If you’re not satisfied with the quality of renovation work or how fast it is being done, here are some possible solutions.
First, you can try to resolve the problem by reaching an agreement with the contractor on a friendly basis.
Legal Demand Letter
If you can’t reach an agreement, you can send the contractor a legal letter called a demand letter. In the letter, you explain the problems and give the contractor a reasonable time period to fix them.
Suing in Court
If the contractor doesn’t respect the contract and doesn’t fix the problem after you send a demand letter, you can take legal action against the contractor. The court you go to depends on what you are asking for.
- Small Claims Court if you are asking for $15,000 or less
- The Superior Court or the Court of Quebec if you are asking for more than $15,000 or are asking the court to order the contractor to complete the work, for example.
You can also file a complaint against the contractor with some government bodies. These bodies work to make sure that the law is followed.
Complaint With the Office de la protection du consommateur
If the contractor does not respect the contract for the work or does not respect the Consumer Protection Act, you can file a complaint with the Office de la protection du consommateur (consumer protection bureau).
Complaint With the Régie du bâtiment
You can also file a complaint with the Régie du bâtiment, a government body whose role is to ensure respect for the laws dealing with building construction, safety and the qualification of workers. You can file a complaint with this body if:
- the contractor had a valid licence for renovation work,
- you have documents showing that you made a contract with the contractor, and
- you already sent the contractor a legal demand letter.
There’s a complaint form that you can fill out.
The Régie will study your complaint and try to help you and your contractor come to an agreement. If the contractor refuses to cooperate, the complaint could be taken into consideration when the contractor’s licence comes up for renewal.
Also, if the contractor did work without having a licence, you can report the situation to the Régie.
Complaint With a Professional Order
Your contractor is a professional, such as an engineer or an architect? If so, you can also make a complaint with the contractor’s professional order. Orders are associations that supervise people who practise certain professions.
Note that filing a complaint with these government bodies does not prevent you from taking legal action in court against the contractor.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.