Votation at the general meeting of the co-owners
by Mᵉ Serge Abud, PAPINEAU AVOCATS Inc.
Relative or absolute majority?
The general rule (article 1096 CcQ) is that the decisions of the syndicate are taken by a majority of the co-owners present or represented at the meeting, with the exception of special majorities stipulated in articles 1097 and 1098 of the Civil Code of Quebec.
Knowing that each co-owner is entitled to a number of votes proportionate to the relative value of his fraction, it should be understood that it is not the number of persons present that is taken into account, but the total of the votes expressed by the co-owners. So we have to be careful whenever a vote is taken by a show of hands. In some cases a detailed account is necessary, for example when a vote appears too tight or if someone holds an important number of votes or has many proxys. This could be done by calling out the votes or by a written votation.
The majority of votes of the co-owners shall include those who abstained to vote as well as those whose ballot paper was rejected.
A decision is therefore legally valid only if approved by fifty percent plus one of the votes of the co-owners present or represented at the meeting. Make no mistake about it: the majority of the co-owners or the greatest number of votes expressed are not the same thing as fifty percent plus one of the votes of the co-owners present or represented at the meeting.
This distinction is very important to make in order to ensure that the decisions taken during the general meeting are lawful.