Action by which the general meeting of the co-owners or the board of directors adjudicate on a proposed resolution.
Question: In a recently held general assembly, the chairman handed out post-it notes and asked the owners to write their unit number along with 5 members of their choice to the board of directors. ( CA comprises 5 members). This is the first time I've seen anything like this happen. Usually, the owners will vote only for those candidates they consider suitable to hold a position on the board, whether they may be one or whatever number up to 5. But not necessarily 5 in this case. is the chairman's action acceptable? If not, can we ask for a new vote be taken by secret ballot.
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The COVID-19 health crisis and its procession of government restrictions to limit gatherings have often made it impossible to regroup. The legislator was forced to organize the rescue of legal persons, banned from assemblies, to preserve, at least for a time, their functioning. The syndicates of co-owners have thus adopted alternatives to face-to-face meetings of co-owners. Social distancing obliges, COVID-19 has given rise to a phenomenon in co-ownership: virtual meetings of co-owners, also called remote meetings. In order to perpetuate this way of doing things, the law now authorizes syndicates of co-owners to hold meetings by technological means.
The right to vote is a founding principle of democracy. Citizens of a democracy can express their will in a ballot. In principle, this right is equal amongst all voters. Practically speaking, it is equivalent to the «one person, one vote" rule, which means that every vote has the same weight. However, co-ownership derogates from this principle, namely in that the number of votes held by the co- owners is in direct correlation with their rights of ownership in the immovable. An overview of the various aspects of voting in General Meetings of co-owners.
Co-owners must make decisions that are essential for the life of their co-ownership, which cannot be adopted by the board of directors without their consent. To this end, the meeting of co-owners brings together the co-owners or their representatives, at least once a year. In this context, the taking of these decisions is subject to a strict framework. Meetings of co-owners make decisions by taking a vote. Any proposal submitted for adoption must be voted on to become a resolution. Without being exhaustive, two voting procedures are set out in article 351 of the Civil Code of Quebec: a show of hands or, upon request, a secret ballot. The choice is predicated upon competing objectives of simplicity or confidentiality in the decision making process.
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.