Régie du bâtiment du Québec

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Searching for a contractor or a licence number: consult the Licence holders' repertory.

Searching for a contractor or a licence number: consult the Licence holders' repertory.

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Dealing with a licenced contractor

Make a claim against the licence security

If your contractor has failed to fulfill his obligations and the measures you have undertaken to resolve the situation with him have not yielded results, you can file a claim against the licence security.

Before filing a claim, go to the Know your avenues for recourse page for all the steps you can take if your contractor has failed to fulfill his obligations.

What is a licence security?

The licence security is a financial guarantee, which most contractors licenced by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec or the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec must obtain. This fund is used to compensate their clients if the work stipulated in the contract is poorly executed, not executed or not completed.

Licence bond amounts

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

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

Claim eligibility criteria

In order for your claim to be eligible, you must:

  • have hired a contractor who held a valid licence at the time the contract was signed or the work was carried out
  • not have been involved as a sub-contractor in the problematic work for which you are seeking compensation, have noted the situation (such as abandonment of the work, the appearance of defects and poor workmanship) within 12 months following the end of the work and have undertaken legal measures within 3 years following the date of said observations
  • provide a complete file with all supporting material.

Should you fail to comply with these criteria, your claim will not be accepted.

Damages covered by the licence security

Damages covered by the bond must:

  • result from the non-execution or execution of work for which you have paid an amount of money (a deposit)
  • be caused by defects or poor workmanship uncovered within 12 months following the end of the work or non-completion of work stipulated in the contract or work on which you and your contractor have agreed.

The bond does not allow you to be compensated for:

  • damages caused following construction work covered by the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings
  • monies owed to persons who took part in the construction work (ex.: sub-contractors hired by the contractor but not paid)
  • damages resulting from a delay in the execution of the work
  • damages in compensation for moral prejudice (problems and inconvenience, stress, sleep disorders, etc.)
  • punitive damages
  • legal fees.

Types of claims

There are two types of claims, subject to eligibility:

  • the claim with judgement, if you have obtained a ruling from tribunals in the Québec judicial system confirming the existence of injury and setting the amount of the compensation, if need be
  • the claim without judgement, if you have not obtained a ruling from tribunals in the Québec judicial system.

Claim with judgement

If you have obtained a judgement against your contractor, send us:

Claim without judgement

If you have not obtained a judgement (ex.: your contractor has ceased operating or is bankrupt), you can still file a claim with the RBQ. In this case, the RBQ serves as an intermediary.

You should know, however, that the organization responsible for the contractor’s licence bond must agree to enter into an agreement with you, allowing you to be compensated. To this end, you must send us:

  • the Licence Security Claim Form without judgment – PDF (648 KB)
  • a copy of the contract or other supporting material (ex.: invoice, quotation)
  • a copy of the proof of payment (ex.: copy of the front and back of the cheque, credit card receipt, account statement, etc.
  • copy of the formal letter of demand
  • two evaluations by licenced contractors or construction professionals (architect, technologist or engineer), in order to substantiate your request
  • a copy of the statement of claim related to your dispute, if required.

Your contractor is bankrupt?

When your contractor has declared bankruptcy, legal proceedings against him are suspended. If he goes bankrupt when you have a claim against him, you have the following options:

  1. You can ask the Québec Superior CourtThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. authorization to undertake or pursue legal proceedings against your contractor who has declared bankruptcy. This authorization seeks to lift the stay of proceedings against your contractor. This would allow you to obtain a final judgement that could greatly facilitate acceptance of your claim with judgement. The services of an attorney could help you with this.
  2. If you are unable to obtain this authorization, you could submit a claim without judgement to the RBQ.

Other compensation

You could benefit from more than one type of coverage, depending on your situation. The RBQ will only provide compensation for the part that is unpaid by other guarantees.

Private guarantee

Submitting a claim against the licence bond does not prevent you from undertaking measures with another organization (ex: if you are covered by a private guarantee plan).

Note that private guarantee plans generally stipulate a maximum timeframe for filing a claim. Contact your guarantee plan’s administrator as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline.

Additional guarantee from the Office de la protection du consommateur

If your contractor holds both a licence and an itinerant merchant’s permitThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. issued by the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC), you may possibly be entitled to benefit from both guarantees. If the RBQ notes that your claim relates to work targeted by the itinerant merchant’s permit, it will forward the information to the OPC.

Timeframe for processing a file

When we receive and accept an initial claim against a contractor, we are required to wait for a period of 6 months before issuing any payment. This regulatory period allows other citizens to add their claim to the file.

For additional information on the payment and amounts paid, go to Obtain payment following a claim.

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