Conversion to divided co-ownership

Converting a rental property to divided co-ownership

NOTE : This section mainly explains 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.


Overall process

1. Required authorization

Under the Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal (CQLR, c. T-15.01), any person who wishes to convert one or more properties to divided co-ownership must apply for authorization from the Tribunal administratif du logement if the property has at least one dwelling or has had at least one dwelling in the last 10 years.

Under the law, a “dwelling” means premises that are rented for residential purposes, offered for rent or vacant after having been rented.

2. Notice of intent to convert: first step

Before taking any other steps, the owner must give each lessee notice, in writing and in accordance with the law, of their intent to convert the property or properties to divided co-ownership. A copy of each notice of intent to convert must be provided to the Tribunal administratif du logement. The owner is responsible for retaining proof that such notice was sent to their lessees, since they will be required to produce it at the hearing on the application for authorization (see point 6). Please note that forms for the notice of intent are available on the Tribunal website and at Tribunal offices.

It is important to be aware that, once such notice is given, the lessees have an unlimited right to maintain occupancy and, except in rare cases or with their consent, they may not be evicted for repossession of the dwelling by a prospective buyer.

3. Application to the municipality (unless all dwellings are occupied by undivided co owners)

The owner must also obtain a document from the municipality concerned. The procedure for this may differ between municipalities and depending on whether or not that municipality is in the urban agglomeration of Montréal:

  • a) Urban agglomeration of Montréal (conversion prohibited)

    Where a municipality has adopted a bylaw providing for variances (exemptions from that prohibition), the owner must obtain a resolution of the council of the municipality concerned granting the variance. Owners should consult their municipality for information about the procedure and fees involved with applying for a variance.

    Owners of properties located in the Ville de Montréal should consult the city’s By-law concerning the conversion of immovables to divided co-ownership. Ce règlement fait notamment mention des immeubles admissibles à une demande de dérogation. This bylaw makes special mention of properties eligible to apply for a variance and is available at Accès Montréal offices.

  • b) Elsewhere in Québec (conversion allowed)

    Owners must obtain either a resolution of the municipal council authorizing the conversion, or a certificate attesting that the planned conversion complies with municipal bylaws or that no bylaw restricting conversion is in effect in the municipality.

4. Application for authorization

The owner has six months to submit their application for authorization to convert to the Tribunal. That six month window begins on either the date of the notice of intent to convert or the date on which the municipal document was obtained, whichever comes later.

The application must be submitted along with the fee required by regulation, which will vary according to the number of dwellings.

Given the complexity of the process, applicants are advised to consult a notary or lawyer for assistance with the application and hearing.

5. Notification of the application

Each lessee and each joint tenant, where applicable, must be individually notified of the application at the applicant’s expense. Any third parties must also be notified. This notice of the application must include supporting documents or a list of supporting documents stating that they are available upon request.

The most common methods of notification are:

  • Registered mail

  • Person to person

  • Bailiff

Notice may also be given using any other method that provides proof of receipt. For example, an owner could deliver the notice by hand, in which case the proof of receipt might be an acknowledgment of receipt.

Proof of notification should then be added to the application file at the Tribunal, along with a list of the application’s supporting documents, within 45 days of the date the application was first filed. If this is not done, the application will lapse, and the Tribunal will close the file.

6. Hearing

The Tribunal will notify the parties, lessees and third parties, where applicable, of the location, date and time of the hearing. Unlike for certain types of application before ordinary courts, no notice of presentation is required.

Applicants must bring evidence that lessees were notified of the intent to convert (see point 2).

The hearing is not a mere formality. It is important to be aware that failure to provide any required evidence may result in your case being postponed, or even in rejection of your application.

Applicants or their mandataries should be able to provide testimony and/or documentation in support of all the facts related to the application and all circumstances surrounding the conversion to divided co-ownership. 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.

7. Posting of notice

The law stipulates that a notice must be posted in front of the property. The Tribunal requests owners’ cooperation concerning the logistics of this posting. The posted notice should include the statement that any person may make a written representation in relation to the application within 10 days of the posting or, if applicable, of the publication of a public notice.

The Tribunal may, if it deems it advisable, hold a public hearing or hear any person who has made a representation.

8. Decision

The Tribunal will provide a copy of its decision to the parties and to each lessee identified on the list appended to the application.

The law stipulates that the Tribunal’s decision must state the names and apartment numbers of all lessees, so that no further effort to repossess their dwellings may be undertaken.

