Large-scale real estate developments in divided co-ownership are often carried out in successive stages, the number of buildings and the duration of the work are a function of the marketing and interim construction financing. Some co-ownerships have more than one building that have in common community spaces such as a parking lot, a swimming pool and traffic lanes. In such a context, it is then a question of "co-ownership in phases". This type of co-ownership allows the developer to spread the design of a real estate project over several years, and to modulate the pace of construction work according to the evolution of unit sales. However, it is customary to announce in the preamble of the declaration of co-ownership the legal structure chosen for this type of co-ownership.
The co-ownership he creates as part of this real estate project evolves, during construction, before reaching its final form. Because of the complex legal structure, only lawyers and notaries who are fully knowledgeable in the applicable rules of the field should act.
A phased co-ownership is also beneficial to consumers. From the time the first buildings are developed, buyers usually know what to expect about the direction of the project, its location and the nature of the buildings to come. This protection is important because if, for example, a developer was to suffer a setback, his successors would be required to honour the original plans and respect what was represented to first-time buyers.
Two methods are particularly used to carry out a phased co-ownership project: the so-called "Landry method" and the method of concurrent co-ownership declarations. Let's look at them summarily.
A) The method of successive changes to the declaration of co-ownership (Landry Method)
This method consists of announcing, in a single declaration of co-ownership, that future changes will be made to ensure the construction of the future phases of real estate development. It aims to establish a single co-ownership.
The implementation of this method usually takes place as follows:
The use of this method therefore results in multiple changes to the declaration of co-ownership, as long as the project is not fully completed.
B) The method of concomitant declaration of co-ownership
The method of concomitant declaration of co-ownership consists in subjecting a private portion of an already established co-ownership (known as the initial co-ownership) to a separate co-ownership, called "concomitant", which in turn includes private portions and common portions. All these private and common lots of the concomitant co-ownership form a single private portion of the initial co-ownership. The implementation of this method usually takes place as follows:
C) The cumulative application of these two methods
It is also possible to use both methods cumulatively in the same project. In the context of a co-ownership, certain private portions are designated as transitional lots and will be the subject of a subdivision which will then be incorporated into the co-ownership, by amending the initial declaration of co-ownership. Other private portions will be used to establish concomitant co-ownerships that will not be modified in the initial co-ownerships.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! The development of a phased co-ownership, spread over a more or less long period of construction, involves a phase-in construction where buildings are being completed and land waiting to receive the construction site. For the latter, notarial practice has introduced the technique of transitional lots. These are lots, often consisting of bare land and described as a private portion, which will be replaced by final lots once construction is completed.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: Phased co-ownership (established using the method of concurrent declarations of co-ownership is a legal regime similar to single co-ownerships, but whose constituents intertwin with each other in the manner of a puzzle. At the heart of the concept are several buildings each comprising a declaration of co-ownership called concomitant, to which is added another type of co-ownership (called initial) governing in particular the common portions to all the buildings.