Definition : Public officer

A person who draws up or keeps documents that are received as authentic, or who gives a copy of an instrument authentic value. Notaries, bailiffs, land surveyors, the enterprise registrar and the registrar of civil status are public officers.

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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.
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When the sale of immovable property goes through the notary, the latter must ensure, as a public officer, the proper execution of the contract, while giving him the necessary legal certainty. Because of its particular effects under the law, the notarial deed has much more stringent requirements and formalities than those applicable to an ordinary document. In this regard, section 43 of the Notaries Act prescribes that: " A notary shall, by all reasonable means, verify the identity, quality and capacity of each party to a notarial act to be signed before the notary." The meticulous attention to details, the verification of the identity of the parties and the numerous controls to which it is subjected will give you added security and peace of mind.
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