Changes in the Law Relevant to the Delivered Area, Volume or Quantity

Many buyers place great importance on the relationship between the surface area and the price of a building, condo, or apartment. The law respecting delivered area applies when there is a significant deviation between the surface area sold in the contract and that delivered at the time of signing the bill of sale. Here is a brief overview of the law on delivered area and the recent changes to this law.

What is the Law relevant to the delivered Area, Volume or Quantity?

According to Section 1720 of the Civil Code of Québec, “The seller is bound to deliver the area, volume or quantity specified in the contract, whether the sale was made for a price based on measurements or for a flat price, unless it is obvious that the certain and determinate property was sold without regard to such area, volume or quantity.”

The law considers a surface area deficit that works against the buyer to be a containment defect in relation to the space sold.

Several courts have come to the conclusion that if the dimensions of a condo or apartment do not correspond to the reality, the seller is engaging in an illegal practice. Indeed, according to Section 221 of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), no merchant may falsely “hold out that goods have a particular dimension, weight, size or volume.”

What to do in the event of a surface area deficit ?

In the event of a surface area deficit, two options are available to you:

  • You can agree to sign the bill of sale with a notice of protest. That way, you indicate to the seller that you are considering possible remedies in order to be compensated.
  • You can also refuse to sign the bill of sale. That way, you deem your consent to have been vitiated due to false information.

Law on Delivered Area: Rights and Possible Remedies

Section 221 of the CPA stipulates that the surface area must be an essential condition for the buyer. The buyer must therefore demonstrate that they would not have purchased the property if they had been aware of the real surface area of the apartment.

Section 253 of the CPA reduces the burden of proof. It stipulates that, when an advertiser, manufacturer, or merchant engages in a prohibited practice in the sale of a building, it is presumed that the consumer would not have purchased the property or would not have paid such a high price.

It should be noted that the Consumer Protection Act only applies to persons that are not considered companies or incorporated. For their part, companies are affected by Section 1720 of the Civil Code of Québec, so it is this section that applies to everyone.

Law on Delivered Area: Remedies for Cancelling the Sale

In some cases, the buyer may request the cancellation of the sale. However, it must be demonstrated that the defect was present and that the surface area was an essential condition for the buyer. If the surface area deficit is minimal, this remedy is likely not feasible, since the surface area discrepancy may not occur.

What are the changes to the law relevant to the Delivered Area, Volume or Quantity ?

An important change was recently made to the law on containment area. From now on, if the difference between the sold area and the delivered area is greater than 5%, the buyer may receive financial compensation. For example, if the difference is of 20%, the buyer may receive compensation that corresponds to this deficit by determining its value with the help of an assessment by an expert in this field.

About HV Avocats | Lawyers

For many years, HV Avocats has specialized in construction law and real estate law. If you want to initiate legal remedies concerning a surface area discrepancy or if you want to defend yourself, contact us now. We will support you, and we will be pleased to answer all your questions.

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