Importance of an up-to-date certificate of location
(Article of the OACIQ published on Protégez-Vous.ca website, in September 2015)
Whether you are selling or buying a home, the certificate of location is a document that will provide you with very useful information.
To put your home up for sale, your real estate broker will ask you to provide a number of documents, including a certificate of location. Pursuant to the Land Surveyors Act, which is under provincial jurisdiction, a certificate of location is described as:
“A document en minute, consisting of a report and a plan, stating the land surveyor's opinion on the current situation and state of immovable property in relation to ownership titles, the cadastre and the laws, regulations and by-laws which may affect it.”
As required by the real estate brokerage forms, the seller must provide his broker with a certificate of location describing the current state of the immovable. This includes not only the physical condition of the premises (adding a swimming pool, shed, fence), but also the changes in regulations that may affect the findings made in the certificate of location. For example, a change to zoning regulations of premises located within a flood zone, erosion zone or a landslide zone would require the making of a new certificate of location. The certificate of location must also reflect any cadastral renovation even if the only change is the lot number.
In addition, obtaining title insurance does not in any way release the seller from his obligation to provide an up-to-date certificate of location, whether or not the purchase of the immovable is financed by a loan secured by immovable hypothec.
As mentioned in the real estate brokerage forms, the obligation to provide a certificate of location describing the current state of the premises is the seller’s responsibility; it is therefore he who bears the preparation costs. Furthermore, if the buyer requires the making of a new certificate, as part of his promise to purchase, and that the new certificate does not reveal any change compared to the previous certificate, its making shall be borne by the buyer.
When a new certificate of location is required, it is important to take into account the time period for its preparation, i.e. an average of four to six weeks, and the fact that the notary should be able to take a look at it, as for any existing certificate of location, at least 20 days prior to the signing of the deed of sale.
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