The goods you buy to complete renovation work are covered by warranties provided by the law. These warranties apply automatically without charge.

Among these warranties are :

  • the use warranty;
  • the reasonable lifetime warranty;
  • the warranty against hidden defects.

Warranties provided by the law: your rights

Legal warranties allow you to expect that the goods you are buying :

  • will serve the purpose for which they were bought;
  • will have a reasonable lifetime, given the price paid, the contract, and the conditions of use;
  • will not contain hidden defects––that is, important defects that were present before the sale, but that were not mentioned to you and that you could not have noticed, even if you were observant;
  • will conform to the description written in the contract and the advertising, and to the merchant’s statements.

A warranty could apply, for example, if a contractor installed cabinets in your kitchen and the paint or stain on the cabinets end up fading or flaking prematurely.

What is a “reasonable lifetime”?

The reasonable lifetime warranty provides that a product must serve for normal use for a reasonable period of time. However, the law does not provide, for example, that kitchen cabinets must have a lifetime of 20 years. Why? Because several factors must be taken into account to determine the reasonable lifetime of products. Those factors include the price paid, the contract's details, and the conditions of use. Thus, $10,000 worth of kitchen cabinets cannot be expected to last as long as would other cabinets with the same features but that cost $25,000.

In short, it’s a question of facts and common sense.

How to assert your rights

If the product you had installed cannot serve its purpose, inform the merchant (and manufacturer, if applicable) of the problem. They will need to :

  • repair the materials or have it repaired without charge;
  • exchange it;
  • refund your money.

You may also have suffered damages from using a defective product. If that is the case, the merchant may also have to compensate you.

Information package

If the merchant or manufacturer refuses to honour a warranty, request our information package. In it, you will find information that will guide you through :

  • the negotiation process with a merchant or manufacturer;
  • the drafting of a formal notice;
  • the presentation of a claim to the small claims court.

View the Download an information kit on a reasonable length of time for goods page.

To support your claim, you may need the advice of an independent expert, especially if your case if to be heard in court. This expert must be able to estimate whether the product did serve for a reasonable lifetime or not, or included a hidden defect. In small claims court, an expert can generally testify in writing using a Statement in lieu of testimony.

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Last update : November 24, 2017

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.