Exemption to convert a building to divided co-ownership

Last updated November 12, 2020

In Montréal, a rental building cannot be converted into a divided co-ownership. However, under certain conditions and in specific areas only, property owners can obtain an exemption from borough council. Find out everything you need to know.

An exemption granted by the borough does not constitute authorization to proceed with a conversion. Only the Tribunal administratif du logement can grant such authorization.

Définitions

Any building with at least one dwelling rented or offered for rent over the last 10 years.

A building with portions belonging exclusively to individual owners, and other parts of it are their common property.

Amendments to provisions set out in a law.

Cases in which all dwellings are occupied by undivided co-owners

The prohibition on conversion does not apply when all the dwellings in a building are occupied by undivided co-owners. The owners can deal directly with the Tribunal administratif du logement without obtaining an exemption from the municipality.

Conversion is prohibited by law if the building is owned by a housing cooperative, a non-profit organization or a  municipal housing corporation, and if it was built, acquired, restored or renovated under a government-run housing assistance program.

Protection offered to tenants

Conversion to divided co-ownership does not compromise the right of tenants to maintain occupancy. Tenants retain the right to occupy their dwelling for as long as they wish, provided that they fulfill their obligations. 

This right has actually been reinforced, since it is no longer possible for an owner to repossess a building (with rare exceptions).

Offer to sell

The tenant holds priority of purchase over his or her dwelling.

The tenant has one month to accept or refuse the offer for sale. In the absence of a response, the offer to sell will be considered as having been refused.

Eligibility

To apply for an exemption, you must be the owner or the authorized mandatary of the owner of a residential rental building located in an area of the borough designated under the By-law concerning the conversion of immovables to divided co-ownership (in French).

Notice of intent

If you are the owner of a building and you plan to convert it to divided co-ownership, you must:

  • give each of your tenants a notice of intent (this document is  available through the Tribunal administratif du logement)
  • transmit a copy of the notice to the Tribunal administratif du logement

Important: The notice of intent must be filed with the Tribunal administratif du logement before undertaking steps with the municipality or the Tribunal administratif du logement, before having a prospective buyer visit the dwelling, and before carrying out readings, appraisals and other activities prior to the conversion.

Once the notice is filed

1. You may no longer repossess the dwelling to occupy it yourself or let relatives live there.

Exemptions:

  • If there is a lease transfer after the notice is issued.
  • If a new tenant has occupied the dwelling since the authorization to convert was granted by the Tribunal administratif du logement

2. Until the assembly of co-owners is formed with a majority of owner-occupants, work on the building must be authorized by the Tribunal administratif du logement, which takes into consideration the work’s immediate usefulness for the tenant and can impose fair and reasonable conditions.

Application confidentiality

The information contained in the file presented by the owner is nominative (names of the tenants) and confidential in nature. A resident who wishes to gain access to it must submit a request to the borough clerk, who will make a decision in accordance with the provisions set out in the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information.

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