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Frequently Asked Questions

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section is designed to clarify GCR’s role and the coverage it offers. It lays out general principles rather than addressing specific situations, so we encourage you to contact GCR’s customer service at 1‑855‑657‑2333 for more details.

Choosing a contractor

What should I check about my contractor before I sign a contract to buy or build my property? Before choosing your contractor, you should make sure that they:

  • Are accredited by Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR).
  • Hold subclass 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 licence with the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), depending on the type of dwelling (house or condo) that you want to acquire or have built.

To check, you can just look in our Accredited Business Directory. You’ll find plenty of useful information there, including whether your contractor is accredited by GCR.

How can I know whether my contractor is accredited by GCR?

  • Use our Accredited Business Directory. You’ll find plenty of useful information about the contractor there, such as the number of new residential units registered, addresses of work sites and arbitration decisions, if any.
  • You can contact our customer service at 514-657-2333.

How can I know whether my contractor holds a subclass 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 licence with the RBQ?

Buildings covered and exclusions

What dwellings are covered by the guarantee plan?

  • A detached, semi‑detached or row‑type single‑family house
  • A multifamily building held in divided co‑ownership of no more than four stacked private portions
  • A multifamily building of two to five units held in undivided co‑ownership (intergenerational, duplex, triplex, etc.).

I want to buy a dwelling in a new building held in co‑ownership. Will it be covered by the guarantee plan for new residential buildings?

  • If you are the owner of a dwelling in a multifamily building held in divided co‑ownership (condo) of no more than four stacked private portions, your building will be covered by the guarantee plan.
  • If you are the owner of a dwelling in a condo tower of more than four stacked private portions, you should be aware that this type of building is not covered by the guarantee plan.

I am building my own house. Will it be covered by the guarantee plan?

If you are building your house without the help of a general creditor who is accredited by GCR and holds an RBQ licence in subclass 1.1.1 or 1.1.2, your house will not be covered by the guarantee plan. If the house is built in part by a general contractor (or their subcontractors), the guarantee may apply under certain conditions:

  • If your contractor has an RBQ licence in subclass 1.1.1 and DOES NOT HAVE the specialized subclasses for the work carried out, your house is covered only for the work done by the contractor.
  • If your contractor has an RBQ licence in subclass 1.1.1 and HAS the specialized subclasses for the work carried out, the contractor must carry out two or more major elements of construction for the work to be covered by the guarantee plan.

Signing a contract

What is a preliminary contract?

The preliminary contract precedes any sale of a new property or a property to be built, and must be signed when you buy a property on land that belongs to a contractor. It is a promise to buy that is binding on you and your contractor. There are two kinds of preliminary contract:

  • Preliminary contract for a house or building held in undivided co-ownership
  • Preliminary contract for a residential property held in divided co-ownership (condos)

What information does a preliminary contract need to contain?

  • Name and address of the contractor’s real estate project
  • Name and address of the contractor and the person(s) promising to buy the property
  • Type of building being purchased
  • Address and lot number (cadastre) of the property, and dimensions of the property and the parcel of land
  • Specific obligations of the contractor and of the purchaser
  • Selling price and payment terms for the building
  • Seller’s acceptance of the preliminary contract and guarantee contract
  • Signatures of both parties

If you’re buying part of a residential property held in divided co‑ownership, your preliminary contract might contain multiple appendices (annexes) containing information about:

  • General coordinates of the co‑ownership
  • Parking space(s)
  • Storage locker(s)

What is a business contract?

A business contract must be signed if you have your property built by a contractor on a parcel of land that already belongs to you or that is about to belong to you.

What information does a business contract need to contain?

  • The address of your parcel of land
  • The name and address of the contractor and client(s)
  • Type of building
  • Specific obligations of the contractor and of the purchaser
  • End of work date and occupation date
  • Selling price and payment terms for the building
  • Seller’s acceptance of the business contract and guarantee contract
  • Signatures of both parties

What is a guarantee contract?

The guarantee contract is the proof that you are covered by GCR. It must be signed at the same time as the preliminary contract or business contract. There are two kinds of guarantee contract:

  • Guarantee contract for buildings held in divided co-ownership (condos)
  • Guarantee contract for buildings held in undivided co-ownership (houses)
  • Your contractor will give you a signed copy of the appropriate contract for your building.

What information does a guarantee contract need to contain?

  • Coverage provided by the guarantee plan
  • Claims procedures
  • Potential recourses
  • Contractor information: legal name, RBQ licence number, GCR accreditation number and mailing address
  • Beneficiary information: full name, mailing address and email address
  • The building covered by the guarantee: street address and number of preliminary or business contract

Inspection of your property

Do I need to do an inspection before declaring acceptance of my property, even if it’s a new building?

Yes. Regardless of the type of building under guarantee, an inspection prior to acceptance is required under the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings.

Can I be accompanied by a professional other than my contractor during my pre-acceptance inspection?

You and your contractor must jointly conduct the pre-acceptance inspection. GCR also recommends that you be accompanied by a building professional of your choice. This is an excellent way to minimize the risk of problems occurring after you take possession of your building.

How can I find a building professional to accompany me during my pre‑acceptance inspection?

Contact the Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ), the Ordre des technologues professionnels du Québec (OTPQ) or the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ).

How can I know what to look out for during my pre-acceptance inspection?

The pre-acceptance inspection is conducted using the Pre-acceptance Inspection Form, which GCR provides to the contractor. This form is a checklist of elements to verify, and has been approved by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).

What should I do if I find something unsatisfactory during my pre-acceptance inspection?

