- 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.
When selling an apartment, we, as directors, frequently have to fill out and provide documents to notaries and real estate brokers. Obviously, we understand that the objective is to inform the future co-owner on a number of points relating to our co-ownership. 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 the syndicate must keep a register available to the co-owners. Article 342 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the board of directors shall keep the list of members, as well as the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the legal person. This register represents the memory of the building for those who administer it. It constitutes the history of the experience of the condominium from its conception, and this by specifying its maintenance and the work undertaken, while listing the contractors and suppliers who intervened. In this sense, it is invaluable. The syndicate must preserve for organizational and management purposes, or for legal protection and evidence purposes, all documents and information relating to the operation of the co-ownership. That is why "preservation", "access" and "archives" are the hallmarks of this register.
The notary is a jurist with the task of public officer, who ascertains the free and informed consent of the parties. The notary also has the role of legal adviser. It therefore protects consent. The intervention of the notary is very important when purchasing an apartment in a divided co-ownership. A professional, he is a member of the “Chambre des notaires du Québec” (Québec Chamber of Notaries). In this capacity, the notary's mission is to receive, on behalf of his clients, the acts to which the parties must or want to have given the character of 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.
When you want to buy a condo, there are important checks to do and documents to obtain. One of the main checks is to know the financial health of the syndicate. This information must be complete and transparent. If the co-ownership has been poorly managed, you could find yourself paying significant special contributions that could put you in a precarious situation. That is why we need to collect as much information as possible. Thus, you will limit the financial risks associated with your acquisition. In principle, the syndicate's board of directors.should provide relevant documentation and information on this subject.
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?
Answer: The co-owners are entitled to have access to the register of the co-ownership, in accordance with the duties of the syndicate. However, potential buyers are deemed to be complete strangers, which explains why many syndicates do not usually allow them access.
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