- Régie du bâtiment du Québec (Québec Building Board) : Régie du bâtiment du Québec (Québec Building Board)
Definition : Régie du bâtiment du Québec (Québec Building Board)
Government agency who is responsible for enforcing the Building Act. With the aim of protecting the public, the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) contributes to the quality and safety of buildings and facilities. It also sees to the professional qualification of construction contractors and owner-builders, as well as to ensure their probity. Its areas of intervention are building, electricity, plumbing, gas, petroleum equipment, pressure installations, elevators and other lifting devices, ski lifts, games and rides, bathing areas and energy efficiency. To fulfill its mandate, the RBQ:
- adopts, by regulation, standards of construction, safety, professional qualification and financial guarantees;
- issues licences conferring rights of practice on construction contractors and owner-builders.
In 1999, the Government of Quebec introduced a Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings to protect the owners of new homes and certain condominiums. This regulation, prepared in the wake of the government guidelines proposed at the Summit on the Construction Industry in Quebec in the fall of 1993, was intended to respond to consumers' concerns about the too often dubious quality of construction in the residential sector and the many frustrations they experienced while trying to assert their rights. The implementation of this regulation is the responsibility of the the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). Its mandatory nature distinguishes it from optional guarantee plan offered on the market.
A look at the different facets of this new home warranty plan:
Until December 31, 2014, the mandatory warranty plan was administered by various organizations associated with the builders' associations, namely The APCHQ's New Home Warranty, The Abritât Guarantee Inc. and Qualité Habitation. In order to eliminate any appearance of conflict of interest, the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings has been amended. Thus, the government constituted a regulatory framework allowing the creation of a new single joint body in this area, which would be made up, in part, of as many consumer representatives as manufacturers.
Le conseil de base en construction: s'assurer que l'entrepreneur qui sera retenu soit titulaire d'une licence de la Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). Rappelons que quiconque exécute des travaux de construction ou en fait exécuter doit être titulaire d’une telle licence, à moins d’en être exempté par la Loi sur le bâtiment. Or, ce conseil est-il toujours gage de qualité? En guise de lancement de la 27e saison de l’émission La facture présentée sur les ondes d’ICI Radio-Canada, le sujet a été abordé. Il était notamment question de la licence accordée par la Régie du bâtiment du Québec aux entrepreneurs en construction ainsi que de la surveillance des travaux dans la province de Québec.
Notre syndicat de copropriétaires doit, sous peu, faire entreprendre des travaux de réfection de la dalle de garage de l'immeuble. En tant qu'administrateur, nous avons consulté un ingénieur pour que ce dernier élabore un devis. Nous sommes rendu à l'étape de faire entreprendre exécuter les travaux. Compte tenu de l'importance des coûts, nous questionnons sur le choix de l'entrepreneur. Question: Comment choisir le bon entrepreneur?
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In compliance with its legal obligations to preserve the building, a syndicate of co-owners is frequently called upon to retain the services of contractors over the years to carry out, among other things, conversion work in the common portions. In this regard, the directors forming the board of directors of the syndicate have the obligation to act with prudence, honesty and loyalty and in the interest of the community of co-owners, in accordance with Article 322 of the Civil Code of Québec, when awarding a construction contract to one or more contractors.
With this in mind, can directors contract with a contractor who offers the syndicate a competitive price in return for a cash payment "under the table", i.e., without paying or remitting the taxes usually payable?
Every syndicate of co-owners has obligations regarding common portions maintenance. Article 1039 of the Civil Code of Québec provides that "Upon the publication of the declaration of co-ownership, the co-owners as a body constitute a legal person, the objects of which are the preservation of the immovable, the maintenance and administration of the common portions, the protection of the rights appurtenant to the immovable or the co-ownership, as well as all business in the common interest”.
However, this section was amended following the adoption of Bill 16. At the end of the first paragraph, referring to the syndicate of co-ownership, it reads the following sentence: "The legal person must, in particular, see to it that the work necessary for the preservation and maintenance of the immovable is carried out."
In the event that the latter fails to maintain and preserve the immovable, the syndicate may incur civil liability. This means that it is bound to have the necessary work carried out to prevent deterioration of the common portions of the immovable. The declaration of co-ownership and other legal provisions impose this obligation.
Over time, there is several maintenance or improvement work that require the Syndicate to access Private Portions, and even sometimes, work to be executed inside Private Portions.
