What is an undivided co-ownership?

According to the Civil Code of Québec, undivided co-ownership is ownership of the same property, jointly and at the same time, by several persons or companies called “undivided co-owners”, each of whom is privately vested with a share of the right of ownership that is not accompanied with a physical division of the property (section 1010 C.C.Q.).

How does property become an undivided condominium?

No specific formality is required. A condominium is undivided once a building becomes commonly owned. It can also result from a judgment, a succession (section 1012 C.C.Q.) or a contract (hereafter “Agreement”). In this case, the document must be published if it is to be set up against third persons (section 1014 C.C.Q.), although it is valid between undivided co-owners in spite of the absence of this formality. The shares of undivided co-owners are presumed equal, unless the Agreement states otherwise (section 1015 C.C.Q.).

 

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Can an undivided co-owner request the partition of a property?

Undivided co-owners may state, in the Agreement their right to request partition of a property. Such postponement may not exceed 30 years, but it is renewable at the end of the term (section 1013 C.C.Q.). If such terms are not in place, each co-owner may request a partition of the property at any given time (section 1030 C.C.Q.).

Who manages the building?

Unless otherwise indicated in the Agreement, all undivided co-owners of property manage it jointly (section 1025 C.C.Q.). Administrative decisions are made by a majority in number and shares of the undivided co-owners (section 1026 C.C.Q.). For example, if three co-owners respectively own 10%, 30% and 60% of the building, any decision must be accepted by at least two undivided co-owners, including the one holding 60% of the building.

However, certain decisions require unanimous approval, such as those relating to alienation, partition of the undivided property, the act of charging it with a real right, changes in destination or substantial alterations to it.

Finally, undivided co-owners are liable proportionately to their shares for the costs of administration and the other common charges related to the undivided property (section 1019 C.C.Q.).

What are the rights and obligations of undivided co-owners?

All undivided co-owners have the same rights and obligations as an exclusive owner, in proportion to the share of building they own, unless otherwise indicated in the Agreement. Undivided co-owners can therefore sell, give or even mortgage their share. This share can also be repossessed. However, a mortgage granted to only one undivided co-owner on his or her share cannot apply to the whole building. Therefore, when one
undivided co-owner mortgages his or her share, the other undivided co-owners do not become mortgage debtors.

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