- Documents relating to the immovable and the syndicate : Documents relating to the immovable and the syndicate
Definition : Documents relating to the immovable and the syndicate
Collection of printed paper or digital documents that are produced or received by the syndicate of co-owners. These are deposited in the register of co-ownership and can be consulted by all co-owners who request it. These mainly include the immovable’s maintenance and repair plans (e.g. asset management plan), as well as preventive maintenance plans (e.g. maintenance logbook). The same applies to estimates of the costs of rehabilitation work (e.g. the contingency fund survey), budgets prepared for implementation, tender documents and bids received.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! The co-ownership's accounting books are management tools made available to the Board of Directors. These are not "documents relating to the immovable". As a result, they cannot, in principle, be made accessible to co-owners.
WARNING ! Article 1068.2 of the Civil Code of Quebec, introduced into the Civil Code of Québec by Bill 16, obliges the syndicate to give the promising purchaser all documents or information that will enable it to acquire in full knowledge of the facts.
As directors, we frequently have to complete and provide documents to notaries and real estate brokers. Questions: We want to know:
If we are entitled to charge a fee to take care of these files?
If so, what is the amount considered reasonable?
Should we proceed by adding to the by-law of the building?
If so, can we proceed by a majority vote or simply by decision of the Board of Directors?
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The law provides that a syndicate must keep a register at the disposal of the co-owners. Article 342 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the board of directors keeps the list of members and the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the legal person. This register is the memory of the syndicate, and consequently, its archives. In is thus invaluable. Much more than a mere witness of the sound management of an immovable, it is its prime instrument. Therefore, preservation and access are the hallmarks of this register.
The intervention of the notary is very important when purchasing an apartment in a divided co-ownership. A professional, member of the “Chambre des notaires du Québec” (Québec Chamber of Notaries), he is also a public officer. As such, the notary has without limitation the mission of executing deeds to which the parties wish or are required to endow with 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.
The notary, in his capacity of public officer:
Warrants the validity of the deed of sale;
Is bound to act objectively and to give legal advice to all the parties (equally to the purchaser and the vendor);
Is bound to a duty of information to the parties, which means he should give the parties relevant advice and information in relation with the deeds signed before him.
Before purchasing a condo, you should gather any and all information available on the coveted co-ownership. This information should be as complete and thorough as possible. Obtaining a mandate from the co-owner/vendor, allows you to ask questions to the Board of Directors. You should then be able to obtain most of the documents containing the relevant information.
Amongst the many documents to review, the four hereunder are a must:
When you buy a unit in divided co-ownership, you do not only acquire an apartment. You also join a group of co-owners responsible for the accounts to be paid to maintain and preserve the building. It is therefore important to be careful and to check, upstream, the financial statements and the good management of the syndicate. To get a clearer picture, the two basic questions to ask are: Have the directors put in place an appropriate management? And do they have a good control of its financial component? To find out, you should ask questions to your vendor and the syndicate. This will allow you to see whether the condominium follows rigorous accounting methods or not.
I want to buy a condo, but I am aware that for the most part the documents necessary for an informed purchase are in the register of the co-ownership.
Question: How can I access the register of the co-ownership? Is it for me or the seller to ask? If I have to take care of it, can I do it alone or do I need a third person to accompany me through this process?
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