You move into your new condo. A few weeks later, a bailiff knocks on your door and serves upon you a notice of preservation of a legal hypothec of construction. He also served all your neighbors. Reading this document, you learn that a dispute remains unresolved between the contractor and a supplier (or subcontractor), concerning work performed or materials furnished that have not been paid by the contractor.
Question: At the time of the purchase of my condo, do I have a right to ask the seller for a certified true copy (authentic copy) of the Declaration of Co-Ownership?
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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 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.