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The register of the co-ownership - The syndicate must keep proper records

The register of the co-ownership - The syndicate must keep proper records

Many people who are members of the Board of Directors of a co-ownership ask themselves the same  question: What is the register of the syndicate of co-ownership all about, and what does it contain ?

The syndicate of co-ownership and consequently, the Board of Directors, must constitute and keep a “register of the co-ownership”. Article 1070 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the syndicate keeps at the disposal of the co-owners a register containing the following information:

          the name and the address of each co-owner (within building of co-ownership or any  

           other residential address of the co-owner if they don't live in the building), and of each tenant;

          the minutes of the General Meetings of the Co-owners and of the Board of Directors;

          the financial statements;


It also keeps at their disposal:


          the declaration of co-ownership;

          the copies of the contracts to which the syndicate is a party (example: landscape maintenance    services, snow removal, etc);

          a copy of the cadastral plan

          plans and specifications of the building, as built

          any other documents relating to the building and the syndicate.


The rigorous upkeep of the register is a very important task, which is often delegated to a member of the Board of Directors, usually the secretary of the Board. It is an invaluable management tool for the Board, as well as a source of important information on which a purchasing proposer, or his notary will ask questions within the process of a sale. However, because this register must be kept at the disposal of the “co-owners”, a potential buyer (and thus a non-owner) does not have the right to consult it, only to address precise questions to the syndicate, that is to say personally, or through the instrumenting notary.


Moreover, the expression “keeps at the disposal of" must be interpreted to signify that the register can be consulted by a co-owner, but does not oblige the Board to provide them copies of the documents it contains upon request. It is preferable that the syndicate adopt a building bylaw, rules regarding consultation of the register, such as how the co-owner must make a consultation request, the place and rules of the consultation, the payment for photocopies, etc  Such a building bylaw can be adopted by the assembly of the co-owners by way of a resolution supported by the majority vote of the co-owners calculated according to the number of votes allotted by the declaration of co-ownership. The text of the bylaw is filed in the register.


Access to the register by the co-owners also has its limits. In the case of Fortier et als. vs. Syndicat des copropriétaires Condominium Les Châtelets[1], certain co-owners requested access to the detailed monthly statement of revenue and expenses used to prepare the financial statements on the argument that they were “documents relating to the building” referred to in article 1070 C.c.Q. However, the Court ruled that by application of article 1070 C.c.Q., only the financial statements, being accounting documents need be kept at the disposal of the co-owners, either as information documents prepared for an Annual General Meeeting of the co-owners in accordance with article 1087 C.c.Q. Moreover, the Court specified that the accounting books may contain personal information about co-owners or about their financial situation. As regards the financial information and  accounting of co-ownership, if the law makers had intended it to be otherwise, they would certainly have foreseen it in light of the precise wording of articles 1070 and 1087 of the C.c.Q., but that is not the case. Consequently, the applicants were refused unlimited and complete access to all the the syndicate's accounting records covering five financial years

[1]      2008 QCCS 2507 (C.S.)

About the author

Me Kevin J. Lebeau, avocat

Diplômé de l'Université McGill (B.A.) et l'Université de Montréal (LL.B.), Me Lebeau est membre du Barreau du Québec depuis 2000.

Depuis 2001, il a exercé en droit immobilier avec concentration en droit de la copropriété dans plusieurs contextes, dont en milieu d'association, en société et en contentieux d'entreprise au sein d'une firme de gestion se spécialisant dans la gestion des copropriétés divise, Gestion Immobilière Ges-Mar Inc. Me Lebeau est également conseiller juridique aux membres d'Avantages Condo.

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