Definition : Community of co-owners

Group of natural or legal persons who are owners in an immovable subject to a declaration of co-ownership. The community of co-owners constitutes, as soon as the declaration of co-ownership is published, a legal person which takes the name of syndicate of co-owners.

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The Civil Code of Québec confers juridical personality on the community of co-owners. Article 1039 of the Civil Code of Quebec provides that as soon as the declaration of co-ownership is published, the community of co-owners constitutes a legal person called a syndicate of co-owners. Those duties and obligations are mainly aimed to ensure the preservation of the immovable, the administration of the common portions and the protection of the rights affecting the immovable or co-ownership, as well as all operations in the common interest. However, it is essential to understand them well because failure to comply with these duties and obligations towards a co-owner or a third party could lead to the civil liability of a syndicate.
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The syndicate acts as a legal person bringing together all the co-owners of the building and not each of them individually. The Civil Code of Quebec (C.c.Q.) provides that the syndicate of co-owners arises, by operation of law, at the time of publication of the declaration of co-ownership in the Land register. With the powers devolved to it by law and exercised by its two decision-making bodies, it thus expresses the autonomy of the community of co-owners. As a result, the co-owners are third parties to the syndicate. The assets of the syndicate are thus distinct from those of each co-owner. Despite the collective nature of this type of co-ownership, the legislator has not attributed to the syndicate the ownership of the common portions, which is distributed among the co-owners according to the relative value of their fraction.
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