What is a sale with legal warranty?

Consulting a notary about a real estate transaction is essential to obtaining all the necessary information to better negotiate.

Under the law, the seller is bound by legal warranty to the buyer. This warranty includes two elements:

Warranty of right of ownership

The seller must guarantee the buyer a valid title of ownership. In other words, the seller guarantees the right of ownership of the property. More specifically, this means that the seller must guarantee that the property:

  • Has no title defects and that it is free of all charges (mortgage, servitude, etc.) except those declared at the time of sale
  • Does not encroach on the neighbouring property and vice versa
  • Does not contravene public law restrictions, such as a zoning or urban planning by-law violation, with the exception of those registered with the land registry office or those that have been declared

The notary will analyze the seller’s declarations and make various verifications, including the location certificate and title of ownership. The notary can also, upon request, verify the property’s compliance with municipal by-laws.

Warranty of quality

The seller is also bound by the warranty of quality, i.e. the warranty against latent (hidden) defects. This covers only major defects that existed at the time of the sale that were unknown to the buyer and that even a prudent and careful buyer could not have discovered.

A defect is a flaw significant enough to render the property unusable for the purpose for which it was purchased. The defect so diminishes the value of the property that, if the buyer had been aware of it, they would not have purchased the property or would have negotiated a lower price.