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As a neutral and independent non-profit organization, Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR) is tasked with providing coverage for buyers of new homes and improving the quality of residential construction in Quebec.

The importance of after-sales service

After-sales service is a key part of customer service for any contractor. If a buyer speaks with their contractor to signal a problem with the new home, the contractor should take immediate action. If a contractor fails to respond quickly to a complaint, it can easily turn into a claim, or even go to arbitration.

Useful info

GCR advocates for good relations between parties. Ideally, all problems could be eventually resolved by the contractor and buyer reaching an agreement. As often as possible, you should try to reach an agreement with a buyer before they file an official claim.

Buyers coverage

Before During After
Accredited Business Directory Reimbursement of advance payments to a maximum of $50,000.

OR

Completion of work (under certain conditions) and within the financial limits provided for by the Regulation.

Completion or repair of defects or poor workmanship that are apparent at the time of acceptance.
Rigorous inspection program (in french) Reimbursement of relocation, moving and storage costs resulting from late delivery, to a maximum of $6,000 One‑year guarantee for the repair of poor workmanship that was not apparent at the time of acceptance, if notice of it is given within a reasonable time.
Reimbursement of advance payments, to a maximum of $50,000 Three‑year guarantee for the repair of latent (hidden) defects notified within a reasonable time.
Guarantee, for five years following the end of work, for repairs to faulty design, construction or execution or to an unfavourable nature of the ground, if notice is given within a reasonable time.
Reimbursement of property storage, relocation and moving costs when the building is not inhabitable during corrective work.
Restoration of the building and repair of material damage caused by the corrective work.
Les limites financières
Reimbursement of advance payments to a maximum of $50,000.
Reimbursement of relocation, moving and storage costs resulting from late delivery, to a maximum of $6,000.
Completion or repair of defects or poor workmanship up to $300 000 for a detached, semi‑detached or row‑type single‑family dwelling, if  not held in divided co‑ownership
Completion or repair of defects or poor workmanship up to $200 000 per unit for a multifamily building, from a duplex to a quintuplex (maximum of $1,000,000 for a quintuplex).
Completion or repair of defects or poor workmanship up to $300 000 per unit for a detached, semi‑detached or row‑type single‑family dwelling and  $3,000,000 per project, if held in divided co‑ownership.
Completion or repair of defects or poor workmanship for residential units provided for in the declaration of co‑ownership for multifamily buildings held in divided co‑ownership (up to $200,000 per unit and $3,000,000 overall)
Details
The guarantee does not apply if the acceptance of the building or unit took place more than 24 months after the end of the work.
The guarantee is transferable

 

Claim procedure

Not every case is resolved after a request for action to be taken is issued. If the problem is not resolved, there is a written procedure set out in the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings.

Step 1

For a claim for reimbursement of expenses relating to relocation, moving and storage, a claim in writing must be sent to the contractor AND to GCR not later than within six months following acceptance of the building or private portion.

If it is a claim for reimbursement of the advance payment or a claim for the completion of the work or for repairs to defects or poor workmanship, a claim in writing must be sent to the contractor AND to GCR within a reasonable time after the discovery or occurrence of the defect, or in the case of gradual defects or vices, after their first significant manifestation.

Within 15 days of receiving a letter of notice, GCR sends the buyer a claim form and a list of documents to return if necessary.

Step 2

At least 15 days after the letter of notice is sent, if the buyer is not satisfied with the action taken by the contractor or if the contractor has not taken action, the buyer can open a claim case with GCR. To do so, the buyer must submit the completed claim form, along with the requested documents and a cheque for $114.98 ($100, plus $5 GST and $9.98 QST). This cost can usually be refunded if GCR decides fully or partially in the buyer’s favour or if an agreement is entered into between the buyer and the contractor.

Step 3

Within 15 days following receipt of documents and payment, GCR will send a letter asking the contractor to take action. The contractor must inform GCR of the measures it intends to take to remedy the situation in the 15 days following receipt of the letter.

Step 4

Within 15 days after the expiry of the period granted to the contractor under paragraph 3, if the dispute has still not been resolved, GCR will carry out an inspection on the premises.

Step 5

Within 30 days following the inspection, GCR files a detailed written report stating that the matter has been settled. If the claim has not been settled, GCR decides whether the claim is admissible and orders, as applicable, the contractor to reimburse to the beneficiary the cost of necessary and urgent conservatory repairs and to complete or correct the work within the reasonable time.

Mediation and arbitration

If you disagree with GCR’s decision, you have 30 days following receipt of the conciliator / decision maker’s decision to submit your case to a mediator or arbitrator. If an attempt at mediation fails, you can submit your case to arbitration.

Under mediation, the two parties come to a meeting, in which an independent mediator will try to bring the parties together to reach an amicable agreement without the need for arbitration.

If the mediation process fails, you can move to arbitration. An arbitration agency that is fully independent from GCR, the contractor and the buyer will be appointed to hear the case. Arbitration is a formal process, though less formal in procedure than a civil court case. The arbitrator, who is usually a lawyer, acts as the decision maker. They analyze the ruling made by GCR’s conciliator / decision maker, and based on their analysis of the facts and applicable legislation, fully or partially upholds or overturns the ruling.

 

Mediation and arbitration expenses

Expenses for mediation are shared equally between participants. This is not the case for arbitration:

  • If the contractor is the claimant, expenses are shared equally between the contractor and GCR.
  • If the buyer is the claimant, expenses are covered by GCR, unless the arbitrator does not decide in favour of the consumer on any of the points of their claim, in which case the arbitrator uses their discretion to split the expenses.

To contact the Claims department

Tel : 514 657-2333, poste 179
Toll-free number : 1 855 657-2333, poste 179

Email : reclamation@garantiegcr.com

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