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The Location Certificate in 5 Questions and Answers

Do you know why a location certificate is requested when a property is put up for sale? If your answer is « no, » read on and discover the five answers to important questions about this unfamiliar document.

What is a Location Certificate?

A location certificate is a mandatory document in any real estate transaction, whether it is for the sale of a home or a vacant lot. Its purpose is to describe the physical and legal condition of the property. It includes a report and a plan signed by a 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, it is important to consider changes in municipal regulations, such as flood zones, or zoning changes.

What is Found on a Location Certificate?

This document contains essential information about the property and reveals anything that may affect its value or even deprive the buyer of pursuing expansion or development projects. For example, the presence of a right of encroachment by a neighbor would require his consent in the event that the homeowner wishes to convert the use of part of the land.

Who Has an Obligation to Provide this Document?

According to the Civil Code of Quebec, during a real estate transaction, the seller is obliged to provide it to the buyer at his own expense. On the other hand, it should be noted that if the buyer requests a new location certificate, and it does not reveal any changes from the previous certificate, it is then up to the buyer to pay the fee for obtaining this new document.

When Should it be Provided?

For several reasons, the location certificate describing the current condition of the building is required from the moment the property is put on the market. If the location certificate you currently have does not depict the current condition of the building, it will not be accepted by the notary or the mortgage lender. In such a case, the notary will have to withhold a certain amount of money for its preparation, and this may delay the transaction. It usually takes between two and six weeks to obtain a new certificate.

Secondly, if the new certificate reveals changes to the condition of the property, the buyer may no longer want to purchase the property, or he may ask for a reduction in the purchase price since he had purchased the property without knowing all the facts. It is, therefore, a risk factor for the seller.

It is also a risk factor for the buyer, who may have already sold his property or who may be obligated to leave his apartment for a specific date.

How do I know if a location certificate depicts the current state of the property?

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

You now know a little more about location certificates, an essential document in any real estate transaction. By already having your own certificate or by obtaining a location certificate in advance that depicts the current state of the property, you will avoid delays and possible costs for the parties.

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