Transfer duties, commonly called “welcome tax” implemented in 1976 by the then minister for Municipal affairs, Guy Tardif. An “urban myth” falsely attributes the parenthood of this tax to the liberal minister Jean Bienvenue. (Bienvenue means “welcome” in French). An additional source of revenue for cities and municipalities, the tax requires you, as the new owner, to pay duties on the acquisition of real estate. It applies to transfers of any new or used building and land, unless exempted by Law.
Any new owner has 30 days to pay his transfer duties from the receipt of an invoice asking him to pay. Generally, this invoice is sent a few weeks after the acquisition of the apartment.
It is not compulsory to retain the services of a real-estate broker (real-estate agent).
This being said, unless you are capable of handling on your own the purchase or the sale of a condo, and investing a lot of your time and efforts and possess specific knowledge in relevant fields, it is in your best interest to be assisted by a competent real-estate broker.
Since May 1st, 2020, mortgage brokerage has been supervised by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, to ensure the protection of the public. Any hypothecary broker must maintain professional civil liability insurance, and abide by its code of ethics.
The intervention of the notary is very important when purchasing an apartment in a divided co-ownership. A professional, member of the “Chambre des notaires du Québec” (Québec Chamber of Notaries), he is also a public officer. As such, the notary has without limitation the mission of executing deeds to which the parties wish or are required to endow with authenticity (such as a declaration of co-ownership). Even though it is preferable that he should get involved at the outset of a transaction, this legal adviser usually gets involved after the signing of the offer to purchase or of the preliminary contract.
The notary, in his capacity of public officer:
Warrants the validity of the deed of sale;
Is bound to act objectively and to give legal advice to all the parties (equally to the purchaser and the vendor);
Is bound to a duty of information to the parties, which means he should give the parties relevant advice and information in relation with the deeds signed before him.
When you purchase an apartment in a recently built co-ownership, a portion, if not all the private portions of the immovable, can be encumbered by a prior notice of a legal hypothec in favor of persons having taken part in the construction.
As a purchaser, you will be compelled to pay the debts of the developer, if he is in default of paying its construction creditors? If so, how will the amounts claimed be allocated between the co-owners? And what happens if they refuse to pay?
There are two different types of guarantee plans: a compulsory guarantee plan for new residential buildings, governed by the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings, and optional guarantee plans which cover, in certain cases, specific types of buildings.