Converting a Property to Divided Co-ownership in the Case of Undivided Co-Owners
NOTE : This section is intended mainly to explain how to complete an application and prepare supporting facts for a hearing. For more information on the rules and conversion steps, consult the section Divided Co-Ownership.
Under the Act respecting the Régie du logement, any person who wishes to convert one or a number of properties to a co-divided ownership must apply for authorization to the Régie, when the property has or had, in the last ten years, at least one dwelling.
Under the law, a “dwelling” means a premises rented for residential purposes, offered for rent or that is vacant after having being rented.
Application for authorization
The application shall be submitted along with the fee required by regulation, which will vary according to the number of dwellings.
Given the complexity of the procedure, applicants are advised to consult a notary or lawyer for help preparing the application and in relation to the hearing.
When a notary assists an applicant, the notary shall see that the application is signed by the applicant and may act only as a witness for the applicant. He may not be considered a representative, in accordance with the requirements in Sections 72 and 74 of the Act respecting the Régie du logement: mandate free of charge, etc.
The Régie shall notify the applicants of the location, date and time of the hearing.
The applicants must attend the hearing. Failing this, applicants may mandate a spouse or may be represented by a lawyer. Applicants who cannot attend the hearing may also mandate in writing a relative, person connected by marriage or a civil union, or friend.
Because the hearing is not a mere formality, it is important to know that failure to provide any required evidence may lead to a postponement of the case and additional waiting periods.
Applicants or their representatives should be able to prove all the facts related to the application and all circumstances surrounding the conversion by means of testimony and material evidence. When an applicant is being represented and the representative is not personally aware of the facts, the applicant should ensure that there are witnesses able to relate the facts.
Posting of notice
The law stipulates that a notice shall be posted before the building. The Régie asks for the cooperation of landlords concerning the logistics of the posting.
The posted notice includes the statement that any person may make a written representation in relation to the application within ten days of posting or of the publication of a public notice, if such is the case.
The Régie may, if it considers it expedient, hold a public hearing or hear any person who has made a representation.
Registration of the declaration of co-ownership with the Bureau de la publicité des droits (Registry Office)
Once authorization to convert has been obtained, landlords have one year to have the declaration of co-ownership registered in the property records. The Régie's decision to authorize the conversion must accompany the declaration of co-ownership.
Once this period has elapsed, the authorization becomes null and void. Applicants may, for valid reason, apply for an extention, provided the application is conveyed to the Régie before expiry of the period.
It is important to be aware that any interested party, including the Régie, may apply to the Superior Court to have any declaration of co-ownership that has been registered without the Régie's authorization removed, when such authorization is required, and to have any contract arising from this registration cancelled.