In Quebec, a promise to purchase often—if not always—includes appendices. The certificate of location for a condo is usually one such appendix; section 1719 of the Civil Code of Quebec requires the seller to provide the buyer with a copy of the certificate that they possess during a real estate transaction.

In fact, promises to purchase contain a clause that obliges the seller to provide a current certificate for the premises. How much does a certificate of location cost, who draws up this certificate, and who has to pay for it?

What is a certificate of location for a condo?

The certificate of location (or land survey) for a condo, or any piece of land, is a document developed by a land surveyor that reports the common portions and the private portion. It consists of a report and a detailed plan. It may concern both the owners of a property or the administrative management department of a condominium.

To develop it, the land surveyor comes to the site to take measurements and note the inventory of fixtures. They develop a plan and record their observations—particularly any anomalies detected—in a report.

Although the law and regulation do not stipulate an expiration date for certificates of location, they are considered to be valid for five to ten years. Consider that it is valid until property title or municipal regulations are changed.

Why is a certificate of location for a condo important?

The certificate of location for a condo is one of the documents to be provided in the event of the sale of a property. Consisting of a detailed plan and a report produced by a land surveyor, this essential document makes it possible to guarantee a large amount of information to the future buyer, particularly:

1. For the common portions:

  • the legal location of the building;
  • its cadastral plan;
  • the measurements and property lines of the lot;
  • compliance with safety, urban planning, and zoning rules;
  • the maintenance management of the common areas;
  • the physical location of the building (in a flood zone, landslide area, or shoreline protection zone);

2. For the private portion:

  • the agreement between the designation of the property and what it actually consists of;
  • the overall surface area;
  • the potential existence of significant encroachments incurred or exerted on the common portions;
  • the potential existence of easements.

The price of the certificate of location for a condo

The cost of the certificate of location for a condo varies according to several criteria, including:

  • the complexity of the file;
  • the region in which the building is located (city, suburbs, near a forest, etc.);
  • the time of year, given that the months of May and June are the busiest.

Depending on these criteria, the price of a certificate of location usually ranges from about $1,000 to $1,500. The fees can be set freely; however, the Ordre des arpenteurs-géomètres du Québec suggests a fee schedule for the transaction.

Generally speaking, this document is drawn up at the expense of the current owner, but the promise to sell may require the buyer to pay for it.

Contact a condominium expert to guide you

Do you have questions related to your property and the condominium as a condo owner? In addition to taking care of the maintenance management of the common portions of your building, our firm can help you with the sale of your condo.

When hiring a condo manager, remember that calling on a condominium expert with extensive experience over the years such as Condo Stratégis also lets you keep your building in good condition and control the expenses of your condominium.

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