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

Filing a claim against the licence security

If your contractor failed to meet his obligations and measures to settle the situation with him have not yielded results, you can file a claim against the licence security, if he held a valid licence at the time the work was carried out or the contract was signed.

Before submitting a claim, go to the, Problems with your contractor page for information on the steps involved if your contractor has failed to live up to his obligations.

On this page:

What is a licence security?

The licence security is a surety bond or financial guarantee, which 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 are required to obtain. It serves to compensate any client who has suffered an injury (loss or damage) resulting directly from the execution or non-execution of construction work, deposits paid, failure to complete work, poor workmanship or defects uncovered during the year following completion of the work.

Licence security amount

The contractor’s licence security is used to compensate all clients having submitted an eligible claim for the period covered by this bond.

The amount depends on the contractor’s licence class:

  • General contractors: $40,000
  • Specialized contractors: $20,000.

Once a first eligible claim is accepted, a file is open for a period of 6 months. During this time, other citizens can submit a claim against this contractor’s licence security. If their claim is deemed to be eligible, it will be added to the file. 

If the total amount of these claims exceeds the amount of the bond, money will be distributed among claimants on a pro rated basis.

If an eligible claim is received after the end of the 6-month period, it is possible that no compensation can be paid, if no money remains in the bond. 

Contractors with claims in their file are listed in the Outstanding claims page.

Claim eligibility criteria

In order for your claim to be eligible, you must meet a number of criteria set out in the Regulation respecting the professional qualification of contractors and owner-builders. These criteria are listed below:

  • Your contractor held a valid licence at the time the contract was signed or the work was carried out.
  • You hold evidence of a contract with the contractor wherein the company’s name and licence number correspond to those appearing on the company’s licence.
  • You have suffered a loss resulting directly from the execution or non-execution of construction work, deposits paid, failure to complete work, poor workmanship or defects uncovered during the year following completion of the work.
  • Your claim deals with construction work subject to the Building Act.
  • You have already paid an amount to the contractor.
  • You have not taken part as a subcontractor in the work for which you wish to be compensated.
  • Your claim relates to work that was poorly done and the situation was noted within 12 months following completion of the work.
  • You must have undertaken initial legal proceedings within a maximum of 3 years following the date on which the problem was noted or filed a claim without judgement within a maximum of 3 years following the date on which the problem was noted.
  • In the case of a claim without judgement, in addition to the above-mentioned criteria:
    • the amount sought must be justified (expert opinion, repair estimate, etc.)
    • the organization responsible for the licence security has to agree to make you an offer in order for your claim to be compliant. If the organization refuses, your claim will not be considered compliant.

In order to be compensated, in addition to a compliant claim, it is necessary for a licence security or bond to have been available at the time the contract was signed or the work was carried out. If the security has been exhausted, i.e., if no funds remain in the bond, you will not be able to be compensated. See the Outstanding claims and Indemnities paid since 2009.

Problematic work relating to a new residential construction?

Go to the Make a claimThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. page of the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Building’s website.

Losses covered by the licence security

The licence security allows you to be compensated for:

  • Work not done (deposits paid)
  • Work not completed
  • Poor workmanship or defects uncovered within 12 months from completion of the work
  • Court fees, bailiff’s fees as well as interest charges provided for in the judgement.

It DOES NOT entitle you to compensation for:

  • losses resulting from construction work on a new house or condo; see the Guarantee Plan for New Residential BuildingsThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window.
  • monies owed to persons such as subcontractors who were involved in the construction work but whom the contractor failed to pay.
  • losses incurred due to delays in the execution of the work.
  • moral prejudice (problems and inconvenience, stress, sleep disorders, etc.).
  • punitive damages.
  • legal fees.

How to file a claim against the licence security?

Before submitting a claim, go to the Problems with a contractor page for information on the steps involved if your contractor has failed to live up to his obligations.

Your chances of being compensated are greatly reduced if you do not have a favorable judgement in hand.

If your claim involves a contractor who holds an itinerant merchant’s permit, your file will be forwarded to the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC – consumer protection office), allowing you to be compensated by that organization’s bond. Note that you cannot be compensated twice for the same loss.

There are two types of claims against the licence security, each of which has its own process:

  • The claim with judgement when you have obtained a definitive ruling (uncontested in court) against the company. This ruling confirms that you have suffered a loss eligible for this type of claim.
  • The claim without judgement, if you have not or cannot obtain a ruling against the company because it has ceased operating, cannot be located or is bankrupt. Should this be the case, an agreement must be concluded with the organization responsible for the licence security through the RBQ for the claim to be deemed eligible and for which you can be compensated. Note that your chances of being compensated are lower, since the organization can accept or refuse to compensate you.

The following sets out the procedure for applying for compensation, based on the type of claim involved.

  • You must:

    1. Complete and sign the Licence security claim form – WITH JUDGMENT – PDF (686 KB).
    2. Submit the following documents:
      • The licence security claim form with judgement (see above)
      • A copy of the final ruling
      • One or more documents demonstrating that you noted the problem within 12 months following completion of the work. Ex: a copy of your formal demand letter with proof of mailing or receipt, copy of communications between you and the contractor regarding work to be corrected (emails, letters, texts), etc.
      • A copy of the application to institute proceedings.
    3. Send all of these documents by email to srcl@rbq.gouv.qc.ca or by mail to the following address:


      Service à la clientèle – Réclamation au cautionnement
      Régie du bâtiment du Québec
      Rez-de-chaussée, local 040
      255, boulevard Crémazie Est
      Montréal (Québec) H2M 1L5

  • You must:

    1. Complete and sign the Licence security claim form – WITHOUT JUDGMENT – PDF (648 KB)
    2. Submit the following documents:
      • The licence security claim form without judgement
      • A copy of the contract or other proof of a contractual relationship between you and the company (ex: an invoice, quote, proof of payment, etc.).
      • A copy of the proof of payment (ex: copy of the cheque, front and back, credit card receipt, statement, etc.)
      • One or more documents demonstrating that you noted the problem within 12 months following completion of the work. Ex: a copy of your formal demand letter with proof of mailing or receipt, copy of communications between you and the contractor regarding work to be corrected (emails, letters, texts), etc.
      • One or more documents justifying the amount claimed to correct or complete the work (ex: a quote, an estimate, an expert’s report or a repair bill).
      • A copy of the application to institute proceedings, if you have attempted to obtain a judgement against the company, but were unsuccessful.
    3. Send all of these documents by email to srcl@rbq.gouv.qc.ca or by mail to the following address:

      Service à la clientèle – Réclamation au cautionnement

      Régie du bâtiment du Québec
      Rez-de-chaussée, local 040
      255, boulevard Crémazie Est
      Montréal (Québec) H2M 1L5

Steps in a claim process

Initiating a claim process against the licence security can take several months. For information on the steps involved in a claim process, go to the Steps in a claim process page.

Additional Resources

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