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Pre-emptive right

Montréal’s pre-emptive right gives the city the right to purchase certain buildings with priority over any other buyer to carry out projects that benefit the community, such as building a library, sports complex or new park, or preserving an historic building.

Montréal’s pre-emptive right is set out in Charter of Ville de Montréal, metropolis of Québec (CQLR, C-11.4).

Who is affected by the city’s pre-emptive right?

Only certain buildings are affected.

The city sends a notice to owners of buildings that are affected to inform them that their building is subject to the city’s pre-emptive right. This notice is called a “Notice of Pre-Emptive Right.” It is recorded in the land register, where all transactions concerning a building are recorded.

The city retains its pre-emptive right on a building for 10 years beginning when a “Notice of Pre-Emptive Right” is recorded in the land register. However, the city’s pre-emptive right ends if the city decides not to purchase a building and the building is sold under the conditions set out in the purchase offer.

Sources :

What do owners who are affected need to do?

There is no obligation as long as the owner is not selling his or her building
The pre-emptive right does not require an owner to sell his or her building. Owners of buildings for which the city has a pre-emptive right maintain their ownership rights and must continue to fulfill their ownership obligations.

Owners must advise the city if they accept a purchase offer
As soon as the owner of a building for which the city has a pre-emptive right accepts a purchase offer, he or she is legally bound to inform the city by sending the city a “Notice of Intent to Alienate an Immovable” (“alienate” means “to sell” or “to give up”). Otherwise, the city could cancel the sale. However, the owner does not have to send the city this notice if the buyer is to someone who is "related to the owner” as defined in the Taxation Act (chapters I-3).

1- Complete the "Notice of Intention to Alienate an Immovable" form

The owner must complete this form and provide the city with all the required documents listed in the notice, in particular a copy of the purchase offer that has been accepted and signed by both parties.

Form – Notice of Intention to Alienate an Immovable (in French only) [178 Ko – 4 pages]

This form is exclusively for owners who would like to inform the city that they have received a purchase offer that has been accepted and signed by the seller and the buyer.

2- Send the form and all required documents

By e-mail :

By mail or in person:
Montréal city clerk’s office
275 Rue Notre-Dame Est, suite R134
Montréal, QC H2Y 1C6

The owner will receive a confirmation of receipt and a reference number once his or her notice is sent by e-mail.

The city then has 60 days to decide if it wants to purchase the building under the conditions set out in the purchase offer. Once 60 days have passed, the building can be sold according to the conditions set out in the purchase offer.

For more information