Definition : Public order of direction

Legal principle that gives a mandatory value to a rule of law, without possibility of derogation, which entails the absolute nullity of a legal act contravening thereto. It is intended to protect the general interest of society, so that its confirmation or ratification is impossible. This nullity being a matter of public order of direction it can be raised ex officio by the court.

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Whether semi-detached or row, the townhouse is a good compromise between the typical co-ownership apartment and the single-family home. This type of project is established in "horizontal co-ownership". Each of the fractions is composed of a private portion (usually a house) and a share of common portions (the land). Each co-owner is the owner of his private portion "from nadir to zenith", while the common portions are usually limited to traffic lanes, parking lots and certain strips of land. From a legal point of view, horizontal co-ownership has no special status. Horizontal co-ownerships are governed by the same rules set out in the Civil Code of Quebec that apply vertically (e.g. residential towers).
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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.  
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With the adoption of the Civil Code of Québec in 1994, to fill a void in the Law, the Quebec legislature introduced the obligation upon a syndicate of co-owners to fund a "contingency fund”. This obligation was intended to fill a gap in the previous law. Prior to the enactment of the Civil Code, it was a frequent occurrence for co-ownerships to have a "reserve fund", although the Civil Code of Lower Canada was mute on this issue. Most of the time, this fund was inadequate, due to the low level of contributions paid into it. Moreover, declarations of co-ownership often included a contribution limit (for example$ 50,000), beyond which it was no longer required to contribute the co-owners.
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