In order that such crucial work for the Syndicate of co-owners not be obstructed, Article 1066 of the Civil Code of Québec provides that no co-owner may interfere with the carrying-out, even inside its private portion, of work required for the preservation of the immovable, decided upon by the Syndicate or urgent work.
This obligation to allow said work is opposable not only to co-owners but also to occupants and tenants.
Many co-ownerships have elevators because they are built vertically. Occupants who live there, especially those who are elderly or have reduced mobility, expect them to be in continuous operation. The syndicates of co-owners concerned are thus required to guarantee that the lifts are brought up to standard. Elevators must be kept in good working order, safety work must be carried out and the technical inspection of the elevator must be carried out according to the requirements of the Safety Code. If they are out of order, it could be the cause of serious inconvenience to the occupants, and the syndicate’s liability could be invoked.
The façades of a building not only ensure its watertightness, they alare also a main component of its appearance. In addition to protecting the occupants from the elements, the façades have an identity and style. It is therefore essential to ensure their structural and architectural integrity, if major work needs to be carried out to repair or replace them. More specifically, the main façades of a building, whose history and conceptual integrity require meticulous interventions. Whether it is on a stand alone building, a co-ownership by phases or on townhouses. This is especially true in co-ownerships, where respecting the specific intention of the architect who designed the building is essential.
In addition, some façades are subject to the Building Chapter of the Safety Code (BCSC), adopted in 2013 by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). They must be inspected at fixed intervals and, if necessary, corrective work must be carried out to keep them safe. A review of the components that make up the envelope of a building, and which require special attention.
Real estate developers who are not the holders of the appropriate license for the construction of the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec may have a legal existence, be listed in the yellow pages and advertise in newspapers or on the Web. However, before signing a preliminary contract for the purchase of an apartment in a new construction, make sure that the chosen developer is accredited by Garantie de construction residentialielle (GCR) and holder of the sub-category of a license from from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), depending on the type of buildings (house or condo) you want to acquire.
A co-owner has carried out by himself work on his terrace (common portion for restricted use). Since then, the roof leaks.
Question : Who must pay to repair the damage?
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The Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings differs from the private guarantee plans offered on the market by the nature of the guarantees offered and the mechanisms for asserting its rights. In this regard, the terms and conditions are set out in the the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings, which is the responsibility of the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). Finally, unlike private guarantee plans, any purchaser of a building covered by this plan automatically benefits from it. As this is a system aimed at the minimum protection of consumers'rights, consumers cannot waive this mandatory guarantee, even if they sign a document to that effect.
When purchasing a new recently built condo or buying “off plan”, you will be compelled to sign a preliminary contract with the vendor (developer or builder).
Before signing this contract you should insist that it provides a condition giving you the opportunity to carry out a due diligence to obtain all the relevant information you will need to make a rational decision. .Even in this day and age only a handful of consumers go through the trouble of following the steps crucial to a purchase in full knowledge of the facts and of the legal concepts allowing them to exercise, as needed, their withdrawal right. Keep in mind that neglecting such precautions could, eventually, lead to a major conflict with your vendor.
When you buy in a newly built divided co-ownership, a portion of the fractions of the building (apartment, parking or storage space, etc.), or even all, can be the subject of a notice of legal hypothec of construction. The Civil Code of Quebec introduced this hypothec in order to protect the persons who participated in its construction or renovation (architect, engineer, supplier of materials, workman, contractor or subcontractor) so that they can be reimbursed for work and services carried out on an immovable.
As a buyer, will you be required to pay the developer's debts if it defaults on its construction creditors? If so, will the amounts claimed be distributed among all co-owners? And what will happen if they refuse to pay?
The law provides specific provisions, to protect syndicates of co-owners against defective work (article 1081 of the Civil Code of Quebec). The legislator aims to alleviate apparent deficiencies at the end of a project. Regarding work in common portions, the syndicate has several legal warranties. Among these are the warranties for poor workmanship, for hidden defects and for the loss of the work. These rights are worth their weight in gold, since more often than not the cost of work in co-ownerships is very high.
In addition to the legal warranties, which apply in any case, in accordance with the conditions that govern them, the contractual liability of the contractor may also be invoked, under the legal contractual regime. The contractor may also offer additional guarantees.