How do I claim my due for the work I have done on a residence for which the customer never paid me?

Did you know that according to JLR Solutions foncières[1], 10,822 legal hypothecs have been issued in 2014 ?

Architects, engineers, material suppliers, laborers, contractors or sub-contractors involved in the renovation or construction of a building have a legal hypothec on the building without the need to publish it. This hypothec exists « only in favour of the architect, engineer, supplier of materials, workman and contractor or subcontractor in proportion to the work requested by the owner of the immovable, or to the materials or services supplied or prepared by them for the work. It is not necessary to publish a legal hypothec for it to exist »[2]

This hypothec will exist until thirty (30) days of completion. To keep it, it will be required to publish a notice describing the immovable and indicating the amount of the claim before the expiration of thirty (30) days. The notice shall be served on the owner of the immovable.[3]

The legal hypothec published will shut down six (6) months after the end of the work unless the creditor publishes an action against the owner of the building or registered a notice of exercise of an hypothecary right.

The legal hypothec of construction guarantees the added value of the work, materials or services supplied to the building when you contract directly with the owner.

However, it is important to know that if you did not contract directly with the owner, the contract must be denounced to the latter by written notice. This way, you will benefit from a legal construction hypothec for work done, materials or services supplied after the denunciation.

Text written by Me Marie-Josée Gingras

[1] and

[2] Art. 2726 Quebec Civil Code

[3] Art. 2727 Quebec Civil Code