Régie du bâtiment du Québec
Pursuant to the Building Act, the mission of the RBQ is to ensure the quality of the construction work and the safety of the persons who access a building or an equipment intended for public use, or who use a facility which is not attached to a building. Quebec’s Ministre des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation has the responsibility of applying the laws administered by the RBQ before the National Assembly.
The RBQ issues and modifies the contractor’s and owner-builder’s licences. In each case, the RBQ first verifies their competence and financial probity. The contractor must provide a licence security, which constitutes for the consumer an indemnity against certain damages.
The RBQ enforces its supervision chiefly by monitoring the licence holders, by detecting construction operations which are carried out without a licence, and by following up on the financial guarantees associated with new residential buildings. While the RBQ does not supervise the actual work, it does verify to what extent the licence holders and the owners assume their responsibilities. Its role is to monitor those licence holders and owners who do not adequately satisfy their obligations.
The RBQ can give information to contractors, owner-builders and owners and operators of buildings about the application of the Building Code’s and Safety Code’s standards. However, it does not provide advisory services. For instance, the RBQ cannot tell you if your installation is compliant with the standards or how to create a design that complies with the regulation.
For information on the construction or renovation of your property, you must contact your municipality.
To consult references on this subject, see Canadian Wood-Frame House Construction, a guide published by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Since 1999, the majority of new residential buildings are covered by a warranty plan which is mandatory. This means that in order to sell you this type of building, your contractor must have registered your future property with an administrator of the Warranty plan for new residential buildings. The purpose of this warranty plan is to warrant the performance of certain legal and contractual obligations your contractor has. Thus, provided that your building is covered, you will be able to take advantage of protections and compensations.
To learn if the type of building you are contemplating to buy is set out under this Plan and which protections are being offered, we invite you to read the section entitled Warranty plan for new residential buildings.
To learn if your contractor is qualified to sell you and build you a house covered by the Warranty plan, please refer to our Licence-Holders Registry [Fr].
The owner-builder is a natural person or a legal person who/which carries out, or has someone else carry out, some construction work, for this owner-builder’s or this legal person’s own needs and not for the purpose of drawing any profit from performing the work.
Some exemptions enable you to act as an owner-builder without having to apply for a licence from the RBQ. Thus, when your construction work involves only the renovation, the repair or the maintenance of your property and is estimated at less than $20,000, you are exempt from the obligation of holding an owner-builder’s licence. In most of the other cases, you will have to apply for this licence. The list of all the exemptions in this regard is presented in the Regulation respecting the application of the Building Act.
The owner-builder is a natural person or a partnership who/which carries out or calls upon somebody else to carry out construction work, strictly for his/her/its own needs and not for the purpose of making a profit out of the performance of the work. Some exemptions enable one to act as an owner-builder without having to apply for a licence at the Régie du bâtiment. As such, if your construction work involves only the renovation, repair or maintenance of your property and is estimated at less than $20,000, you are exempted from the obligation of holding an owner-builder’s licence. The majority of the other cases will require applying for this licence. We invite you to refer to our Regulation respecting the application of the Building Act, in which you will find a list of the cases exempting one from holding an owner-builder’s licence.