The rights of co-ownership

First, article 1063 of the Civil Code of Québec provides that:

“1063. Each co-owner has the disposal of his fraction; he has free use and enjoyment of his private portion and of the common portions, provided he complies with the by-laws of the immovable and does not impair the rights of the other co-owners or the destination of the immovable.”

However, the corollary is provided for by article 1064 of the same code:

“1064. Each co-owner contributes to the common expenses in proportion to the relative value of his fraction. However, only co-owners who have the use of common portions for restricted use contribute to the expenses related to the maintenance and the ordinary repairs of those portions.
The declaration of co-ownership may determine a different apportionment of the co-owners’ contribution to the expenses for major repairs to common portions for restricted use and for the replacement of those portions.”

Similarly, the law provides for certain indemnities in favour of co-owners who have had to undergo work or loss of use in the following terms:

“1067. A co-owner who, as a result of work carried out, suffers injury in the form of a permanent diminution in the value of his fraction, a grave disturbance to enjoyment, even if temporary, or through deterioration, is entitled to obtain an indemnity from the syndicate if the syndicate ordered the work or, if it did not, from the co-owners who did the work.”

In the event that the co-owner has not been in default of payment for more than three months, each of the co-owners is entitled to one vote at the meeting of co-owners, which is equal to the number of votes proportional to the relative value of his fraction.

Finally, the law allows a co-owner to challenge a decision of the board of directors in the following cases:

“1086. Any co-ower who has not paid his share of the common expenses for more than three months is disqualified for the office of director. Such disqualification ceases as soon as he has paid all the common expenses due; he may then once again be elected as a director.
The syndicate may replace a director or manager who, being a co-owner, neglects to pay his contribution to the common expenses.”

As well as a decision of the assembly of co-owners if:

“1103. Any co-owner may apply to the court to annul or, exceptionally, to amend a decision of the general meeting if the decision is biased, if it was taken with intent to injure the co-owners or in contempt of their rights, or if an error was made in counting the votes.
The action is forfeited unless instituted within 90 days after the meeting.
If the action is futile or vexatious, the court may condemn the plaintiff to pay damages.”

However, it should be noted that the 90-day period is a forfeiture period and that it is not possible to act after its expiration. Similarly, the period begins to run from the decision or meeting, as the case may be, regardless of the date of the knowledge, act or contested decision.

For the purposes of the above-mentioned contestation, it should be noted that a legal recourse must be filed within the 90-day time limit and that a notice or notice of default is not sufficient to extend the time limit.

For more information, do not hesitate to consult us.

Vanessa Low-Ken
Legal technician
Charland Avocat Inc.
Centropolis Laval
500-3055, boul. Saint-Martin Ouest
Laval (Québec) H7T 0J3
Phone: (450) 934-8700
Fax: (450) 934-8748