although it cannot impose him to you. You remain free to retain the lawyer of your choice.
You move into your new condo. A few weeks later, a bailiff knocks on your door and serves upon you a notice of preservation of a legal hypothec of construction. He also served all your neighbors. Reading this document, you learn that a dispute remains unresolved between the contractor and a supplier (or subcontractor), concerning work performed or materials furnished that have not been paid by the contractor.
Responsible for the orderly management, the manager plays a key role in a co-ownership. Its function is generally under the authority of the board of directors. Similarly to the directors, his function ensues from the preservation of the immovable for which he is responsible. The objective is to ease the director’s tasks, and not to replace them, so that they can better exercise their decision-making powers. Truly the one man band of a co-ownership, the manager must deploy his experience and knowledge for the benefit of the syndicate of co-owners for whom he works.
A review of the various aspects of his function.
Distinguishing between the function of the Co-ownership manager (gérant) and the Condo manager (gestionnaire) is not an easy task. Most participants who work in the field of co-ownership are struggling with this issue. In fact, the general perception of the similarity of their incumbent duties is wrong, as there are several differences between these two functions. The Co-ownership manager has decision-making powers regarding the management of the co-ownership. On the other hand the Condo manager acts as an advisor and is the one who implements the decisions made by the board of directors. This does not preclude him from making recommendations before these decisions are implemented. A discussion on two similar but not identical functions whose attributes, powers and duties are to be distinguished in many ways.
Retaining the services of a condo manager should not be done blind folded. Unfortunately, a syndicate of co-owners wishing to find the real gem must often guesstimate or rely on intuition, as the relevant information useful to choose the right candidate is often inaccessible.
Your co-ownership is not immune to fraud. It may be defrauded by directors, co-owners, condo managers, service providers and third parties. Therefore, it is in your best interest to be wary of the behavior of potential suspects. You should not indulge in a witch hunt, however, some warning signs should arouse suspicion and command vigilance.
Preparing a forecast annual budget is an unavoidable task in co ownership. Its preparation, preliminary examination and adoption will ensure the proper functioning of the syndicate of co-owners. It is up to the Board of Directors to define its terms, in view of the expenses that will have to be paid to allow a syndicate to meet its obligations. The budget also makes it possible to fix the amount of the contributions of each co-owner to the expenses of the co-ownership.
It will be prepared by the Board of Directors or property manager, based on the amounts spent in preceding financial periods, as well as anticipated non-recurring expenses. The preparation of the budget forecast requires time and rigor.
Administrative, maintenance, replacement, improvement or alteration expenses of the common portions are divided among the co-owners. General common expenses are to be distinguished from particular common expenses, which are allocated under different rules. In the first case, it is the relative value of each fraction that is used to establish the co-owners contribution. As for special common expenses arising from common portions for restricted use, the co-owners using them are alone responsible of the expenses resulting therefrom.