Everything you need to know about the cadastral plan
Last modified: 2020/09/29 | Approximate reading time 3 mins
The field of real estate is quite complicated and it can be difficult to navigate as a rookie. Even though several experts are there to help us and answer our questions, it is always useful to have a basic knowledge of the various terms that are being used throughout the process.
Take the cadastral plan, which is relatively unknown outside the field of real estate and land surveying. What is the cadastral plan? What is its purpose? Who are the experts that work with this system? What is the situation of the land register/cadastre in the province of Quebec?
These are just some of the questions that we will be answering in this article so you can learn more about this type of plan.
What is a land register (cadastre)?
The Cadastre du Québec is a public register kept by the provincial state. It contains, in the form of a plan, the cadastral information of all (or almost all) of the landholdings in the province.
The primary purpose of this registry is to make title deeds public to protect the rights associated with said deeds. It also helps with appraisals and assessments seeking to establish property lines.
The government of Quebec defines the cadastre as follows: “This register represents the private land properties of Quebec on a map by assigning them a distinct number (made up of seven digits). The register shows the measurements, area, shape and position of the properties (designated as lots in the register). "
A separate lot number is assigned to each property shown on the cadastral map. This makes it possible to identify each of the lots precisely. This is the number that refers to the cadastral identification found on the location certificate of a property.
However, the cadastral map should not be confused with the map that is provided with the location certificate, as they do not contain the same information. Unlike the location certificate map, no buildings appear on a cadastral map. Rather, it is a graphical representation of each lot with its measurements, area, lot shape and position concerning neighbouring properties.
What is the cadastral plan for?
In addition to precisely identifying each of the properties contained in a given territory, the cadastral plan is meant to:
- Register the land rights of owners;
- Help establish the municipal property tax and help with territorial management;
- Help set up public service networks (gas, water, electricity, etc.);
- Apply certain laws regarding urban planning, cultural property and territorial protection.
First and foremost, the cadastral plan is meant for information purposes. It can be consulted by homeowners in several situations, such as when buying or selling a home, to visually see the home, land and neighbouring properties. It can also be consulted before carrying out any expansion work on the property.
Which experts can produce the cadastral plan?
Land surveyors are the only professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform cadastre-related tasks. They are the only ones able to provide all the information essential to the production of the cadastral plan.
Cadastral renovation in Quebec
For some time now, the Government of Quebec has been reworking the cadastral register. The one originally produced in 1860 was imperfect and, above all, incomplete, because at the time the legislator did not oblige owners to register their property and the modifications made before selling in the land registry.
The government estimates that "750,000 lots already represented in the land register contained anomalies" and that "no less than 850,000 properties were not registered separately in the land register". Several land surveyors have therefore been appointed by the Government to remedy these shortcomings and update the cadastral plan, sector by sector.
This "renovation" of the cadastre, which should be completed in 2021 after affecting nearly 3.8 million lots spread across Quebec, may have an impact on your property. Indeed, any change in the situation of your property, including the cadastral situation, may require the production of a new location certificate.
Note that an incorrect cadastral representation can cause inconveniences when selling a property.
Also, note that the official cadastral plan of the property is not given to the owner when the work is carried out. However, owners can consult the cadastral map using the online service Infolot (in french only), which provides access to the interactive map of the Quebec cadastre.
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