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.

COVID-19: Answers to your questions [Fr]. Due to public health restrictions, the capacity of the exam rooms is reduced to 50%, which may result in some delays.

According to our language policy​​​​​​​, only certain contents may be translated. Visit the French version to obtain all the information.

Dealing with a licenced contractor

Problems with your contractor

You’re dissatisfied with services rendered or work carried out by the contractor with whom you had a contract? There are measures you can take to receive compensation and file a complaint against that contractor.

If the problematic work relates to a new residence, go to the Guarantee Plan for New Residential BuildingsThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. since it involves a different guarantee.

On this page:

Applying for compensation

The following sets out the steps involved in order to receive compensation.

Step 1: Try to come to an agreement with your contractor

Most contractors are concerned about their clients’ dissatisfaction, since they wish to uphold their reputation and retain their clientele. Contact your contractor as soon as possible and try to find common ground and settle the situation.

Note and keep a record of all exchanges you have with your contractor (calls, conversations, letters, emails, etc.). These will serve as evidence if you fail to come to an agreement or if you came to an agreement with which your contractor failed to comply.

If you have filed a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company

If the contractor’s work has caused damages (ex: water damage) and that you have received compensation from your homeowner’s insurance, you cannot receive further compensation.

Step 2: Send a formal demand letter

If you have been unable to come to an agreement with your contractor, or if he fails to respect an agreement you concluded with him, immediately send him a formal demand letter by registered mail. Go 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. for information on the letter’s contents.

Step 3: Try to obtain a judgement

If the contractor has failed to follow up on your formal demand letter within the prescribed timeframe, the next step is to obtain a court ruling confirming the existence of the loss and, if need be, establishing the compensation. Where should your claim be filed?

Note! You must obtain a ruling against the company whose name and licence number appear in the contract and not against the person who owns the company.

If your contractor goes bankrupt during your legal proceedings

If your contractor goes bankrupt during your legal proceedings, you have the following options:

  • You can modify your legal proceedings and sue the surety directly, adding it as a defendant.
  • You can file a claim against the licence security without judgement with the RBQ.
  • You can apply for authorization from the Québec Superior Court [Fr]This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. to undertake or pursue legal proceedings against your contractor who has declared bankruptcy. This authorization seeks to suspend proceedings against your contractor and would allow you to obtain a final judgement that would greatly facilitate acceptance of your claim with judgement. Retaining the services of an attorney could be helpful.

Be aware of your best options

At any given time, do not hesitate to call on the services of a legal consultant who could advise you on the best recourse with regards to your situation.

Step 4: File a claim

You can file a claim against the licence security in the following cases:

  • You have obtained a definitive judgement (uncontested in court) against the contractor, but he has not paid you within the prescribed timeframe
  • You have not obtained a judgement against the contractor and want to try to come to an agreement with the contractor’s surety company. Note that your chances of being compensated are lower when you have a claim without judgement, since the surety company can refuse to compensate you.

Filing a claim

Note that if you have obtained a judgement against the contractor, but he has not paid you, you can also resort to enforcement proceduresThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window..

Filing a complaint against the contractor (without compensation)

In addition to the aforementioned measures, you can file a complaint concerning the services delivered by your contractor, if he held a licence.

While this measure does not provide financial compensation, it does allow the RBQ to document the facts and add them in the contractor’s file.

Based on the evolution of his file, i.e., the number of complaints received and the nature of the incidents reported, the contractor could be summoned to appear before the Bureau des régisseurs for a decision on maintaining, suspending or revoking his licence.

If you dealt with a contractor who did not hold a licence at the time the work was carried out or the contract was signed, you can file a complaint relating to unlicensed work.

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