Once you’ve chosen a licenced contractor and done all the checks to make sure you can trust them, it’s very important to sign a detailed contract. On this page you’ll find recommendations on what to include in the contract. For advice on your specific situation, please contact a legal advisor.
Was the contractor you chose going door-to-door or offering their services from a kiosk set up on the street or in a shopping mall? If so, you’re probably dealing with someone who’s considered an itinerant merchant. Use the Get Information About a Merchant search tool on the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) website to check whether the contractor holds an itinerant merchant’s permit as required under the Consumer Protection Act.
A contractor is also considered an itinerant merchant as soon as a contract is signed at your home, even if it’s at your express request, and is for the sale, installation or repair of:
According to the Consumer Protection Act, all contracts with itinerant merchants must be in writing. Find out what must be included in such a contract by consulting the page What a Contract With an Itinerant Merchant Contains on the OPC website.
The Consumer Protection Act gives you 10 days after receiving your signed copy to cancel a contract with an itinerant merchant, and prohibits the latter from asking you for a deposit during this period. The cancellation period can be extended to one year in certain situations. To find out how to cancel the contract, see Cancelling a Purchase Made From an Itinerant Salesperson on the OPC website.
Your contract can take many forms, but it’s advisable to have it in writing, and it should be as clear and detailed as possible. For example, it could contain a detailed description of the work, specific completion dates, and identification of the parties, including:
A home renovation contract should also specify the terms of payment and the total price of the work, including in particular the cost of:
Remember, the most important thing is that the contract is written and detailed, and that you understand it. With a clear agreement, it will be easier for you to assert your rights in the event of a problem. So don’t hesitate to ask questions and request clarifications that can be added to the contract if you feel they’re necessary.
If you have any questions about the contract clauses, please visit the OPC’s Home Renovations page, where you’ll find information on:
Although your contract may not mention it, you can file a claim against the licence security if you are dissatisfied with the services provided by your contractor. The licence security is a surety bond or financial guarantee that licenced contractors must obtain and that can be used to compensate you. However, make sure your contractor holds a valid licence at the time the contract is signed or the work carried out.
If you feel that your contractor is violating the terms of your contract, see Problems with your contractor.
The OPC also provides information on:
If your contractor has an OPC itinerant merchant licence, you may also be entitled to compensation in the event of contract non-performance or company bankruptcy or closure. Contact the OPC for more information.