What to do in case of a problem
So you have hired a 360° Verified Contractor and signed a contract in good and valid form. Despite these precautions, it may occur that your contractor fails to meet obligations. Here’s what you can do address the situation. This guide is based on the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) recommendations and was adapted for Reno-Assistance’s purposes.
Most 360° Verified Contractors are sensitive to a client’s dissatisfaction, because they care about their clients, their reputation and their relationship as a Reno-Assistance recommended supplier. If a problem occurs, immediately contact your contractor to resolve the issue.
Keep a record of all exchanges with your contractor (calls, conversations, letters, emails, etc.). This record will support your claim if you are required to take further steps.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, immediately send your contractor a formal notice of default by registered mail
Ask us what information must be included in your contract. Most notably, you will find:
- A summary of the situation
- What you would like to obtain (completion of the work, financial compensation, etc.)
- A deadline for resolving the situation
Also, send a copy of your notice to the company that guaranteed your contractor during the work, to warn them of the possibility of a legal dispute between yourself and the contractor. To find out the name of the contractor’s guarantor, contact the RBQ’s Services des reclamations at the following numbers:
Keep a copy of your notice of default, as well as proof of delivery and receipt, for your records.
You must obtain a judgment from the Quebec court system that confirms the existence of damages and that determines the amount of compensation, if applicable. How do you do this?
- If you are claiming $15,000 or less, apply to Small Claims Court.
- If you are claiming between $15,000.01 and $69,999.99, apply to the Civil Division of the Quebec court.
- If you are claiming $70,000$ or more, apply to Quebec Superior Court.
Make sure to sue the contractor AND the guarantor. If the contractor goes bankrupt, the legal proceedings can then continue with the guarantor.
If you have obtained a judgment in your favour and the contractor fails to pay the required amount by the required deadline, you may have recourse to force execution to seize the contractor’s movable property, for example. You may commence proceedings to execute the judgment yourself or work with a lawyer, a bailiff or the Clerk of the Small Claims Division for this purpose.
If your efforts to obtain compensation have been fruitless, you may, as a last resort, file a licensed security claim. To find out if you are eligible and to consult the procedures, visit the webpage Is Your Claim Eligible for Licence Security?
Filing a complaint against your contractor
You may also, simultaneously with the steps listed above, file a complaint against your contractor with Reno-Assistance and with RBQ. This will consequently allow Reno-Assistance and RBQ to document the file. Your facts will be entered into the contractor’s file and taken into consideration as part of the RBQ’s professional assessment and qualification process, which may impact the entrepreneur’s standing and may lead to the withdrawal of privileges in the Reno-Assistance reference network.
Attention: Filing a complaint against a contractor at RBQ is not a claim. This complaint will be treated independently of the claim.
If you are in conflict with your contractor, you can institute court proceedings. Reno-Assistance and the RBQ are NOT tribunals and therefore, cannot resolve your conflict.