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Latent defect

Published on October 21, 2020 by Micheline Di Barrat


As of January 2015, life became easier for buyers who think they were victim of a latent defect. The Small Claims Court has raised its amount limit for claims, bringing it from $7,000 to $15,000. Buyers are more and more informed and transactions are more and more complex. Lawyers now advise their clients to take all the other options at their disposal before they go to trial at the Court du Québec because it could become very expensive. Let’s take for example a case of water infiltration. If every party has a building expert and an expert in microbial safety testify, there will be at least two days of hearing, which means four to five days of preparation for the lawyer, in addition to the experts’ work. The total cost could be somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000. First of all, it is important to meet with a building expert and then a lawyer. Then you need to expose the problem to the seller via registered mail. If you do not get a response, you will need to turn to a bailiff. If no agreement is reached, you will need to send a formal notice. You have 3 years after you discover the defect to take legal action. It is important not to perform the work before contacting the sellers because they have the right to make the repairs themselves. If both parties reach an agreement and everything is repaired, the case is closed and life goes on!

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