Definition : Reasonable time

Legal concept, in civil law, to identify and measure the seriousness of a latent defect, as well as to denounce it to the seller. The buyer who ascertains that the property is defective shall give notice in writing of the defect to the seller within a reasonable time after discovering it. Where the defect appears gradually, the time begins to run on the day that the buyer could suspect the seriousness and extent of the defect.This period begins to run, when the defect appears gradually, from the day on which the buyer may have suspected its seriousness and extent.  In general, a period of 6 months will be considered reasonable to report the existence of the defect to the persons who may be responsible for it (e.g., the seller, the contractor, the architect and the engineer). It can be exceptionally longer, if, for example, the latent defect manifests itself seasonally. 

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ! The seller may not invoke the tardiness of a notice from the buyer if he was aware of the defect or could not have been unaware of it. This is the case, in particular, for the professional seller.

Related articles


View more
The law regulates the liability of contractors and building professionals for any problem related to the quality of construction work. In this regard, the legislator has provided for a specific protection regime for divided co-ownership. Section 1081 of the Civil Code of Québec recognizes the legal interest of any syndicate of co-owners to assert the rights of all co-owners to correct defects that appear, in the short or long term. This could occur during the initial construction of the building, or during work carried out several years after its erection. In short, when problems affect the common portions, the syndicate benefits from several legal warranties. Among them is the one against latent defects, design or construction defects. These warranties are worth their weight in gold, because very often, the cost of the work to be carried out in a co-ownership can be substantial.
View more
View more
The Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings differs from the private guarantee plans offered on the market by the nature of the guarantees offered and the mechanisms for asserting its rights. In this regard, the terms and conditions are set out in the the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings, which is the responsibility of the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). Finally, unlike private guarantee plans, any purchaser of a building covered by this plan automatically benefits from it. As this is a system aimed at the minimum protection of consumers'rights, consumers cannot waive this mandatory guarantee, even if they sign a document to that effect.
View more
Buying an apartment in a co-ownership is a major investment in a lifetime. To avoid being caught off guard during the process leading to your purchase, you should seek proper assistance.
View more
I am the co-owner of a new condo. Other owners and I have recently discovered cracks in the foundation of the building, as well as water infiltration in the garage. The promoter is mute, and we have not yet transferred the administration. Question: Should we refuse to elect our first Board of Directors, until the issues identified have been corrected? And should I sell immediately before other major problems arise?
Login / Register to read this article
Question: I bought my condo 3 months ago and I just attended my first meeting of co-owners. I just learned, to my great surprise, that very important work must be undertaken on the masonry of the building. My seller never told me about this work, although it is obvious that he must have known about it since all the other co-owners present at the meeting seemed to be aware of it. Could I turn against my seller because they hid this work from me and had a duty to tell me?  
Login / Register to read this article