A condo syndicate is a legal entity made up of all the co-owners whose mission is to oversee the maintenance and administration of the common areas. A condo syndicate is mandatory when a building is co-owned.
Co-ownership and the mandatory condo syndicate
A building is co-owned when there is more than one person who owns it. When the condominium contains private portions and common portions, we are talking about a divided co-ownership. The common portions belong by proportionate share to all the co-owners of the building, who must therefore manage them jointly.
A declaration of co-ownership is established at the time of its formation by a notarial deed that governs the rights and obligations of all the co-owners. It includes:
- The constituting act of co-ownership,
- The building by-laws,
- The descriptive statement of the proportionate shares.
Together, all the co-owners form the mandatory condo syndicate, which is a legal entity. This is made up of two bodies:
- The general meeting of co-owners,
- The board of directors.
The role of each body is defined by law and by the declaration of co-ownership. Condominium law is governed by the provisions of Articles 298 to 364 respecting legal persons and—more specifically—by Articles 1038 to 1109 of the Civil Code.
The board of directors has considerable powers within the context of building management, while the general meeting ultimately has a simply advisory role.
1. The role of the general meeting of co-owners
During general meetings of co-owners, the co-owners are called upon to vote for or against the decisions that are proposed. These include:
- Electing the directors and setting their possible compensation,
- Removing a director (negligence, default of payment, etc.),
- Ratifying the by-laws adopted by the directors.
The directors report to the general meeting on the past management of the building and the general meeting discusses the important directions and the budget set by the directors. On this last point, the general meeting has no decision-making power; its role is purely advisory.
2. The role of the board of directors
The board of directors of the mandatory condo syndicate is elected by the general meeting of co-owners. The role and powers of the directors are defined by law (Art. 334 et seq. CCQ) and the declaration of co-ownership. Generally speaking, the role of the board of directors is as follows:
- Managing the entire condominium in the interest of the syndicate,
- Setting the annual budget and the contributions of the co-owners to the contingency fund,
- Taking out an insurance policy on the common and private portions,
- Keeping and ensuring the keeping of the condominium records and all mandatory official documents,
- Ensuring compliance with the declaration of co-ownership and the by-laws by all occupants of the building and—in particular—ensuring mandatory repairs not performed by a co-owner,
- Calling the general meeting of co-owners once per year, particularly in order to report on the management of the building,
- Representing the syndicate as the agent of the syndicate.
The management of the condominium includes different specific tasks that the board of directors must perform:
- Accounting of income and expenses,
- Opening a bank account,
- Signing maintenance contracts,
- Hiring the necessary staff,
- The routine maintenance of the building,
Generally, the law and the declaration of co-ownership release the directors from their personal liability except in cases of gross negligence. The mandatory condo syndicate can nevertheless take out liability insurance to cover this risk.
Delegating all or a portion of the management to a professional manager
As the agent of the syndicate, the board of directors has the option of entrusting the management to a manager.
In accordance with the provisions of Article 1085 CCQ, the board of directors can delegate all or a portion of the tasks that fall to it to a manager of its choice.
The manager has the role of administrator of the property of others and is responsible for implementing the decisions of the board of directors. This person may not be a co-owner.
Their role is contractually defined according to the needs of the board of directors.
Condo Stratégis will be pleased to answer all your questions about this topic and to provide you with the assistance that you deem necessary.