An electrician or a plumber could ask for a down payment to be made before the work begins. Here are tips on how to make your payments.

The law does not detail how contracting work should be paid for. If possible, do not provide a down payment to a contractor, or pay only a very small sum. Some consumers have lost money after a company closed its doors, for example.

Paying for the work in installments

If the electric or plumbing work is to be done over several weeks or months, you should reach an agreement with the contractor to pay in installments, following the progress of the work. You could, for example, retain a last payment (representing 10 to 15 % of the total project costs) until the work is completely done. This will ensure the work will be entirely done and finished to your satisfaction.

Making a payment over 2 months before the start of the work

If the electrician or plumber requests a payment to be made over 2 months in advance :

  • check whether they have a trust account;
  • write down the check payable to “[name of the merchant] in trust.”

A trust account will protect you in case the company goes bankrupt or closes its doors. The amounts deposited in such an account could serve as damages if something happens.

Some merchants are exempt from having to have this type of account. Refer to our tool Getting informed about a merchant to know whether the contractor you hire benefits from such an exemption.

Knowing the rules if a contract is concluded by phone or online

If you concluded a contract by phone or online, the contractor is allowed to request or accept a payment before the work starts under only one condition: if you pay by credit card.

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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.