Latent defect is a very unpleasant surprise for both the buyer and the seller!

What is a latent defect?

A latent defect is an unapparent problem that existed at the time of purchase, but you have not been informed about it; and it is so serious that you would probably not have bought the property or would have asked for a price reduction.

It is necessary to prevent the latent defect blow. Here is what you need to know:

  • All property defects known to its owner must be mentioned in the Declarations by the seller of the immovable form, developed by the OACIQ under the Real Estate Brokerage Act, before putting the property up for sale.
  • The seller must complete the form in good faith and to the best of his knowledge. This form, which is mandatory when a seller deals with a real estate broker, is therefore important for both parties.
  • If you elect to sell your property without legal warranty of quality, you are also required to disclose the property defects in this form.
  • You may be held responsible even if you were unaware of the existence of a latent defect at the time of sale, such as mould in the walls or improper electrical wiring.

Broker’s obligations

From the signing of the brokerage contract to the signing of the deed of sale, the broker has a duty to advise and inform you, but also to detect factors that may adversely affect the parties or the object of the transaction. Whether you are a seller or buyer, your real estate broker will assist you to protect your interests, while providing fair treatment to all the parties engaged in the transaction, as it is his duty to do so.

Limits

However, the broker’s “after-sales service” has its limits… Although he can be called to see the damage and problems with you, his role at this stage is however limited.

To learn more about the obligations and limits of your real estate broker, read the article: Shedding light on hidden defects.

Remedies

You think you have discovered a latent defect? It is important to notify the seller as soon as possible after the discovery of the defect. Also seek help from professionals such as a lawyer, notary or an inspector. Check the “Hidden Defects in Buildings” section on the Éducaloi website for more information and details about the steps to follow to protect yourself (disclosure of defect, deadlines to take action, etc.).

Questions? Our Info OACIQ agents will be glad to answer them.

Last updated on: September 14, 2018
Article number: 203686