- Co-owner : Undivided co-owner of a fraction
Definition : Co-owner - Undivided co-owner of a fraction
A natural or legal person who owns a fraction, for example an apartment, with one or more other co-owners (e.g. spouses). The shares of the co-owners are presumed equal, in the absence of indication, in the deed of acquisition, of the interest of each (expressed as a percentage) in the right of ownership of the fraction. Each co-owner exercises his rights in proportion to his undivided share.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ! The co-owner of a fraction held in indivision who is absent from a meeting of co-owners is presumed to have mandated the other co-owners of that fraction to represent him, unless the absentee has, in writing, mandated a third person for that purpose or has indicated his refusal to be represented. The absentee’s voting rights are partitioned proportionately to the rights of the other co-owners in the indivision.
Question: Are the co-owners of a vertical co-ownership considered undivided in the horizontal condominium? And if so, what would be the impact on representativeness at the general meeting of the horizontal condominium (AGM)? For example, could a few co-owners of a vertical condominium act for all the co-owners without having previously held proxies as for the undivided co-owners of a condo during the vertical condominium AGM?
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The first sentence of article 1090 of the Quebec civil Code states that "Each co-owner is entitled to a number of votes at a general meeting proportionate to the relative value of his fraction." The number of votes is related to the share of property rights each co-owner holds in the building. Therefore, the co-owner of a private portion whose relative value is higher will have more voting rights. In return, he or she will have to contribute to a larger portion of the costs related to the preservation of the immoveable and the maintenance and administration of the common portions, since common expenses are also distributed among all the co-owners according to the relative value of each portion.
The characteristic of divided co-ownership is to divide the building into various lots that will be the exclusive property of the co-owners (private portions), and for others that will be the property of all the co-owners (common portions). These lots are identified by an individual number, which was assigned during the cadastral operation. Each of the private lots of the co-ownership thus constituted becomes a unique property. The distinction between the common and private portions is essential, particularly from the point of view of maintenance, which is the responsibility of the syndicate of co-owners for the common portions and of the co-owners for the private portions.
Question: I do not understand how my right to vote at co-ownership meetings works. As a matter of fact, I am not the sole owner of my unit: my spouse and I are both on the ownership title, we are co-owners of equal shares (50%-50%). I have the impression that if I go to a meeting without my spouse, I will not be able to vote validly. Is this correct?
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During a meeting of co-owners, important decisions are made for each member of the co-ownership. Whether for alteration or improvement of the common portions, the election of the members of the board of directors, it is up to the co-owners to decide. However, if a co-owner is absent and has not taken care to be represented at the meeting, his vote may be sorely lacking. This may also prevent the obtaining of a quorum and consequently the holding of the meeting of co-owners. When a co-owner cannot go there, he can ask the person of his choice to represent him. The mandatary the one who receives the proxy is not necessarily another co-owner. It may be a person outside the co-ownership. The latter will thus be able to represent him in this meeting and vote in his place on all the questions on the agenda.
A written instrument is compulsory
Tacit mandate being excluded, you must give a written instrument to the mandatary of your choice if you wish to be represented at the Meeting. The latter, who will represent you and vote on your behalf during the general meeting, can be one of the directors of the co-ownership (in his personal capacity), another co-owner, a friend or a person totally foreign to the co-ownership.