Co-ownership and the syndicate of co-owners

A condominium building is referred to as a “divided co-ownership” and the rules concerning its legal structure and its administration are contained in a notarized document called a “declaration of co-ownership” to which particular articles of the Civil code of Quebec apply (articles 1038 to 1109 inclusively), as well as other related articles. The publication of the declaration of co-ownership causes the collectivity of the co-owners to be constituted as a legal person bearing the name of “syndicate of co-owners”. The syndicate exists to ensure the preservation of the building, the administration of the common portions, the safeguarding of the rights appurtenant to the building or the co-ownership, and to take all measures of common interest.

Each building in divided co-ownership is governed by its own declaration of co-ownership containing the provisions which are particular to it - there are as many declarations as there are condominium buildings, and  it is thus necessary to take time to read and understand the declaration which governs your particular building.


Fractions – Private and Common portions 

Because the property of a building is divided between several owners, it is divided into fractions, belonging to one or more people. Your property right is said to be of a “fraction”, which is usually made up of a dwelling ( living space) referred to as a “privativeportion”, as well as an undivided share of the common portions of the building and a right of use of some of these parts (such as a balcony, parkingspace, etc). The privative portion is for the exclusive use of a particular co-owner and not by the other co-owners.

The common portions (often known as “general common portion”) are for the use of all the co-owners (example: corridors, main entrance), while those referred to as being “of restricted use” can be used by one or several co-owners taken individually (example: the balcony adjoining aprivate portion). In most cases, all of the main structure of the building (walls, foundations, roof, etc.) are common portions, but they are not for the “use” of the co-owners because they are elements of the structure.

The declaration of co-ownership contains the rules of enjoyment of the privativeportions, the common portions and the common portions of restricted use of the building, and it describes the rights and obligations of the co-owners, the syndicate and its board of directors. It is thus important to take  the time to read the declaration of co-ownership before the purchase of a condominium in order to understand your rights and responsibilities as a co-owner.

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