Can Seller Disclosure Be Improved to Better Protect Parties during a Real Estate Transaction?


Madeleine Bélisle


Association des consommateurs pour la qualité dans la construction




The use of the Property Disclosure Statement (PDS) is not a legal obligation under the Civil Code or the common law in any Canadian province or territory. In Quebec, PDS use is recommended by the OACIQ, professional orders whose members conduct home inspections, and building inspector associations.

The present report concerns the context in which the PDS is used in Canada. It aims at identifying how the PDS could be improved to better protect the parties during a real estate transaction and to answer the following corollary questions:

• What are the best types of PDS forms, and what should the form contain?
• Who should present the PDS to the seller and in what context should it be completed?
• How to ensure that both the seller and buyer correctly assess the PDS’s legal scope?
• What ethical rules apply to information to be provided about the PDS?

Considering that there are several benefits to using the PDS, the ACQC is making recommendations to the organizations charged with overseeing real estate brokering, in order to counter current drawbacks:

• Provide consumers with more tools.
• Improve the drafting of PDS forms.
• Improve the training of real estate brokers.

For real estate transactions made without a real estate broker access to a validated and tested PDS form will remain a problem. Selling this form to interested individuals and building inspectors could be a solution.

This document is available in the following language(s):

Third-Party Information Liability Disclaimer

Some of the information on this Web page has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages, privacy and accessibility requirements.

English and French

OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

65 Sherbrooke Street East, Suite 105 
Montreal, Quebec H2X 1C4
(514) 384-2013
(514) 384-4739

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

Date Modified: