Decision-Making Process

Many administrative actions do not require the approval of the general meeting of the co-owners and the writing of minutes[50] due to the powers delegated to them by the declaration of co-ownership. However, important administrative actions such as altering the destination of the building, or changing the by-laws of the building will require a vote, whether tacit or explicit.

The nature of the proposition will determine which voting mechanism is prescribed by law. Certain decisions necessitate obtaining a majority of the number of votes held by each co-owner according to the relative value of his fraction or unit.[51]Other decisions will require a special majority of 75%, 90% or even 100% of the votes.

The four (4) different voting mechanisms are as follows:

1)  Simple majority (50% +1)

2) Majority of co-owners (50% +1), representing 75% of the votes of all the co-owners

3) Majority of 75% (75% +1) of all co-owners, which represents at least 90% of all voting rights

4) Unanimous agreement

1)  Simple majority vote[52]

Most decisions are adopted through a simple majority of votes of the co-owners present or represented at the meeting.

A simple majority is required for:

-The adoption or modification of the by-laws of the building;

-The election of directors; and

-Correction of clerical errors in the declaration of co-ownership.

2) Majority of co-owners (50%+1) representing 75% of the votes of all the co-owners[53]

Voting rights are determined according to the relative value of a co-owner’s fraction.[54] Consequently, it is possible for a co-owner to hold a significant percentage of the voting rights compared to other co-owners.

This voting mechanism requires that at least 50% of all co-owners agree to the proposition, and that this majority of co-owners hold at least 75% of all voting rights.

Such decisions include:

-Acts of acquisition or alienation by the syndicate of co-owners;

-Work for the alteration, enlargement or improvement of the common portions, and the apportionment of its costs;

-The construction of building to create new fractions; and

-The amendment of the act constituting the co-ownership or of the description of the fractions.

3) Majority of 75% (75% +1) of all co-owners, which represents at least 90% of all voting rights[55]

Decisions which fall under this mechanism require the approval of 75% of all co-owners, which hold at least 90% of all voting rights.

Such decisions include:

-Changing the destination of the building;

-Authorizing the alienation of common portions, the retention of which is necessary to maintain the destination of the building; and

-To amend the declaration of co-ownership in order to permit the holding of a fraction by several persons having a periodic and successive right of enjoyment.

It should be noted that some decisions falling under Art. 1097 C.C.Q, may also fall under Art. 1098 C.C.Q should these decisions affect the destination of the building.

4) Unanimous vote

A unanimous vote at the general meeting of the co-owners is required when a change in the value of a fraction a co-owner possesses or a change in the destination of a private portion is proposed. These decisions require unanimity because it essentially restrains or changes the usage of a co-owner’s unit, to which his approval is essential.

In addition, if the application of such action influences other units belonging to other co-owners, they must also give their approval; if it involves a general application affecting the relative value, the destination or the usage of all the private portions, it would require a unanimous agreement. The non-approval of a resolution affecting the value of a private portion by the co-owner will render the proposition null.[56]

[50] Michelstein v. Rafai-Far, 2007 QCCS 4098 at para 112.

[51] C.C.Q. Art. 1090.

[52] C.C.Q. Art. 1096; Art. 1026.

[53] C.C.Q. Art. 1097.

[54] CCQ Art. 1090.

[55] CCQArt. 1098.

[56] C.C.Q. Art. 1102.

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The above noted text should not be construed as providing legal advice or a statement of your claim. The process highlighted above are merely parameters and barometers and do not constitute any warranties and guaranties with regards to your file at hand. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice with a licensed attorney from the Barreau du Quebec or a notary at the Chambre des Notaires. Each case must be seen and analysed on its merits as the legal process may be complex and cumbersome.