Make a note in the inspection checklist of all elements to be completed or corrected. We recommend that you take photos or videos when you find such elements. Agree with your contractor on a timeline for carrying out the work to complete or correct them. This cannot be longer than six months after the pre-acceptance inspection. We recommend that you take photos or videos when you find such elements.

When does the guarantee take effect?

The guarantee takes effect as soon as you sign the Pre‑acceptance Inspection Form.

Acceptance of common areas

I have purchased a dwelling in a new building held in co­‑ownership. Should I do a pre‑acceptance inspection? 

Yes. For a co‑owned property, you will need to do two pre‑acceptance inspections:

  • Inspection of your condo (private portion). For more details, see the section on Inspection of your property.
  • Inspection of common areas

When should the pre-acceptance inspection of common areas be done?

After the syndicate of co‑owners of the property receives the End of Work Notification from the contractor. However, it is important to note that if the acceptance of common areas is not carried out, it will be deemed to have occurred no later than six months after the End of Work Notification is received, if certain other conditions are met. For more details, please contact our customer service at 514‑657‑2333.

What should the syndicate of co‑owners do if they do not receive the End of Work Notification?

They should contact the contractor to have it sent. If the contractor does not provide it when requested, the syndicate should contact GCR.

Who should conduct the pre-acceptance inspection of common areas?

The syndicate of co‑owners is required to mandate a building professional for the acceptance of common areas. They should contact the Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ), the Ordre des technologues professionnels du Québec (OTPQ) or the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ). The inspection is conducted by the building professional, the contractor and the syndicate, using the Pre‑acceptance Form – Building Held in Divided Co‑Ownership – Common Areas.

When does the guarantee take effect?

After the inspection, the building professional completes the Pre‑acceptance Form – Building Held in Divided Co‑Ownership – Common Areas, including the date of acceptance of the common areas and stating any work to complete or correct. This document constitutes the acceptance of the common areas and marks the starting date of certain guarantees.

Claims

What should I do if a problem occurs before or after I declare acceptance of my property, and the problem is covered by the guarantee plan?

GCR recommends that the parties come to an agreement if possible, so before you file an official complaint, you should ask your contractor to address the issue.

  • Notify the contractor of the issue in writing using the Contractor Complaint Form.
  • Send the completed form to the contractor by email or registered mail.
  • Send a copy of the completed form to GCR.

What should I do if I am not satisfied with my contractor’s response to my complaint, or if my contractor takes no action?

Asking the contractor to deal with the problem does not fix it in all cases. If your problem remains an issue, you should open a claim case.

  • Fill out a Claim Form and send it to GCR, along with the required documents. GCR will send you this form within 15 days after receiving the copy of your Contractor Complaint Form.
  • You should also send a deposit of $114.98 ($100 plus taxes) to open a file. GCR will reimburse this deposit if it decides fully or partially in your favour, or if you and your contractor come to an agreement.

How long should I wait before filing a claim?

You should wait at least 15 days after your complaint, which is the minimum prescribed period, before filing a claim.

What happens after a claim case is opened?

Once a claim case is opened, the contractor has an additional 15 days to inform GCR of the measures they intend to take to resolve the problem(s) in question. The conciliator’s role is to get the contractor to address the issue. After that, there is a seven‑step process:

  • GCR conciliator makes an inspection visit.
  • Conciliator sends their decision to the beneficiary and the contractor.
  • Beneficiary and contractor agree on a time frame for carrying out corrective work.
  • Contractor carries out corrective work within the time frame stated in the conciliator’s decision.
  • Contractor confirms that the work is completed. They may choose to or may be required to attach photographs or other evidence.
  • Beneficiary assesses the work.
  • Conciliator accepts or refuses the work.

Applicable guarantees

What coverage applies before I declare acceptance of my property?

The guarantee applies at multiple stages. The types of coverage that are applicable before the building is accepted are:

  • Reimbursement of advance payments to a maximum of $50,000
  • Completion of work to a maximum of $300,000 for a single‑family house or $200,000 per unit for a condo
  • Reimbursement of relocation, moving and storage costs resulting from late delivery, to a maximum of $6,000

What guarantees apply after I declare acceptance of my property?

  • 1 year after acceptance of the building, for repair of poor workmanship that existed but was not apparent at the time of acceptance
  • 3 years after acceptance of the building, for repair of latent (hidden) defects
  • 5 years after the end of work, for repair of faulty design, construction or production (execution) or the unfavourable nature of the ground

What is poor workmanship?

Poor workmanship is any work that is poorly done or not carried out properly according to applicable norms (standards). These norms are laid out in the terms of the contract and defined as per trade practice. These defects in workmanship are minor, and must be identified in the document that you will fill out at the time of the pre-acceptance inspection of your building.

What is a latent defect?

A latent (hidden) defect is a serious, non‑apparent defect in construction that dates back to before acceptance of your home but was unknown to you at the time of that acceptance. Latent defects must be declared in writing to the contractor and GCR within a reasonable amount of time.

What is faulty design, construction or production of the work, or the unfavourable nature of the ground?

Faulty design, construction or production (execution) of the work, or the unfavourable nature of the ground, is one or more serious defects, whether apparent or not at the time of acceptance of your home, that affect the solidity of the building or cause serious risks.

I am selling my house before the end of the guarantee. What does that mean for its coverage?

The guarantee is transferable. If you sell your house during the term of the guarantee, the coverage will automatically transfer to the new owner for the remainder of the term. Please contact our customer service team at 514‑657‑2333 or go to our Accredited Business Directory to verify that your building is registered with GCR.

If the acceptance of my home is delayed, can I still benefit from the guarantee?

Only if you declare acceptance of your dwelling no later than 24 months after the end of the work. If the acceptance takes place after that time, the guarantee does not apply.

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