It is possible to convert a rental building into divided co-ownership (condominium) but the owner of the building must respect certain rules. One of the first steps for the owner is to obtain a document from the municipality where the property is located to determine whether the conversion can take place. The conversion of an immovable to divided co-ownership must also be authorized by the Tribunal administratif du logement (formerly the Régie du logement) if it has or had at least one dwelling in the 10 years preceding the authorization request.
The syndicate of co-owners’ mission is to ensure the property is preserved, maintained and administered.
Dividing the right of ownership of an immovable into fractions is achieved with a notarized declaration of co-ownership. It includes the constituting act of co-ownership, the building by-laws and a description of the fractions.
The private and common portions of a divided co-ownership are governed by a notarized declaration of co-ownership. The buyer must always read and understand it before making a commitment. A notary will help you understand the contents of this very important document.
Property is said to be held in divided co-ownership when it is split into two or more fractions. Each fraction may belong to one or more people. The best known example of divided co-ownership is a condominium building.
Each undivided co-owner is free to sell or transfer their share in the property, unless otherwise stipulated in the agreement. With some exceptions, however, the law allows the other undivided co-owners to turn away the new buyer by refunding the sale or transfer price and expenses. The undivided co-owners must exercise this right within one year of the sale or transfer of that share.
Undivided co-owners, i.e. those who purchase a property together, are considered equal owners unless the act of sale or a co-ownership agreement provides for a different distribution.
Property held in undivided co-ownership has a single cadastre, i.e. a single lot number, but it belongs to several people, the undivided co-owners. None of these undivided co-owners owns a private portion of the property; each owns a fraction of the whole.
You must first check your undivided co-ownership contract or agreement to see if there are any special rules and follow them if so. If there aren’t any, an individual who no longer wishes to be a co-owner may sell their rights to a third party, without having to obtain the consent of the other co-owners. If they cannot find a buyer, they can force the partition of the property by going to court.
The law provides that it is possible to restrict the rights of co-owners if such restrictions are warranted by the intended use of the immovable, its characteristics or its location. The declaration of co-ownership may thus provide for restrictions on animals. If this is not the case, it is always possible to change the condominium rules by obtaining the majorities required by law or the declaration of co-ownership. In each case where there is disagreement on a restriction and the matter is referred to a court, the court must check the property’s specifics. We invite you to consult a notary to obtain an opinion on such matters.
Undivided ownership arises from co-ownership of property with at least one other person. The law provides for certain rights and obligations for each of the co-owners. However, sometimes the provisions of the law do not meet the needs of co-owners and an indivision agreement is necessary to provide a better framework for the undivided co-ownership. An indivision agreement makes it possible to agree on the sharing of costs related to the property, its selling price, the contribution of each party to the costs and repairs, the management of the residence, what happens if the property is sold, granting priority rights of purchase in the event of sale, separation or death, and to establish conditions. It also serves to establish other rights and obligations that will manage the relationship of the co-owners with respect to the property. We invite you to contact a notary for more information.