The Destruction of an Immovable with a Latent Defect Does Not Exempt the Buyer from Notifying the Seller in Accordance with Section 1739 C.C.Q.

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May 4, 2017 Real Estate and Construction

This post, published on Éditions Yvon Blais’ blog on latent defects on May 1st, 2017 (FR), discusses the judgment in Optimum, société d’assurances inc. v. Trudel (Full Text | Fiche Quantum) and studies the scope of the obligation to give notice provided for in section 1739 C.C.Q. and, specifically, the buyer’s obligation to give the seller a written notice despite the fact that the immovable with the latent defect was destroyed by fire.

The Court of Appeal emphasizes that the primary purpose of the notice is to allow the seller to conduct his own inspections regarding the defect for which he is reproached, verifying its seriousness and source.

Therefore, the Court finds that the destruction of the immovable does not exempt the buyer from notifying the seller as required under the Code. If he omits to give the seller said notice, he may have his recourse dismissed, in the event that this omission deprived the seller of the possibility of observing the defect, verifying its seriousness, and obtaining another expert’s opinion. Such was the case in Optimum, société d’assurances inc. v. Trudel: the plaintiff’s recourse was rejected at the preliminary stage due to its failure to send the notice to the seller.

This bulletin provides general comments on recent developments in the law. It does not constitute and should not viewed as legal advice. No legal action should be taken on the basis of the information contained herein.

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