There are many differences and misconceptions about Québec off-title searches that resemble Don Rumsfeld’s famous speech.

The first is that responses are typically available only after thirty days and beyond most due diligence periods, creating the “unkown unkowns” category.

If the transaction allows time for receipt before waiver and violations disclosed ( the “known knowns”) the reader must then further inquire as to whether the violations are outstanding (typically authorities do not necessarily follow up or note corrections).  Violations are also often dated, possibly time barred or tenant matters. Regulators are also not required to note corrections (often loath to do so) and there is also no formal requisition process to strike violations that have been corrected.

Finally there are the”known unknowns”.  A no violation notice does not mean compliance nor does a list of violations guarantee that it is exhaustive.

This process while helpful to smoke out the “known knowns” is no substitute for a proper building condition and code compliance report.  Title insurance in loan transactions may help partially mitigate.