The Law imposes upon the vendor the obligation to warrant the immovable sold. Except if provided otherwise, the sale of an immovable is made with a basic warranty known as the legal warranty. Under Article 1716 of the Civil Code of Quebec (C.C.Q.), the vendor is bound to warrant the ownership (1723 C.C.Q.) and the quality of the property against hidden defects (1726 C.C.Q.)
Warranty of ownership
This warranty gives you assurances that the immovable is free from any title defect and that it is free and clear:
Furthermore, Article 1725 of the Civil Code of Quebec, provides that the vendor warrants the purchaser against any violation of public law restrictions affecting the property, which are exceptions to the ordinary law of ownership. These restrictions of public law deal essentially with municipal by-laws (for example, zoning and building) and provincial regulations (for example, environment and safety).
However, the vendor is not bound to this warranty if he has informed the purchaser of those restrictions before the sale. Also, he is not bound if a prudent and diligent purchaser could have discovered such restrictions by reason of the nature, location and use of the premises, or where such restrictions have been registered at the Registry Office.
Warranty of quality
The vendor is also bound to the warranty of quality against latent defects. Article 1726, first sub-paragraph of the Civil Code of Quebec provides that “The seller is bound to warrant the buyer that the property and its accessories are, at the time of the sale, free of latent defects which render it unfit for the use for which it was intended or which so diminish its usefulness that the buyer would not have bought it or paid so high a price if he had been aware of them”.
This warranty allows the purchaser to ask for the cancellation of the sale or a reduction of the price, in the case of the discovery of a hidden defect in existence at the time of the purchase.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! If you purchase an immovable in the context of a sale under judicial authority, which means after a judgement, you will not benefit from the warranty of quality against latent defects.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: It is possible that a vendor may accept to sell its apartment for a reduced price if the sale is made without the legal warranty. The deed of sale, in those cases, must provide a specific clause addressing this special situation.
WARNING! Be careful in the case of a sale without the legal warranty, because this purchase will be at your risks. In other words, save in exceptional cases, you will not be able to exercise your rights and recourses against the vendor if there is a problem.