- Declaration of co-ownership : Declaration of co-ownership
Definition : Declaration of co-ownership
A notarial act en minute, published in the Land Register, the main purpose of which is to subject the immovable to the regime of divided co-ownership. The declaration of co-ownership determines :
- The rules for the operation and the organization of the co-ownership (private and common portions, allocation of expenses, etc.)
- The rights and obligations of the co-owners and of the syndicate.
It is divided in three sections: the constituting act of the co-ownership, the By-Laws of the immovable, and the Description of the fractions.
Afflicted with a health issue, you want to move to an apartment closer to your daughter, which is fitting, given that a unit in her condo building is for sale. However, this unit is rented. During a visit to the premises, the tenant informs you that he has no intention of leaving, claiming a right to stay there for life. At least, for as long as he wants to.
On the other hand, the seller tells you that the tenant will have to leave the unit upon receiving a notice of repossession. Intrigued by the tenant's statement, you take time to interview several people to verify this "lease for a lifetime" matter. The answers provided reassure you: if it is sent six months before the planned repossession date, the notice of repossession should allow you to take back the apartment.
La webradio du 7 septembre 2022 concernait le lancement de l'ouvrage le « Guide de la réglementation copropriété divise » des juristes émérites, Me Christine Gagnon et Me Yves Papineau. Afin d’assurer un milieu de vie paisible à tous, il est primordial d’élaborer une réglementation appropriée. Il en va sans dire que la rigueur est de mise, et ce afin de limiter les litiges relatifs à sa mise en œuvre. Ce « Guide » fait un tour d’horizon de toutes les questions qui concernent ce délicat sujet. Il est destiné autant aux dirigeants des syndicats, administrateurs et gestionnaires, aux copropriétaires, aux promoteurs, qu’aux avocats et notaires. L’ouvrage permettra d’accompagner le lecteur dans la détermination de la nouvelle réglementation et sa rédaction, mais également dans son analyse et son application. Me Yves Papineau et Madame Valéry Couture (gestionnaire de copropriété de Condo stratégis) ont animé cette webradio.
Guide de la réglementation en copropriété
Réf. : 978-2-89689-559-5
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Each syndicate of co-owners has a declaration of co-ownership, which, in principle, should be a veritable bedside book for both the co-owners and the members of the board of directors. However, the declaration of co-ownership is a document that may seem inaccessible at first glance for the latter. This problem can sometimes be increased, when it was more or less well written, more or less long ago. This is not to mention the confusing clauses, which create difficulties of interpretation and even clauses contrary to the legislation that evolved after its publication.
La déclaration de copropriété est le document maître d'un syndicat de copropriétaires. Elle définit les fondements mêmes d'une copropriété, et indique le code de vie à y adopter.
Co-ownership law has underwent significant changes in recent years. The adoption of Bill 141 of 2018, Bill 16 of 2019, Bill 41 of 2020, Bill 103 of 2021 and Bill 96 of 2022 have significantly amended the Civil Code of Quebec with respect to divided co-ownership. These have allowed several changes in the insurance of co-ownerships and created many additional obligations for syndicates of co-owners, including those to keep a maintenance log of the building and to obtain a study of the contingency fund establishing the sums necessary for this fund to be sufficient to pay for major repairs and the replacement of the common portions.
There are many co-owners who do not respect the By-laws of the immovable (declaration of co-ownership). Their violations can include nighttime disturbance (abnormal neighbourhood disturbance), a noisy animal or non-compliance with parking rules. These behaviours can cause serious harm to some co-owners or the syndicate. In such a situation, it is up to the board of directors to act, by enforcing the regulations provided for in the declaration of co-ownership. As soon as a breach is found or brought to its attention, in this matter, it must intervene to put an end to the delinquent behaviour. The co-owners concerned should therefore not hesitate to turn to their syndicate, in this case the directors, to implement various measures to punish any person at fault.
Co-ownership conflicts often arise from a lack of knowledge of the rules governing the immovable, a lack of communication or transparency, or from an unresolved misunderstanding.
Know that in such cases, a trial is not the only avenue available to you. Before commencing legal proceedings, and even once they are engaged, and even once they are initiated, there is always time to opt for the services of a mediator. The latter, who is a neutral and impartial third party, could help you resolve (without decision-making power) a dispute between a co-owner and the syndicate or members of the board of directors between them.
