Part of the Notaire’s job is to verify that the seller is really the owner of the property in question and any government mandates to take this building over by government control (only in rare cases when the building is considered to block some important government project see Droit de préemption).
Special laws require that the Notaire to verify the actual size of the apartment (Loi Carrez) via a Geometre’s drawing, that the building’s pipes and paint do not have lead in them and that there are no termites or asbestos in the building.
The Syndic (property management body elected by the co-owners group) will send the Notaire handling the sale a statement of the seller’s account regarding the payment of fees and any work in progress but not yet completed (for which owners are liable). The vendor should obtain a Certificat de l’Article 20 stating that he doesn’t owe any money to the copropriété; otherwise the Notaire must withhold payment to cover any fees due.
A check that came in at the end of 2006 was the Pre-Sale Energy Efficiency Report which puts even more information at the buyer’s disposal.