Portion of an immovable, usually comprising several rooms and sanitary facilities, allowing one or more person therein to sleep and to prepare meals. In divided co-ownership, the apartment is generally designated as a private portion in the declaration of co-ownership.
Before starting renovation work in your apartment, keep in mind that you live in a condo. Performing such work requires that you carry out prior verifications. It is necessary to refer to the declaration of co-ownership to know the co-owner’s rights and obligations toward the syndicate. It goes without saying that your work must not affect the rights of other co-owners and occupants of the immovable. In addition, it is important to know if your work will have an effect on a common portion which may be located in your privative portion, such as a load-bearing wall, a beam, a column for the various pipes of the immovable.
The essence of divided co-ownership (condo) is to divide the building into private portions for the exclusive use of a co-owner, and into common portions for the common use of all the co-owners or of one or more co-owners.
The private portions are the fractions of the immovable in which the co-owners have an exclusive right of property. They are described in the part of the declaration of co-ownership dedicated to the cadastral description of the fractions. These portions are physically identifiable. It can be an apartment, a parking space or a parcel of land in the case of townhouses. Each private portion has its own cadastral designation.
Section 1719 of the Civil code of Québec states that the seller must provide the buyer with a copy of the deed of purchase, as well as with a copy of the owner history and of the certificate of location he has on hand. Prepared by a land surveyor, the certificate of location is part of the property titles the seller must supply.
In the interest of the buyer, the certificate of location should clearly describe the current condition of all private portions (for instance, an apartment, a parking or storage space, or even land). Should the seller not have a certificate of location on hand (and unless the promise to purchase states otherwise), they will need to have one prepared, at their own expense.
All co-owners should supply a duplicate of the keys to their apartment to the directors of the co-ownership. The law is silent on this issue, but most declarations of co-ownership have a provision that imposes this rule upon co-owners, tenants or any other occupant of the immovable. These keys must be given to a representative of the board of directors or to the condo manager.
Many co-owners carry out work to renovate their apartments, after moving in, to make them more in tune with their tastes and personalities. Redecorating the premises and integrating new equipment,such as in the kitchen or the bathroom, is a legitimate endeavor. However, before a project can begin, you will need to verify whether the work in question is subject to prior authorization. Some work can be carried out without prior authorization, while other work requires the approval of the board of directors or of the general meeting of co-owners.