Among the essential documents for the sale of a property is the certificate of location, which can raise several questions. Indeed, it is a mandatory document for any real estate transaction that contains very useful information. But what is it exactly? Here are the answers to some of your questions.
A certificate of location is a report and a plan of a property produced by a land surveyor relating to the ownership titles, the cadastre and the laws and regulations that may affect it. The items checked are:
- The updated description of the land
- Constraints (e.g. flood zone, environmental protection zone, etc.)
- Compliance with municipal and governmental regulations
To give a concrete example, it is this certificate that confirms whether the land is suitable for installing a swimming pool or not.
This document provides very useful information on the situation. It thus provides a guarantee as to the conformity of the property. In the same way, it could identify non-compliant elements that it is better to know before completing a real estate transaction.
It is legally up to the seller to provide a copy of the certificate of location to the buyer. In general, the promise to purchase will stipulate that the seller must submit an up-to-date certificate of location stating the current situation of the building.
It is also the seller's responsibility to pay for the certificate of location. However, if the buyer requests a new certificate and it does not demonstrate any changes, it may be up to the buyer to pay the costs.
According to article 2917 of the Civil Code of Quebec, the notary will require a new certificate of location if it is more than 10 years old, even if no change has been made to the property.
A new certificate of location must be issued as soon as any change is made to the property. We are talking about, among other things, any change in regulations, ground movement, the addition of a fence, change of lot number, etc.
The preparation of a certificate of location can take from 4 to 6 weeks. It should also be taken into account that the notary must take cognizance of it a minimum of 20 days before the signing of the deed of sale.
In a competitive market for buyers, to speed up the process when delays are long, it may seem attractive to replace the certificate of location with title insurance.
Although this type of insurance covers you in the event of problems relating to your rights to the property, its coverage is however limited. In particular, environmental risks such as soil contamination or flooding are not covered by title insurance. Thus, it is strongly recommended to ask for a certificate of location to know exactly what you are buying.
A Sutton real estate broker can help you demystify and manage all the documents necessary for a real estate transaction, whether you are a buyer or a seller.