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.
CONTENTS OF THE REGISTER OF THE SYNDICATE
The documents constituting the Register of the syndicate are listed in Article 1070 of the Civil Code of Québec. The list hereunder is non exhaustive:
Although it is not expressly mentioned in Article 1070 C.C.Q., the register of the syndicate shall also include all other documents relating to the immovable and the syndicate. These include, but are not limited to, the following documents:
ESTABLISHEMENT OF THE REGISTER
It is the duty of the Board of Directors to keep books and records necessary for the proper operation of the syndicate (Article 342 of the Civil Code of Québec). Moreover, the latter may delegate this task to a third party, such as the condo manager of the syndicate or an employee. This third party can issue copies of documents for which he is the depositary. Until determined otherwise, such copies are proof of their contents without having to prove the signature affixed to them or the authority of its author.
Since the register contains the identity of the co-owners, it is a document of reference for the exercise of voting rights and regarding the right to be represented at the General Meeting of the Co-owners. If, in a co-ownership, a person exercises his voting rights without having such rights, it will lead to an error in the calculation of votes, and without doubt to a possible legal challenge of decisions taken. This is why keeping the register up to date is extremely important.
The law does not determine the rules applicable to the conservation of the register of co-ownership. It is therefore necessary to refer to the ordinary law rules that may be prescribed in the declaration of co-ownership. On this subject, see Richard LeCouffe's chronicle entitled Time limits for keeping documents in the register.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR CONSULTATION OF THE REGISTER
Article 1070.1 of the Civil Code of Québec, introduced by Bill 16, has come to define the terms and conditions of access, namely that these documents must be consulted in the presence of a director, or a person designated for that purpose by the board of directors. In addition, such consultations must be made at reasonable times and in accordance with the terms and conditions provided for in the By-law of the immovable.
That said, any syndicate could impose access guidelines to the registry based on its own reality, for example by specifying the days and times allowed to consult it. It may also require that an appointment be made with one of the directors to do so, but also require a reasonable fee for consultation purposes. However, tariffs and conditions of access should not unduly restrict the right of a co-owner to access the register. In addition, any co-owner has the right, for a reasonable fee, to obtain a copy of the contents of the register and of these documents.
LIMITATIONS TO CONSULTATION
The board of directors is not required to put at the co-owners’ disposal all the data it collects. This is the case, for example, regarding personal information concerning the co-owners. In a judgment of the Superior Court, the Court decided that the co-owners could not have "unencumbered and total access to the syndicate’s accounting books". These are the working documents or "management tools of the board of directors." In addition, in another judgment rendered by the Superior Court, it was stated as follows: it is very unlikely that the legislature intended that, in a divided co-ownership, each co-owner thus had the absolute right to search as he wished in all accounting, tax and other documents, some of which necessarily contain personal or otherwise confidential information. Thus, if the co-ownership register contains personal information about a co-owner, tenant or other occupant of the immovable, this information could not be transmitted to a co-owner or a promising buyer who requested it.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ! The register is the set of documents produced or received by the syndicate. The terms and conditions of consultation of the register are specific to each syndicate and are detailed in the by-laws of the immovable.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND : The board of directors shall, for the purposes of the administration of the immovable, safeguard all the documents and archives of the syndicate necessary for the accomplishment of its mission.
WARNING ! The Civil Code of Quebec governs the processing of information collected by the syndicate on any person, either co-owners or third parties. It cannot communicate it to third parties or misuse it, if it has not obtained the consent of the concerned person or if it is not legally authorized to do so.
Allocation plan of the common portions for restricted use Amendment Appraisal report Asset Management Plan Assignment By-laws of the immovable Cadastral plan Call for tenders Certificate of location Certificate of location of a private portion Certificate of the state of the immovable Consultation Contingency fund study Declaration of co-ownership Documents relating to the immovable and the syndicate Financial statements Global certificate of location Horizontal cadastral plan Insurance policy Legal proceeding Lessee (Tenant) Mailing address Maintenance logbook Minutes Minutes Occupant Plans and specifications of the building (as) built Protection of personal information Reasonable fees. Reconstruction cost Register of allocation of common portions for restricted use Register of co-owners Register of co-ownership Register of lessees Right of access to a leased private portion Safekeeping period Secretary Transfer of a co-owner's voting rights Vertical cadastral plan Written resolution Written resolution