The birds are singing but my roof is sinking, is it a latent defect ?

Did you know that non-professional seller is not bound to the legal guarantee when the purchaser buys “at its peril”? Indeed, it is possible for a non-professional seller to evade the legal warranty by registering, by consent with the buyer, the necessary clauses to this effect in the sale agreement.

A seller is required to secure the property and the quality of the property sold. Thus 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. “[1]

Moreover, If the seller was aware or could not have been unaware of the latent defect, he is bound not only to restore the price, but also to make reparation for the injury suffered by the buyer.[2]

It is important to understand that a seller is not required to guarantee the latent defect known to the buyer or any apparent defect. Therefore, if the latent defect is denounced by the seller in the sale contract or in the declaration of the seller, the buyer shall not assert that he had no knowledge of the hidden defect.

As for the apparent defect, it is one that can be « perceived by a prudent and diligent buyer without the need to resort to an expert.»[3] This is why it is important to make several visits and inspect rigorously places before buying a home in order to assess the quality of the building and its components. For the buyer, it is important to ask the seller if there is any doubt when visiting a house without which, as part of legal proceedings, the buyer could be considered by the Court as having been neglecting.

The buyer who believes being in a situation of latent defect must denounce it to the seller in writing within a reasonable time [4]. This information may take the form of a formal notice. To protect you as a buyer, it is best to send this denunciation to the seller as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible if you think you are in a situation of latent defect, we will be pleased to meet you.

Me Marie-Josée Gingras, Attorney

[1] Article 1726 al.1 Quebec civil Code

[2] Article 1728 Quebec civil Code

[3] Article 1726 al.2 Quebec civil Code

[4] Article 1739 Quebec civil Code