The Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) are collected in Quebec on the sale of most goods and services. The application of the Excise Tax Act (Part IX) and the Act respecting the Québec sales tax in respect of expenses incurred by a syndicate of co-owners and the contributions to common expenses it receives from co-owners is a very complex subject. Before registering for the GST and QST files, a syndicate of co-owners has every interest in consulting a tax professional. That said, the question remains: in what situation must a syndicate of co-owners charge GST and QST to a co-owner on his common expenses (condo fees)?
The destination of the immovable, of the private portions and of the common portions is a fundamental concept in co-ownerships. It is both a real regulator of the rights and obligations of co-owners and a reference value between the permit and the prohibited. The destination of the building is determined in the 1st part of the declaration of co-ownership (constituting act of co-ownership). It is it that also makes it possible to establish the type of co-ownership established and defines the use(s) that can be made of the private and common portions. It can thus be exclusively commercial or residential or residential but with the possibility of practicing a professional activity. It can also be mixed, such as, allowing shops on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors.
The declaration of co-ownership 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 declaration of co-ownership is intertwined with the purchase of an apartment held in divided co-ownership. A genuine "user's guide", this document defines the rules to be observed in the immovable, as well as its administrative and management guidelines. Before acquiring a condo, any careful buyer should, imperatively, read the declaration of co-ownership. He will thus be able to verify the extent of his obligations and duties and the limits to his ownership rights. He will be able to evaluate its terms and conditions and make a decision on buying or not.
J’ai demandé récemment au conseil d’administration de modifier l’usage de mon dépanneur, pour en faire un restaurant. Le conseil a alors présenté et fait voter (à 88% des voix), à l’assemblée des copropriétaires, une résolution prohibant l’exploitation de tout restaurant dans l’immeuble. Suis-je en droit de contester ce vote?
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