What is considered the End of Work in real estate projects?
How does the Quebec law qualify the “end of work”?
What should you know?
In this article, we will break down the legal definition of End of Work so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
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What Does The End of Work Mean
The end of work is an important notion in Quebec law as it may have an impact on matters such as:
- Conformity of work with plans
- Request for additional work
- Abandonment of project
- Suspension of work
- Resiliation of the contract
- Registration of legal hypothecs
A project is considered to be “completed” when the work agreed by the parties is executed and it can be used as it was designed to.
For instance, when the parties to a construction contract or new residential property construction have agreed on a plan, the work will be completed when the deliverables are in accordance with the plan.
End of Work Legal Definition
Article 2110 of the Civil Code of Quebec provides the legal foundation for ‘the end of work’ stating:
Work is completed when the work has been produced and is ready to be used for its intended purpose
In essence, according to the Civil Code, work is completed when the work “has been produced” and “is ready to be used for its intended purpose”.
In other words, a project will be considered as completed when the deliverables have been executed and the work product can be used as it was originally planned.
However, the actual date a particular project is considered completed will depend on the circumstances of the case.
Work Established By Contract
Considering a large body of disputes arising between contracting parties relating to the work the be completed and end of work, the Quebec courts have interpreted the notion to provide further clarity to the terms of the Civil Code.
According to the courts, when the work has been contractually determined using plans and specifications, the service provider or contractor is obligated to complete the work as stated in the contract.
Even minor deviations from the plan will not result at the end of the work.
On the other hand, if the work has been done but done poorly, it will not push out the end of the project date.
However, if the parties do not state the nature of the work to be performed, do not have plans, specifications, or scoped the work, the general terms of the Civil Code will be used by the court to determine if the work was finished or not.
In other words, the courts will assess the case to see if the work has been completed and can be used as it was intended.
Work Completion Date (“Date de fin des travaux”)
When referring to the work completion date (or “finish date”), we must bear in mind that we are referring to one single date for any project, no matter the complexity and how many stakeholders are involved.
For example, if a general contractor is mandated by a client to build a new residential property, there can only be one date when the work is completed for this project regardless of the fact that many subcontractors were involved and each of them started and ended their work on different dates.
Here are some factual signs a court may consider to conclude that a project was completed or not:
- Did an architect issue an end of work certificate
- The issuance of a final statement of account
- A bankruptcy trustee deciding to abandon work
- The absence of workers on the project site
The date when a project is completed is quite significant as it marks the beginning of the time period allotted to subcontractors and other stakeholders who have worked on a project to register a legal hypothec against the property.
The end of work date is also important with regards to any claims regarding apparent defects or poor workmanship.
A project can be considered as completed when corrective work may need to be done on the already executed work or final configurations are performed.
Suspension of Work
Could the suspension of work mean the end of the work or project under the Civil Code of Quebec?
There are no cookie-cutter answers here as the court will need to assess the circumstances of the case to determine if the work was completed at a certain point in time or not.
Generally speaking, in certain cases, the suspension of work does not necessarily mean the end of work on that project.
However, in other cases, the abandonment of work can lead the court to conclude that the work has been completed.
Furthermore, if a client occupies property or takes possession of a property, it does not necessarily mean that the work is finished either but can represent an important factual element for the court to consider.
Project Finish Date Takeaways
So what is the legal definition of End of Work?
How does the Civil Code in Quebec define the end of a project or work?
If you are dealing with a legal matter that involves a project and the need to determine the end of the work for the exercise of your rights, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer, construction lawyer, or civil lawyer familiar with these concepts.
It may be worth consulting with an attorney sooner than later to ensure your rights are protected.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
End of Work Meaning In Quebec Law
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