The declaration of co-ownership is an agreement that organizes and regulates the collective life of the co-owners and occupants of the building. This convention defines in particular their rights and obligations. As it is an authentic act, it must be received by a notary. The declaration of co-ownership is often signed by the developer who acts as sole proprietor, or sometimes, by co-owners who wish to subject their immovable (held in joint ownership) to the regime of divided co-ownership, as well as by hypothecary creditors. This document must subsequently be published in the land register. Its publication gave rise to co-ownership and the syndicate. Any new co-owner is obliged to adhere to it. A look at the different aspects of the declaration of co-ownership.
Divided co-ownership is a housing formula that usually has more than one owner. In order to assess and quantify the interest of each person in the building, the legislator has provided that the right of ownership of each owner in the common portions is proportional to the relative value of his fraction. To determine the relative value of a unit, it must be compared with the value of all the other units of the co-ownership. The relative value is calculated and usually expressed as a percentage or thousandths. Its distribution is recorded in the declaration of co-ownership, (the constituting act of the co-ownership). Finally, it should be noted that the relative value determines the voting power in the meeting of co-owners and serves in particular as a basis for calculation in the distribution of the co-owners of the common expenses.
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.
When it comes time to acquire a home, many buyers turn to the acquisition of a multi-unit building (such as a duplex, triplex, quadruplex, etc.). The direct conversion of rental units to divided co-ownership is prohibited in some cities, with a few exceptions, which is why owners first turn them into undivided co-ownership. It should be noted that a building, whose dwellings are all occupied by undivided owners,can be converted into divided co-ownership, subject to certain conditions. But carrying out this conversion requires to overcome several steps involving all owners concerned.
The divided co-ownership of a building is not necessarily intended to last for eternity. The end of the co-ownership, and therefore the dissolution and liquidation of the syndicate, is justifiable, for various reasons. The dissolution of a co-ownership leads to a liquidation process. This process is regulated by articles 1108 and 1109 of the Civil Code of Québec, which refer to the rules applicable to legal persons concerning their liquidation.The question of putting an end to your co-ownership may one day arise. There are therefore various questions to be asked about this approach. What are the reasons for terminating a co-ownership? What are the modalities and consequences of a dissolution? Answers in this fact sheet!
The destination of the immovable, of the private portions and of the common portions is a fundamental concept in co-ownerships. It is both a real regulator of the rights and obligations of co-owners and a reference value between the permit and the prohibited. The destination of the building is determined in the 1st part of the declaration of co-ownership (constituting act of co-ownership). It is it that also makes it possible to establish the type of co-ownership established and defines the use(s) that can be made of the private and common portions. It can thus be exclusively commercial or residential or residential but with the possibility of practicing a professional activity. It can also be mixed, such as, allowing shops on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors.
The syndicate of co-owners, as a legal person, has juridical personality, which allows it to contract with third parties, hire employees, hold and dispose of property or exercise legal remedies to protect its assets and ensure the defense of the collective interests of the co-owners.He plays a crucial role in a co-ownership, as it is its legal representative. A legal person constituted of all the co-owners (the collectivity of the co-owner) and governed by the Civil Code of Quebec. As such, it has rights, obligations but also responsibilities. He has for object the preservation of the immovable, the maintenance and the administration of the common portions and the protection of the collective interests of the co-owners. An overview of its role and its various powers.
Article 1083 of the Civil Code of Quebec allows syndicates of co-owners to regroup within an association. More of an incentive than a creator of rights, this article aims to encourage syndicates to come together to share, in particular, the cost of certain common services. The latter can thus pool resources for the maintenance and conservation of their immovable. By seeking strength in numbers, the united syndicates of co-owners can devise effective strategies to better cope with some common expenses and achieve economies of scale. The legislator did not consider it appropriate to further regulate this type of association, since it can enact its own rules, according to its particular needs and objectives. Syndicates of co-owners may thus, at any time, decide to form an association. Similarly, at any time a syndicate of co-owners may join existing association.
The meeting of co-owners is the gathering of all the co-owners, to make the decisions necessary for the sustainability of the building and the proper functioning of the co-ownership. It is one of the two decision-making bodies of the syndicate. This should be held at least once a year, but it can take place as often as necessary. You should be aware that co-ownership life implies that the co-owners or their representatives meet, occasionally, to discuss and vote upon important decisions. This must be done at meetings of co-owners, where the members of the syndicate can make their voice heard by exercising their right to vote. Their conduct obeys certain rules of form and substance. An overview of the various specific aspects of meetings of co-owners.
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.