What does a title search by a notary involve?

Having a notary perform a chain of title search on a property is essential to ensure an indisputable title of ownership.

One of the main tasks of a real estate notary is to search for what is called the chain of title to a property. The links in this chain are made up of each successive sale of the property you wish to acquire. The purpose of the search is to establish that these sales fully transferred the right of ownership from the seller to the buyer.

In carrying out these verifications, the notary ensures that the seller is the true owner of the property and ensures you a clear title of ownership.

The first step in a title search is to check whether:

  • The seller is the true owner of the property
  • The seller has the right and capacity to sell
  • The seller’s spouse or anyone else must consent to the sale
  • Using the location certificate, the notary then checks whether:
    • The dimensions of the lot are correct
    • The buildings have been properly erected on the lot to be sold
    • The house was built in accordance with municipal by-laws and applicable zoning laws
    • The neighbour’s property encroaches on the lot
    • The locations of the windows meet legal requirements
    • There are rights of way, etc.

The notary also uses this title search to detect charges or real rights that could affect, limit or devalue your right of ownership, such as a mortgage, seizure, judgment or servitude.