Declaration of the seller

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.” Thus, the vendor is compelled to give to you, the purchaser, insofar as possible, complete and truthful information on the nature and the exact characteristics of the property being sold. This obligation includes any and all relevant and critical information concerning the immovable and the co-ownership, both for the private portion(s) and the common portions.

Declaration of the seller

The promisor-buyer can ask the seller to give him a " Declaration of the seller" form. It is an important and useful document that paints a portrait of the co-ownership (common portions and private portion(s)), its condition and its history. The seller will have taken the trouble to include anything that may affect a buyer's consent. According to this form, the vendor should, more particularly, supply information on:

  • Any fact susceptible of reducing the value of the immovable or increasing its expenses;
  • Any foreseeable expenses towards the maintenance and preservation of the immovable for which the syndicate has made a commitment;
  • Any legal recourse(s) against the syndicate;
  • Any legal recourse(s) (pending or ongoing at the time of the transaction) instigated by the syndicate, related to construction defects affecting the immovable;
  • The existence of a lease;
  • Any notice received from any government authority to the effect that the immovable does not comply with any laws or regulations (for example: a notice of non-compliance of the chimney from the fire protection agency of the city);
  • Any notice received from the insurer of the co-ownership related to the reduction or the annulment of insurance coverage or which requires work to be carried out to bring the building into compliance ;
  • Any malfunction or disorder affecting the common portions of the immovable;
  • Any malfunction or disorder affecting the private portion mentioned in the offer to purchase, not only in relation with the apartment, but also the storage area or a parking space.

Formalism

This information must be supplied in a formal manner in order to prevent litigation. To this end, the vendor shall put everything in writing (e.g. excessive noise caused by insufficient soundproofing). Commonly referred to as "Declarations of the vendor", the purpose of this document is to provide an accurate portrait of the immovable to a potential buyer, both with respect to the private portion that is the subject of an offer to purchase and the common portions of the co-ownership. It is optional when the co-owner sells his property by himself and mandatory if he uses the services of a real estate broker.

Organisme d'autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ)

This organization has developed a mandatory form (for the majority of transactions) entitled Declarations by the seller of the immovable Divided Co-ownership, which is intended for the public doing business with a real estate broker. This document must be used to complete the mandatory form of the  exclusive brokerage contract. It must also be brought to the attention of the buyer and attached to the Promise to purchase. The specific questions, which the seller must answer to the best of his knowledge, allow the buyer to know, among other things, whether the housing unit is rented or has already been rented or if it is equipped with safety devices such as sprinklers. In addition, he will be able to ensure the existence of the contingency and self-insurance fund. He will also find details on most issues that could affect his consent.

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! The seller's declaration allows the seller to declare the current state of his property in order to avoid possible recourse and the buyer to have all the details to make an informed decision.   

WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: You should require that the vendor fills the declaration of the vendor, even if he claims he has nothing to declare. This declaration will be supplied by the real-estate broker. Even though filling this form does not guarantee that you will not be surprised, it will facilitate the exercise of your rights in the case of litigation.

WARNING! The vendor must divulge any disorder affecting the immovable and the co-ownership under review. For example, if in the wintertime, there is excessive condensation in the windows of the coveted apartment, the vendor must reveal it to the purchaser. The same obligation applies if growths or mildew affect the perimeter walls of the building. Failing divulging this type of information, the vendor will be exposed to legal recourses for damages and/or the annulment of the sale.

 

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