Do you know why we ask for the certificate of location when selling a property? If your answer is “no”, read on and discover the five answers to the relevant questions concerning this little-known document.

What is a certificate of location?

The certificate of location is a mandatory document in any real estate transaction, whether it is the sale of land with a building or vacant land. Its purpose is to describe the physical and legal condition of the building. It includes a report and a plan signed by a land surveyor.

The physical condition of the building refers, among other things, to the presence of a shed or a fence. In terms of legal status, think of changes in municipal regulations, such as flood zones, or zoning changes.

What is found in a certificate of location?

This document contains a multitude of essential information on the building and reveals everything that can affect its value or even deprive the buyer of the completion of enlargement or development projects. For example, the existence of a right of encroachment by a neighbor would require his agreement in the event that we wish to convert the use of part of the land.

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Who has the obligation to provide this document?

According to the Civil Code of Quebec, during a real estate transaction, the seller is required to deliver it, at his expense, to the buyer. On the other hand, it should be remembered that if the buyer requires a new certificate of location, and this one does not reveal any modification compared to the previous certificate, then it is up to the buyer to pay the costs for obtaining of this new document.

When should we deliver it?

The certificate of location describing the current condition of the building is necessary from the start of the marketing of the property, for several reasons. If the certificate of location that we have does not represent the current condition of the property, it will not be accepted by the notary or the mortgage lender. In such a case, the notary will have to retain an amount of money for his preparation, and this may delay the transaction. In general, it takes between two and six weeks to obtain a new certificate.

Then, if the new certificate reveals changes, the buyer may no longer want to buy the property or request a reduction in the purchase price since he has not knowingly propose to buy. So it’s a question of risk for the seller. Also the buyer may require from the vendor the reimbursements of all his expenses he incurred up to now in the case he decides not to buy.

It is also a question of risk for the buyer, who may have already sold his property or have to leave his accommodation for a specific date.

How to know if a certificate of location represents the actual state of the property?

It’s as simple as consulting a notary. The notary will be able to indicate whether the certificate of location is acceptable for the transaction or not

You know a little more about the certificate of location, an essential document in any real estate transaction. By already having yours or by obtaining in advance a certificate of location which represents the current state of the premises, you will avoid delays and possible costs for the parties.

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