- Meeting of co-owners : Special Meeting (SM)
Definition : Meeting of co-owners - Special Meeting (SM)
Meeting of co-owners convened punctually between two Annual Meetings. This type of meeting takes place when special or urgent problems must be solved in a co-ownership.
The meeting of co-owners is the gathering of all the co-owners, to make the decisions necessary for the sustainability of the building and the proper functioning of the co-ownership. It is one of the two decision-making bodies of the syndicate. This should be held at least once a year, but it can take place as often as necessary. You should be aware that co-ownership life implies that the co-owners or their representatives meet, occasionally, to discuss and vote upon important decisions. This must be done at meetings of co-owners, where the members of the syndicate can make their voice heard by exercising their right to vote. Their conduct obeys certain rules of form and substance. An overview of the various specific aspects of meetings of co-owners.
The COVID-19 health crisis and its procession of government restrictions to limit gatherings have often made it impossible to regroup. The legislator was forced to organize the rescue of legal persons, banned from assemblies, to preserve, at least for a time, their functioning. The syndicates of co-owners have thus adopted alternatives to face-to-face meetings of co-owners. Social distancing obliges, COVID-19 has given rise to a phenomenon in co-ownership: virtual meetings of co-owners, also called remote meetings. In order to perpetuate this way of doing things, the law now authorizes syndicates of co-owners to hold meetings by technological means.
A General Meeting of the co-owners cannot take place without an agenda. To deliberate in accordance with the Law, co-owners should be able to become aware, before the General Meeting, of the questions on the agenda. This the reason why it should be annexed to the notice of call, usually prepared by the Board of Directors (Board). It contains all the questions to be tabled for deliberation during the General Meeting. This document must be clear and unambiguous to avoid legal challenges. An overview of the various specificities of the agenda.
Co-owners must be called at least once a year to a meeting known as an annual meeting. This assembly, like all other types of assembly, must bring together all the co-owners. With the notice calling the meeting, the board of directors notifies all the co-owners of the list of points to be studied and decisions to be voted on at the meeting of co-owners. This document is the agenda of the assembly. The summons has to respect a procedural frame, otherwise the assembly of the co-owners could be irregular. That is why it is up to the one who takes the initaive to summon her to respect rules
Who calls the meeting?
In theory, the Board of Directors (the Board) convenes the general meeting of co-owners. But in some cases, one or more co-owners can on his own initiative convene it:
The relevant information of co-ownerships must be declared with the “Registraire des entreprises du Québec” (the Québec Enterprises Registrar). This declaration is intended to render accessible essential information, either to the public or enterprises that deal with the syndicate of co-owners. Furthermore, at the start-up of a syndicate, the Board of Directors must file – usually by the interim director – a declaration of registration in virtue of the Act respecting the legal publicity of enterprises. This must be done no later than 60 days after the publication of the declaration of co-ownership in the Land Register.
Whatever the type of building they have chosen, all co-owners, without exception, are called upon to participate in meetings of co-owners. Thus they can vote on the questions on the agenda, and take various decisions necessary for the sound operation of the co-ownership. The co-owners are called upon to meet periodically for questions dealing with current administration, maintenance and operation of the syndicate, and sometimes exceptionally for specific questions required by the circumstances. This factsheet is an overview of the various types of Meetings that may be held in a co-ownership.
The rules for voting in meeting of co-owners vary depending on the importance of the decision to be made. They require a complex calculations in order to determine whether a the required majority has been reached. To do so, you must make sure that the register of co-owners is up to date, and that the compilation of votes is done according to the relative value specific to each fraction. This reduces the risk of contestation of an adopted resolution. That said, some decisions have extremely important consequences for all co-owners so the requirements in terms of majorities are then higher. For this reason, the law essentially imposes four levels of majority: absolute, enhanced, double.
A question often arises whether a co-owner can modify the agenda received with his notice of call to the Annual General Meeting, either before or during the General Meeting?
The General Meeting of co-owners is governed by strict legal rules that you should know about. In principle the General Meeting deliberates only on the questions inscribed on the agenda before holding the General Meeting. Otherwise, any decision taken upon a question illegally placed on the agenda is null and void and may be subject to a legal challenge.