- Land surveyor : Land surveyor
Definition : Land surveyor
A professional and public officer, member of the Quebec Order of Land Surveyors, the practice of which is to survey, measure for the purpose of boundary determination lots and buildings and to proceed to the preparation of plans and certificates of location. In divided co-ownership, the land surveyor measures the common and private portions. It also draws up the certificate of location relating either to each of the private portions (certificate of location on the private portion), or to all the common and private portions (global certificate of location), or both.
In the case of a real estate transaction in a divided co-ownership, the certificate of location of the private portion is not always sufficient. A certified copy of the certificate of location of the entire building could also be requested. It is this certificate of location that will inform the buyer of the compliance of the overall property with respect to laws and regulations, encroachments, servitudes, as well as possible restrictions regarding the addition of a pool, sheds, for example.
Whether you are a real estate developer (for a new building) or several owners of an existing building who wish to convert it, the rules for subjecting a building to divided co-ownership are the same. The creation of a divided co-ownership is necessary when an immovable must be divided into lots composed of a private portion and a share of the common portions, and which belong to one or more different persons. The community of co-owners acquires the status of legal person from the day a declaration of co-ownership is published at the Land registry office (Land Register). The legal person thus constituted takes the name of “syndicate of co-owners”. Its mission is to ensure the " preservation of the immovable, the maintenance and administration of the common portions, the protection of the rights appurtenant to the immovable or the co-ownership, as well as all business in the common interest ". To form this co-ownership several steps involving many protagonists are necessary.
By purchasing a condo (apartment) in a residential tower, you automatically become an owner in a vertical co-ownership. You can also be in a divided co-ownership, if you purchase a house (semi-detached or townhouse), built on the same lot than other individual homes. It is then called a horizontal co-ownership.
If this is the case, you may not be the sole owner of the land surrounding your home. You will therefore share with others the ownership of the private streets leading to the homes and common areas, and the common equipment such as the swimming pool and collective parking.
You may wish to occupy your apartment before signing the deed of sale. In order to do so, you will be asked to sign a interim occupancy agreement with your developer.
Section 1719 of the Civil code of Québec states that the seller must provide the buyer with a copy of the deed of purchase, as well as with a copy of the owner history and of the certificate of location he has on hand. Prepared by a land surveyor, the certificate of location is part of the property titles the seller must supply.
In the interest of the buyer, the certificate of location should clearly describe the current condition of all private portions (for instance, an apartment, a parking or storage space, or even land). Should the seller not have a certificate of location on hand (and unless the promise to purchase states otherwise), they will need to have one prepared, at their own expense.
The contingency fund is set up on the basis of forward planning limited to certain works, namely those aimed at the conservation of the common portions. This collective savings thus makes it possible to finance the execution of works allowing the rehabilitation of the common portions as well as the common portions for restricted use. The contingency fund must be used to pay the cost of very specific work, namely those relating to major repairs or the replacement of the common portions of the building. The board of directors must therefore be able to clearly identify what constitutes the common portions and what the notion of major repairs and replacement of the common portions means.