Conversion to divided co-ownership

Converting an undivided 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.

PART I

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. Application for authorization

An application must be submitted to the Tribunal, 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.

If a notary is consulted, the notary shall see that the application is signed by the applicant and may act only as a witness for the applicant. The notary may not be considered a representative, as stipulated in sections 72 and 74 of the Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal; these stipulations include a mandate free of charge.

3. Hearing

The Tribunal will notify the applicants of the location, date and time of the hearing.

The applicants must attend the hearing. If they are unable to attend, applicants may mandate their spouse or may be represented by a lawyer. Applicants may also mandate in writing a relative, a person connected by marriage or civil union, or a friend to represent them.

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 representatives should be able to provide testimony and/or material evidence in support of all the facts related to the application and all circumstances surrounding the conversion. 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.

4. 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.

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.

5. 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 owners have one year to register the declaration of co-ownership in the Land register. 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.

6. Sanctions

It is important to be aware that any interested party, including the Tribunal administratif du logement, may apply to 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.

PART II

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 co-owners and include their address and postal code and their telephone and fax numbers, if applicable.

B. Properties

The application must include the cadastral description of the property or properties the co owners wish 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 co owners must provide their 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.

C. 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 lessees on the property over the preceding years, especially the right to maintain occupancy.

Additionally, each co owner must be able to prove that they do indeed occupy one of the property’s dwellings, by means of evidence such as: testimony, driver’s licence, utility bills such as electrical or telephone, etc.

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 an owner or was repossessed with a view to converting the property to divided co-ownership.
  • In the five years prior to the application, a co 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 applicants 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.

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

PART III

Standard application structure

Identification of co-owner(s) – Applicant(s)

APPLICATION FOR AUTHORIZATION TO CONVERT (A) PROPERTY(IES) TO DIVIDED CO-OWNERSHIP
(s. 51, Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal (CQLR, c. T-15.01)

The applicants declare 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 – Occupancy history for each co-owner

Statement of relevant details regarding the occupancy of each undivided co-owner.

SECTION IV – 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

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

Signed at ________________________________________________________________________________

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On            ________________________________________________________________________________