Certificate of location
The certificate of location is governed by the Regulation respecting standards of practice for location certificates,1 which stems from the Land Surveyors Act.2
A definition of this document can be found under section 2 of the Regulation respecting standards of practice for location certificates:3
“The location certificate is 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. It may not be used or invoked for purposes other than those for which it is intended.”
In Québec, no other document can provide the information essential to the safety of all parties to a real estate transaction.
1 CQLR, c. A-23, r. 10.
2 CQLR, c. A-23.
3 CQLR, c. A-23, r.10.
Main information contained in the survey4
- Updated cadastral description of the immovable;
- Exact location of the buildings and dependencies relative to the boundaries of the land;
- Conformity or lack of conformity between the marks of occupation on the immovable property and the ownership titles, cadastre and measurements;
- Any servitudes affecting the immovable and published in the Index of immovables in the Land Register;
- The boundaries that have been marked with, where applicable, a reference to the registration number of the minutes of the boundary-marking operations;
- Whether the immovable property is a heritage property or located in whole or in part within a protected area or heritage site, where the required notice is registered in the Land Register under the Cultural Heritage Act,5 or where a similar provision appears in the municipal zoning by-law;
- Whether or not the immovable property is located within an agricultural zone;
- Any apparent, allowed or exercised encroachment;
- The zone within the meaning of the municipal zoning by-law;
- Conformity of the position of the buildings in relation to the boundaries of the immovable property in respect of the municipal zoning by-law;
- Whether the immovable property is located in whole or in part within a flood zone mapped out (under the Canada-Québec agreement on mapping and floodplain protection signed in 1976) or within a protective strip of land established by the municipal zoning by-law;
- Whether the immovable property is located in whole or in part within a protected zone, a protective strip of land, a flood zone or a risk zone established by the municipal zoning by-law;
- Whether the immovable property is located in whole or in part within an airport site, established by a regulation;
- Whether the immovable property has some apparent characteristics of a housing complex within the meaning of section 45 of the Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal.6
Main information included in the plan7
- Graphic representation of the property with buildings, dependencies and constructions;
- Metes and bounds of the immovable (land);
- Area of the immovable (land);
- Dimensions of the structures, buildings and dependencies;
- Where possible, an illustration of elements, including servitudes and encroachments.
Life span of a certificate of location
The certificate of location is an indispensable tool in the real estate broker’s work. It must describe the current condition of the property. The certificate does not have an expiration date, but it is essential that it represent the current state of the property. Cadastral renovations, the addition of a shed, renovation work done to the building, etc. represent changes that affect the certificate of location. If it is not up to date, the seller must provide a new one.
If the certificate is more than 10 years old, the notary will require a new one because of the ten-year prescription provided for in article 2917 of the Civil Code of Québec allowing the acquisition of a right of ownership.
For more information: Certificate of location dating back more than ten years: What you should know?
4 Regulation respecting standards of practice for location certificates, CQLR, c. A-23, r.10, s. 9.
5 CQLR, c. P-9.002.
6 CQLR, c. R-8.1, s. 45. In this section, “housing complex means several immovables situated near one another and comprising together more than twelve dwellings, if such immovables are administered jointly by the same person or by related persons within the meaning of the Taxation Act (chapter I-3), and if some of them have an accessory, a dependency or part of the structure, except a common wall, in common.”
7 Regulation respecting standards of practice for location certificates, CQLR, c. A-23, r.10, s. 13.