Whether you are a real estate developer (for a new building) or several owners of an existing building who wish to convert it, the rules for subjecting a building to divided co-ownership are the same. The creation of a divided co-ownership is necessary when an immovable must be divided into lots composed of a private portion and a share of the common portions, and which belong to one or more different persons. The community of co-owners acquires the status of legal person from the day a declaration of co-ownership is published at the Land registry office (Land Register). The legal person thus constituted takes the name of “syndicate of co-owners”. Its mission is to ensure the " preservation of the immovable, the maintenance and administration of the common portions, the protection of the rights appurtenant to the immovable or the co-ownership, as well as all business in the common interest ". To form this co-ownership several steps involving many protagonists are necessary.
The law provides that a syndicate must keep a register at the disposal of the co-owners. Article 342 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the board of directors keeps the list of members and the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the legal person. This register is the memory of the syndicate, and consequently, its archives. In is thus invaluable. Much more than a mere witness of the sound management of an immovable, it is its prime instrument. Therefore, preservation and access are the hallmarks of this register.
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.