A recent judgment of the Court of Québec, Small Claims Division, sanctioned a company and one of its directors, who also acted as real estate broker, for not allowing buyers to adequately understand an important aspect of the property sold.
The building, built in 1938, had undergone major renovations for a four-unit co-ownership conversion. According to the company's administrator, the flat roof of the building still had a useful lifetime of nearly 7 years. However, no studies were carried out on its condition and the characteristics of the building prevented buyers from verifying it. In addition, the vendors had no documentation regarding the last roof repairs.
Seeking the services of a real-estate broker, who was formerly referred to as a real estate agent, is not mandatory.
However, unless you are able to assume the purchase and / or sale of a fraction of a building held in divided co-ownership by yourself, which will require ample time as well as in-depth knowledge in various fields, you would benefit from being accompanied by a competent real estate broker during your procedures. When you use the services of a real estate broker to buy, sell or lease a property, you are protected by the Real-Estate Brokerage Act.
Once the apartment of your dreams in your price range found, the next step is to make an offer to purchase, either verbally or in writing. Although the verbal option is legally valid, it is better to formalize it in writing. L’Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) (the Quebec Organization for the Self-Regulation of Real Estate Brokerage) imposes a rule of ethics, namely that all acting real estate brokers must record in writing the intention of the parties to enter into real estate transaction.
To allow you to know exactly what you are purchasing, your vendor must act in good faith at all times. In this regard, Article 1375 of the Civil Code of Quebec imposes a true moral code to the parties. It provides that: “The parties shall conduct themselves in good faith both at the time the obligation arises and at the time it is performed or extinguished.”