REAL ESTATE LAW BASICS
The field of real estate law covers acts pertaining to building construction and management activities (land, buildings, usufruct). It includes acts and associated regulations, encompassing many areas:
- tenancy relationships (e.g. furnished, seasonal and common law leases)
- co-ownership (organization, rights and obligations, remedies)
- housing assistance (grants, subsidies)
- urban planning (construction permits, developments)
The services of a lawyer and/or notary are often recommended for handling large transactions. Complementary knowledge in other legal sectors may be necessary to successfully complete a real estate project. Real estate law is thus related to banking law, taxes, insurance, securities, environmental law, construction law and disputes.
Individuals and businesses are offered various types of services to support them in their real estate dealings:
- real estate financing
- property assessments and taxes
- sale and purchase of buildings
- title examinations
- commercial leases
- taxation for Canadian and non-Canadian residents
- industrial, commercial and residential project management
- development and management of real estate assets
- setting up of public projects and public-private partnerships
- real estate disputes
- negotiation of the acquisition, sale and outsourcing of real estate services
- organization of real estate portfolios
Individuals most frequently brush up against real estate law with respect to hidden or latent defects. According to the Quebec Civil Code (common law provisions are similar): “The seller is bound to warrant the buyer that the property and its accessories are, at the time of the sale, free of latent defects which render it unfit for the use for which it was intended or which so diminish its usefulness that the buyer would not have bought it or paid so high a price if he had been aware of them. The seller is not bound, however, to warrant against any latent defect known to the buyer or any apparent defect; an apparent defect is a defect that can be perceived by a prudent and diligent buyer without any need of expert assistance.”
- Real estate counsellors ensure that construction projects comply with provincial, federal and international laws. They are also called upon to propose solutions in the event of disputes. They usually work for public works and civil engineering firms, real estate developers or notaries.
- Notaries record bills of sale, assignments, bequests, and administer wills.
- Real estate lawyers advise and/or represent individuals and legal entities in their real estate transactions.