Summer is here, and you want to go camping! Many national parks await you. But there are other options as well. Here’s a short guide to where you can (and can’t) pitch your tent.   Camping on public lands Did you know you’re allowed to camp on some public lands? They’re part of our collective heritage and belong to all Quebecers. When camping on public lands, you must use temporary and mobile equipment, and take it with you when you leave. Of... Read more

Every year, forest fires ravage thousands of hectares of land in Quebec. There are several forest fires burning right now! Not all fires are caused by people. But you still need to know if you are allowed to make a fire, whether at home or in the great outdoors.   Complete ban At any time, there may be a complete ban on open-air fires in certain areas of the province. A ban applies to backyards just as to forests. The Minister of Forests,... Read more

Your offer to buy a home was accepted! The pre-purchase inspection didn’t turn up any nasty surprises. The bank has approved your loan. Next stop: the notary’s office to sign the deed of sale!   Why go to a notary? The notary plays an important role in the sale of a home. The notary helps you finally become the proud owner of the home you purchased. Most home sales go through a notary, even if this is not absolutely necessary. A deed of sale... Read more

The hot weather is back. And bikes are back! Many cyclists don’t know about new rules.  Helmets, headphones, using the sidewalk … What’s urban legend and what does the law really say?    1.  I must wear a helmet. Answer   False. The law doesn’t require helmets, but it’s a good idea for safety reasons.  Careful! In some cities, such as Sherbrooke, everyone under 18 must wear a helmet. Contact your city to see if it has rules about helmets... Read more

After years of searching, you finally found your dream home. You make an offer to buy it. Can you change your mind?   An offer to purchase is a contract… You’ve made an “offer to purchase” (also known as a “promise to purchase”) for a home, but now you’ve changed your mind. You’d like to know if you can cancel the offer. Usually, you can’t. An offer to purchase given to a seller is a contact:  you’ve made a commitment to buy the home and you... Read more

Thinking of buying a home? Inspecting it first can be a good idea.   Why do an inspection before buying a home? When an offer to purchase is made to a seller, it often includes an inspection clause. This is an important stage in the process: it means you can do a visual inspection of the home to identify defects.  This helps you to detect problems you might have missed when visiting on your own. If the inspector finds problems,  you might be... Read more

As part of our series on buying a home, this article focuses on hypothecs.   What is a hypothec?  A hypothec (the Quebec legal term for a mortgage) is always linked to an obligation. If you have an obligation to pay someone money, the hypothec guarantees you will pay it. For a major purchase, such as a home, it’s often necessary to get a bank loan. In exchange for the loan, you give the bank a legal claim on your home. If you don’t repay the... Read more

If you’re looking to buy a home for the first time, you might wonder where to start. Real estate brokers, notaries, mortgages, hidden defects—you’ve probably heard these words before. But what do they mean exactly? In the coming weeks, we will guide you through some legal issues that arise when buying a home. Today: the role of real estate brokers.   The role of real estate brokers A real estate broker can guide you through the process of... Read more