Question: Can a meeting of co-owners take a regular decision despite the abstention of many co-owners present? How should these absentees be dealt with (a vote for or against)? And what about non-voting on a decision of the members of the board of directors?
Answer: Abstaining is a matter of concern in any democracy. Co-ownership is no exception to this reality. This question concerns both directors and co-owners: what about the scope of an abstention during a vote? However, the consequences are different, depending on whether it is the meeting of the co-owners or of the board of directors. In a meeting of co-owners, abstentionist co-owners are counted with the votes against, while for a meeting of the board of directors, non-voting directors are not taken into account (they have not "expressed themselves").
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Irregularities noted at a meeting of co-owners do not make the decisions taken non-existent, but voidable. Consequently, the co-owner who intends to invoke the irregularity of a decision must initiate a legal proceeding, in accordance with article 1103 of the Civil Code of Quebec. Wishing to promote the stability of the decisions taken by the assembly, the legislature allows such a remedy to be brought only in certain circumstances. Thus, any co-owner may ask the court to annul or, exceptionally, modify a decision of the meeting of co-owners if it is partial, if it was taken with the intention of harming the co-owners or in disregard of their rights, or if an error occurred in the calculation of votes.
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.