The Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings

The Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings

Most people would love to build their dream home, but often this once-in-a-lifetime project can quickly become a nightmare; plagued by missed deadlines, overlooked faults, serious underlying problems, and so on. This is why, when you buy a new home in Quebec, you are protected by the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings.

What is the Guarantee Plan?

The Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings protects the buyers of newly built properties (that are covered by this plan).

How does it work? First, you need to find contractor who has the correct subclass of licence (a 1.1.1 or 1.1.2). Their licence must be registered with the Régie du bâtiment (RBQ), which you can verify online with the Registre des détenteurs de licence (Licence Registry). The contractor must also be accredited by the Garantie de construction résidentielle (GCR), who are the administrators for the building plans. To obtain this information, visit the accredited business directory.

The following types of housing are covered:

  • Single-family homes; including detached, semi-detached, and row-type housing.
  • Duplexes, triplexes, quadruplexes, and quintuplexes.
  • Co-ownership of stacked units (of four or fewer).
  • Prefabricated homes (depending on the contract).

Beware! If your house is built by a contractor without the appropriate accreditation, you run the risk of being liable for the potentially disastrous consequences of construction flaws or defects! As a result, the integrity of your new home could be compromised.

The reason for the Guarantee Plan is to ensure that contractors meet the legal and contractual obligations laid out in the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings.

Payments of $50,000 or Less

Although it is not strictly required, contractors sometimes request a deposit before starting a project. This demonstrates that you are serious about the project but, although a common practice, it is not a legal requirement in Quebec.

That being said, the Guarantee Plan only covers up to a maximum of $50,000 in payments paid to contractors for a new build. Therefore, if you decide to make a deposit payment, and want to protect your investment, limit your payments to this amount.

The benefit of choosing a contractor accredited by the GCR is that you can rest assured that you have options for recourse under the Regulation Respecting the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings in the event of litigation with the contractor (if construction flaws or defects are discovered at a later date).

Choosing an accredited contractor will give you not just peace of mind, but also the protection and recourse necessary to recuperate losses in the event of construction flaws or defects.

It is guaranteed! 

Flaw or Poor Workmanship? Remember these Deadlines

Beware that the length of time that you are covered can vary depending on the type of flaws or mistakes that are discovered.

Unfinished work and obvious defects and flaws must be reported immediately when building is handed over (within three days), before moving in. Any problems discovered after three days are subject to varying prescribed timeframes and are subject to making a claim; as a general rule, as long as you report issues to the contractor in a timely fashion, and are aware of the coverage periods for various types of protections, you should be covered.

Remember these general guidelines coverage periods:

  • 3 days after building handoff (if you have not yet moved in) for obvious flaws and defects
  • 1 year after building handoff for existing, non-obvious defects
  • 3 years after building handoff for hidden defects
  • 5 years after the end of work for design and construction defects or dissatisfactory quality of the foundation

If you encounter one of these issues, start by reporting the defects or poor workmanship to the contractor and send a copy of the report to administration. If the contractor does not act on the issues, submit a claim to the GCR.

The Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings provides a framework to help make your dream home a reality, instead of a nightmare.

Before starting your housing project, learn more about the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings

Régie du bâtiment du Québec

By Régie du bâtiment du Québec

By Régie du bâtiment du Québec

The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) is a Quebec government agency under the parliamentary responsibility of the Ministry of Labour.