Expertises connexes

Buying or selling a property can generate a lot of dissatisfaction. The law provides mechanisms to protect buyers from careless or malicious sellers, but only to a certain extent, because the seller cannot always predict the future failures of his property. This protection is called the “legal warranty of quality” and includes the property (primary residence) and accessories such as the garage, pool, deck, etc. The legal warranty against latent defects is provided for in section 1726 of the Civil Code of Québec.

The law provides several ways to compensate a new owner who bought a property with a latent defect:

  • Reduction in the price of the property;
  • Reimbursement of renovations, repairs or veterinary care that have already been made or to be made for rectification of the defect;
  • Reimbursement for damages suffered in certain circumstances;
  • Cancellation of the sale (return of the property to the seller and refund of the buyer).

However, for the owner to be entitled to these damages, several conditions must be met, which will depend on the circumstances. For example, the buyer also has obligations, such as during the pre-purchase visits, he has a duty to inquire “as a prudent and diligent person”, otherwise this might adversely affect its legal recourse if he had suspicions about the existence of the defect, but did not confirmed them, or if the inspection done negligently.

In addition, although the notion of latent defect is most often associated with real estate, land, houses, cottages and others, the legal warranty provided by article 1726 C.C.Q. equally applies in terms of movable property such as cars, animals, electronic equipment, etc.

Our team is very familiar with the procedures and the evidence relating to latent defects. It is important to proceed methodically, as a buyer who undertakes renovations before notifying the former owner may lose his claims for latent defects. Do not hesitate to come and meet with us so we can advise you and evaluate your situation and the options available to you.