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Fee disputes

A client who is in dispute with a notary over a statement of fees, paid or otherwise, can make use of the fee conciliation service offered by the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

What is conciliation?
Conciliation is an informal, free of charge process through which the Conciliator tries to help the client and the notary agree on the amount of the fee. The Conciliator conducts the conciliation in the way that seems most appropriate by communicating with the client and the notary in order to help them find a mutually satisfactory solution. Furthermore, the damages resulting from civil recourses are not covered by the conciliation process, and neither is the professional aspect (notary’s behaviour), which falls under the Office of the Syndic.

The new Code of Civil Procedure invites the parties to opt for a private resolution process before addressing the courts.

Important: Before requesting conciliation, have you contacted the notary for an explanation of the statement of fees? You are urged to discuss with the notary before launching a conciliation procedure.

Please note that your application will not be eligible in any of the following cases:

  • If you request the cancellation of the statement of fees
  • If you believe you do not owe any fees to the notary
  • If the statement is not addressed to you by a notary who is duly registered on the Roll of the Order
  • If the people to whom the statement is addressed or the representatives who are authorized to act have not all signed the conciliation application form.

Conditions for applying for conciliation
To present an application for conciliation related to a statement of fees, you must:

Fill out the application form and submit it within 45 days (calendar days and not business days), as of:

  • of the date of receiving the statement;

Attention: If the notary has paid his/herself or taken a deduction from the client's funds, the statement reception date does not apply. In such cases:

    • the period begins from the moment you learn of the fees being deducted from the funds, which the notary is holding or has received for the client; or,
    • the period begins from the moment you learn of the fees being withdrawn from the funds, which the notary is holding or has received for the client. 
  • Acknowledge that you owe the notary fees in some amount for services rendered.
  • Print out the form and have it signed by everyone whose name appears on the statement of fees.
  • Include all relevant documents mentioned on the form, including the statement of fees.
  • Send your form and enclosed documents by mail at the address below, or by email at conciliation@cnq.org.

Conciliator of Accounts
Chambre des notaires du Québec
2045, Stanley Street
Suite 101
Montreal Qc  H3A 2V4

For further information:
Telephone: 514-879-1793 or toll free 1-800-263-1793, ext. 5922
Fax: 514-223-8482

Arbitration Board
When it is not possible to come to an agreement through conciliation, the client can request arbitration within 30 days (calendar days and not business days) of receiving the conciliation report. A request form and information about the arbitration process are included with the conciliation report. There are application fees of $100 for the arbitration process.

The request for arbitration is heard by the arbitrators of the Board. The client and the notary must be present at the hearing. The Arbitration Board rules on the disputed statement of fees as well as on the reimbursement of the arbitration application fees and expenses related to the arbitration process, which shall be no less than $200 (plus taxes) and no more than 15% (plus taxes) of the disputed amount (amount of the fees disputed by the notary and the client). Depending on the disputed amount, the Arbitration Board may consist of one or three arbitrators. The Board’s decision is final and without appeal.

Consult the Regulation respecting the conciliation and arbitration procedure for the accounts of notaries.