The declaration of co-ownership is an agreement that organizes and regulates the collective life of the co-owners and occupants of the building. This convention defines in particular their rights and obligations. As it is an authentic act, it must be received by a notary. The declaration of co-ownership is often signed by the developer who acts as sole proprietor, or sometimes, by co-owners who wish to subject their immovable (held in joint ownership) to the regime of divided co-ownership, as well as by hypothecary creditors. This document must subsequently be published in the land register. Its publication gave rise to co-ownership and the syndicate. Any new co-owner is obliged to adhere to it. A look at the different aspects of the declaration of co-ownership.
In undivided co-ownership, the rights of withdrawal and of first refusal may disrupt the course of a real estate transaction. It is important to know that other co-owners may take precedence over a potential purchaser. The title of the latter could be precarious for some time: a buyer who acquires rights in an undivided co-ownership without first receiving the approval of all the undivided co-owners is therefore liable to have his share redeemed and thus be excluded from the indivision.
Relocations and move-ins involve going through the common portions of the building to transport furniture, boxes and other personal belongings. These operations could turn into a real mess or nightmare if, in a co-ownership, the framework for managing them has not been clearly established. While certain provisions of the Declaration of Co-Ownership are universal on this issue, nothing prevents a syndicate of co-owners from improving its content in order to adapt them to its own reality.
The law provides that the syndicate must keep a register available to the co-owners. Article 342 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the board of directors shall keep the list of members, as well as the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the legal person. This register represents the memory of the building for those who administer it. It constitutes the history of the experience of the condominium from its conception, and this by specifying its maintenance and the work undertaken, while listing the contractors and suppliers who intervened. In this sense, it is invaluable. The syndicate must preserve for organizational and management purposes, or for legal protection and evidence purposes, all documents and information relating to the operation of the co-ownership. That is why "preservation", "access" and "archives" are the hallmarks of this register.
Question: At the time of the purchase of my condo, do I have a right to ask the seller for a certified true copy (authentic copy) of the Declaration of Co-Ownership?
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The declaration of co-ownership is a contractual document drawn up by the person who subjects an immovable to the regime of divided co-ownership. Its publication in the Québec Land Register is a necessity for the existence of a syndicate of co-owners. It includes the set of rules ensuring the efficient organization of a co-ownership. Its knowledge by the members of the board of directors and by each co-owner is essential to the proper operation of the co-ownership. This co-owners reference document is consulted, for example, in the case of work. For a promisor-buyer, the declaration of co-ownership contains a wealth of useful information regarding the conditions of use and enjoyment of the private and common portions. Hence the necessity of reading this document before buying, to avoid unpleasant surprises, especially as to the use one intends to make of his private portion.
The notary is a jurist with the task of public officer, who ascertains the free and informed consent of the parties. The notary also has the role of legal adviser. It therefore protects consent. The intervention of the notary is very important when purchasing an apartment in a divided co-ownership. A professional, he is a member of the “Chambre des notaires du Québec” (Québec Chamber of Notaries). In this capacity, the notary's mission is to receive, on behalf of his clients, the acts to which the parties must or want to have given the character of authenticity (such as a declaration of co-ownership). Even though it is preferable that he should get involved at the outset of a transaction, this legal adviser usually gets involved after the signing of the offer to purchase or of the preliminary contract.
13 septembre - Au Québec, les acheteurs de condos sont en droit d'exiger qu'une déclaration de copropriété soit rédigée en français, même si le promoteur a demandé à un notaire qu'elle ne soit écrite qu'en anglais. Une déclaration unilingue anglaise "contrevient à la Charte de la langue française".
December 11th 2015 - The main duty of the board of directors in a condominium is to manage the Syndicate’s business. This means first to ensure the maintenance and conservation of the building, secondly to see to it that everyone respects every disposition of the declaration of co-ownership.
At the signing of the deed of sale before the notary, an authentic copy of the declaration of co-ownership must be remitted to you.In order to maintain the stability of this contractual framework, every purchaser undertakes, by signing his deed of purchase, to abide to the declaration of co-ownership and the by-laws of the immovable adopted and filed in the register of the co-ownership.
The purchaser is thus bound by the declaration of co-ownership, even though he has not signed it, as well as by its amendments (article 1062 of the Civil Code of Quebec). In this regard, a clause providing that the new co-owner will comply with the rules of the declaration of co-ownership is generally included in the deed of sale.
Question: Am I obliged to use the services of the notary appointed by the developer when I am the one who pays for it? What are the rules that apply in this area: who chooses the notary instrumenting the sale? Is it the seller? Is it the buyer? Do we both have to agree on a name?
Answer: Section 26 of the Notarial Act provides, in the absence of a specific agreement, that in the case of a sale of immovable, the choice of notary is made:
To the buyer, if he pays the sale price in full (cash or with a mortgage);
To the seller, if the buyer does not pay the sale price in full (leaving a balance due to the seller).
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