9. Registration of the declaration of co-ownership with the Land Registry Office (Bureau de la publicité des droits)

Once they have obtained an authorization to convert, the owner has one year to register the declaration of co-ownership in the Land registry. This declaration must be accompanied by the Tribunal’s decision to authorize the conversion.

Once this period has elapsed, the authorization becomes null and void. An owner may, for a valid reason, apply for an extension, provided that they apply to the Tribunal before the one year period elapses.

10. Sanctions

It is important to be aware that any interested party, including the Tribunal administratif du logement, may ask the Superior Court to have any declaration of co-ownership that has been registered without the Tribunal’s authorization removed, when such authorization is required, and to have any contract arising from this registration cancelled.


Elements of the application and required documents

NOTE: Such applications often require multiple pages of text, especially given that they involve multiple parties, long cadastral descriptions that must be transcribed, etc. Accordingly, we suggest that you not use the Tribunal’s standard application form for this purpose, since it is not designed for this type of application. We advise using 8½ x 14 paper to fill out your application. We encourage you to model your application on the standard application structure in Partie III of this section.

A. Parties to the application

The application should correctly identify the owner, who could be a natural person (individual), a partnership of multiple people or a legal person (a company, etc.), and the owner’s address and postal code. It is also helpful to include telephone and fax numbers, if applicable.

B. Identification of lessees

Each lessee is to be identified in an appendix to the application. This appendix must state the apartment number of each lessee, and should include any lessees who, at the time of the application, have given notice of non renewal of their lease.

An updated list of lessees, removing the names of any who have left and adding the names of any newly arrived lessees, must be provided at the hearing.

C. Properties

The application must include the cadastral description of the property or properties the owner wishes to convert, under articles 3032, 3033 and 3037 of the CCQ. This description must be complete, up to date and official, which means that it must match what is in the Land register on the date of the application. If any subsequent cadastral amendment is made, the Tribunal must be informed of that amendment during the hearing.

The application should also state the civic address of each property and the number of dwellings therein.

The owner must provide the act of acquisition (for example, a contract of sale or of transfer of undivided shares, etc.).

If a plan or location certificate is available, it should be considered relevant documentation.

D. Criteria that the Tribunal considers / Information in the application

When reviewing an application, the Tribunal will mainly consider the aspects related to the rights of the current lessees and lessees on the property over the preceding years, especially the right to maintain occupancy.

To summarize, by law the Tribunal must refuse any authorization if:

  • Work was done on the property with a view to preparing it for conversion and evicting a lessee.
  • A dwelling was illegally repossessed by the owner or was repossessed with a view to converting the property to divided co-ownership.
  • In the five years prior to the application, the owner was found guilty of harassment toward a lessee of the property and was not granted a pardon for that offence.

The application should provide information on the above factors, and the applicant should be prepared to provide the relevant details on each factor at the hearing.

It is also important to be aware that, if an application for conversion is rejected for any of the three reasons listed above, no new application may be made for the same property until three years have elapsed.

E. Cases where conversion is prohibited

Note that conversion is prohibited if the property belongs to one of the following organizations:

  • A housing cooperative
  • A non profit organization
  • A municipal housing corporation

Conversion is prohibited if a property was built, acquired, restored or renovated as part of a government housing assistance program.

Note: The Tribunal may request other information or documentation as well, which the applicant will be expected to produce within the time indicated.


Standard application structure

Identification of owner(s) – Applicant(s)

(s. 51, Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal (CQLR, c. T-15.01)

The applicant declares as follows:

SECTION I – Description of the property or properties

Description of all properties that are the subject of the application to convert, including the address, number of dwellings and cadastral description of each.

SECTION II – Origin of the right of ownership

Statement of the origin of the right of ownership (when and from whom each property was acquired) of all properties that are the subject of the application to convert.

SECTION III – Statement that the notice of intent to convert was sent

SECTION IV – Statement of authorization from the municipality or of absence of a bylaw or of variance obtained from a municipality of the urban agglomeration of Montréal

SECTION V – Statement that there has been no:

  • Work done preparatory to the conversion with the goal of an eviction
  • Conviction, in the last five years, of an offence related to harassment (s. 112.1 Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal), for which a pardon has not been granted
  • Illegal repossession of a dwelling

SECTION VI – List of lessees

ACCORDINGLY, the applicant requests that the Tribunal authorize the conversion to divided co-ownership of the property(ies) described above.

Signed at ________________________________________________________________________________



On            ________________________________________________________________________________