Definition : Co-ownership by phases

A certain co-ownership type characterized by the developer’s choice of staggering the construction of his real estate project over a few years. Two main methods can be used to achieve  this phasing, or even combined : the Landry method on the one hand, and the method known as concomitant declarations, on the other hand.

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  The Board of Directors (the Board) is made up of members called directors. Their appointment is subject to certain formalities. In this regard, article 1084 of the Civil Code of Québec provides that the composition of the Board of the syndicate, the method of appointment, replacement or remuneration of the directors, as well as the other terms and conditions of their office, are fixed by the by-laws of an immovable.
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A phased co-ownership allows the developer to spread the design of a real estate project over several years, and to modulate the pace of construction work according to the evolution of unit sales. This formula implies that the developer, rather than establishing once and for all the co-ownership he wants to create, proceeds in stages. The co-ownership he creates as part of this real estate project evolves, during construction, before reaching its final form. Because of the complex legal structure, only lawyers and notaries who are fully knowledgeable in the applicable rules of the field should act. A phased co-ownership is also beneficial to consumers. From the time the first buildings are developed, buyers usually know what to expect about the direction of the project, its location and the nature of the buildings to come. This protection is important because if, for example, a developer were to suffer a setback, his successors would be required to honour the original plans and respect what was represented to first-time buyers.
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The provisions related to the appointment and replacement of the directors are provided for in the By-laws of the immovable (2nd part of the declaration of co-ownership). In their absence, they are also found in the Civil Code of Quebec (C.C.Q.). The law thus leaves it to the co-owners to establish themselves, in their declaration of co-ownership, the rules that best suit them. However, the appointment of directors generally falls within the competence of the general meeting of co‑owners, although the declaration of co-ownership may provide for other provisions.
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