Since the founding of our office in 1987, numerous problems involving Real Estate Law have been referred to us.
Real Estate Law and Latent Defects
This area of practice is one that covers disputes concerning several subjects.
The first and most often occurring subject touches upon the sale of an immovable, be it the promise to purchase (or a promise of sale, or purchase-sale) as well as what happens after the sale when legal and contractual guarantees, such as the guarantee of quality, most often known as the guarantee against latent defects, come into play. It goes without saying that latent defects make up a large portion of the number of disputes concerning Real Estate Law in which we are active. There are any nature of such defects, for instance, those affecting foundations; the absence of or a defective French drain; the soil foundation threatening the instability of the immovable or the immovable’s very structure. These latent defects frequently have serious ramifications: fissures, water ingress, mould and mildew, excessive humidity and even the ruin of the building. Whatever your problem (red ochre contamination, pyrite, mould and mildew, water ingress, piling, etc.) our office can help you. If your immovable property is affected by a latent defect, you have the option of suing your seller for damages or for the annulment of the sale if the defect is of a sufficiently serious nature (provided you follow certain essential steps and meet various criteria).
We also have the expertise you seek in non-respected promises to purchase which are the cornerstone of actions in execution of title or damage suits in residential or commercial real estate (for example, a site slated for residential development).
This area also covers rentals (residential or commercial leases), where disputes regarding the non-payment of rent, the non-respect of a renter’s or proprietor’s obligations, the repossession of an accommodation or other rental space abound, be it in front of the Québec Housing Authority (Régie du logement) or in common law courts (the Court of Québec and the Superior Trial Court). In addition to actions resulting in injunctive relief or of claims of a sum of money, we have experience in instituting actions to terminate a lease and evict people from the premises.
Since the founding of our office in 1987, numerous problems involving real estate have been referred to us, for example: property title defects, shares of buildings held in undivised co-ownership (including claims of sums due to one or more co-owners), boundary disputes, encroachments, disputes involving rights-of-way or other easements, etc. We are also very familiar with anything in the realm of mortgages (legal hypothecs (of construction or of the Syndicate of co-owners) as well as conventional mortgages) and have great experience in the realization of this security (notices of exercise, motions for forced surrender for payment or sale under control of justice), seizures, etc.
Finally, we are also active in the domain of divided co-ownership (condos or condominiums) and have great expertise in this area, particularly in disputes arising from the application of a declaration of co-ownership. In this respect, we represent Syndicates of co-owners as well as co-owners themselves.
Flood-prone areas (“Zone d’intervention spéciale – ZIS”)
On July 15, 2019, the Decree 817-2019 defining a “Zone d’intervention spéciale (ZIS)” that covers flood-prone areas of recurrence 0-20 years and the area flooded during the 2017 and 2019 spring floods came into effect in Quebec. However, this delimitation of the flooded territory, as determined by the government, does not represent the reality of every citizen covered by the ZIS. The qualification of flood-prone areas touched by the ZIS and the application of flood-prone regulations open the door to several legal debates. This decree does not only affect the enjoyment rights of those affected by the mapping of flooded territories, but it is also the source of disputes relating to the breach of purchase agreements, the refusal of construction permits as well as loss of value during a real estate sale. Litigation involving lands in flood-prone areas includes a wide range of focuses in which our team has solid experience. We represent both contractors and homeowners who are dealing with a flood-zoned territory.