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Short version

In the condo where I live, in the province of Quebec, monthly condo fees are fixed once per year at the yearly owners' assembly, as required by the article 1072 of the Civil of Quebec. Is it legal to change the monthly fee during the middle of the year outside of this annual assembly, and if so is it required to notify owners in advance?

Detailed context (why I'm asking that question)

When I checked my bank account last weekend, I was surprised to see that the amount charged by the external condo manager was slightly higher than expected. I'm talking about a stupidly small difference of roughly a quarter of a dollar.

So, I contacted the condo manager, by email, to ask why the amount was different than expected. I received a one-line answer stating that the difference was because the amount was rounded to the dollar.

This surprised and confused me. The change was obviously deliberate, but I never received any advance notice about it. Also, while she claims the difference was due to rounding, the amount that was charged was NOT rounded at all, just slightly higher than the expected amount. I don't know what kind of rounding she did to end up with the actual difference. The only rounding I can see would simply add a few cents.

This was followed by a short exchange of emails where I tried to get her to explain further. I never got a satisfying answer, just some strange argument about it being logical nowadays not to calculate cents (what?), and the rounding she claims she did is the same one I'm doing, but somehow her result is different. She eventually got defensive, and stopped responding.

I'm baffled by the whole thing. It feels like she's deliberately being obtuse and confusing in order to steal from me. However, the amount in question is so small that this doesn't make sense. I'm not asking for legal advice. Considering the minuscule amount involved, going to court would be beyond ridiculous, and would simply end up antagonizing her. I'm just trying to understand what is happening here.

So, here is my question again just to be clear after that way too long story (sorry for that) : is it legal, in the province of Quebec, to change the monthly condo fees during the middle of the year outside of the yearly owners' assembly, and if so is it required to notify owners in advance?

Note : English isn't my first language, so I might be using the wrong terms at times. Sorry if this cause confusion. Also, feel free to edit if I wrote too many irrelevant details.

2 Answers 2

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You are likely being scammed

As you say, 25c is not worth worrying about. But it's only 25c on your side - it's serious money on her side.

Let's assume that she manages 100 owner's corporations with 20 condos each on average - 25c x 100 x 20 = $500 per quarter. Again, not a lot but a nice little unauthorised bonus for her.

Raise the matter with your owner's association.

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  • Thanks for confirming that this could possibly be a scam. I do intend to talk about this with my owner's association.
    – Ertnad
    Feb 12, 2021 at 3:35
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    Normally someone has to go through the books and check the numbers. I had that pleasure a few times when I lived in an apartment block. If the bank says you paid $174.00 and their books say you paid $173.75 and the same for 20 condos, then questions will be asked where the money went.
    – gnasher729
    Feb 12, 2021 at 10:17
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Since nobody answered the actual question, I'll post the results of my own research, for what is worth, just not to leave the question hanging. Dale M's answer was definitely appreciated, however.

Unclear, but unlikely

Here is the full article I found about condo fees in the Civil Code of Quebec.

  1. Each year, the board of directors, after consultation with the general meeting of the co-owners, fixes their contribution for common expenses, after determining the sums required to meet the expenses arising from the co-ownership and the operation of the immovable, and the amounts to be paid into the contingency fund.

The contribution of the co-owners to the contingency fund is at least 5% of their contribution for common expenses. In fixing the contribution, the rights of any co-owner in the common portions for restricted use may be taken into account.

The syndicate, without delay, notifies each co-owner of the amount of his contribution and the date when it is payable.

This clearly state that condo fees must at least be fixed once a year at the co-owners' yearly meeting. However, it doesn't actually said that it can only be done then.

This also state that co-owners must be notified of the amount without delay. So, learning of the new amount only when it was actually deducted from the bank account is certainly not notified without delay. Since it's in the same article, this clearly apply specifically to the amount decided at the annual meeting, though.

Unless there is another article in the Civil Code that apply to condo fees that forbid changes to the amount due without notice, in the end it would be a matter of interpretation of this one.

I believe that this article implies that condo fees can only be changed once a year, and not without notice. However, I'm no lawyer, just an ordinary person confused about the law like most people.

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