Régie du bâtiment du Québec.

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Citizen

Know your recourses

You have dealt with a contractor who holds a licence and you have signed a contract in proper and due form. Despite these precautions, it is possible your contractor may fail to fulfil his obligations. Here is what you can do to resolve the situation.

Step 1 - Attempt to reach an agreement with your contractor

Contractors association

Check in your contract whether you are protected by the financial guarantee offered by a contractors association. If yes, contact the association.

Most contractors are sensitive to their clients' dissatisfaction, because they care about their business and their clients. Communicate with your contractor without delay to resolve the situation.

Keep a record of all the exchanges made with your contractor (calls, conversations, letters, emails, etc.). These items could support your case if you take further steps.

Step 2 - Send a demand letter

If you have not reached an agreement, immediately send a demand letter to your contractor by registered mail.

Refer to the website of the ministère de la JusticeThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. to find out what information to include, particularly:

  • a summary of the situation 
  • what you want to obtain (completion of the work, financial compensation, etc.)
  • a deadline to resolve the situation.

Send a copy of your demand letter to the company that guaranteed your contractor during the work. To find out the name of the contractor's guarantor, communicate with the RBQ using the contact information of its page Contact Us.

Keep a copy of your demand letter and your proofs of sending and receipt for your records.

Go to the page Licence security for more details.

Step 3 - Obtain a judgment

You must obtain a judgment from the Québec court system, confirming the existence of the harm and determining the amount of compensation, if applicable. How?

Make sure to sue the contractor and implead the guarantor. If the contractor goes bankrupt, the legal proceedings then can continue with the guarantor.

Step 4 - Attempt to collect compensation from the contractor

If you have obtained a judgment in your favour and the contractor does not pay you the amount requested within the required deadline, you may resort to forced executionThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. to seize the contractor's movable property, for example. You may institute the proceedings to execute the judgment yourself or address a lawyer, a bailiff or the Clerk of the Small Claims Division for this purpose.

Step 5 - Make a licence security claim

Increased amounts of licence security

On September 18, 2016, the amounts of licence security doubled in order to provide better compensation to consumers. Consult the FAQ Citizen – Increase in licence security for more details.

If your steps to obtain compensation have been fruitless, you may file a licence security claim as a last resort. Licence security is a financial guarantee that contractors must obtain from an association, an insurance company or a financial institution. It serves to compensate their clients if the work stipulated in the contract is poorly executed, not executed or not completed.

The amount of the licence security depends on the type of licence held by the contractor:

  • general contractors: $40,000
  • specialized contractors: $20,000.

The only way to have access to the licence security is to have done business with a contractor who held a licence at the time the contract was signed and who did not fulfill his obligations.

All contractors who hold a licence issued by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ) or the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMEQ) hold licence security.

Make a complaint against the contractor

Parallel to the steps listed above, you can also file a complaint against your contractor. You thus will allow the RBQ to document its file. These facts will be entered in the contractor's file and taken into consideration as part of the professional assessment and qualification process. Attention: filing a complaint against a contractor is not a claim. The complaint will be treated independent of the claim.

If you are in conflict with your contractor, you can institute court proceedings. The RBQ is not a court and therefore has no power to resolve your conflict.

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