Toronto, ON, February 23, 2016 – Cambridge Homes Inc., of St. Catharines, Ontario was recently fined $50,000 plus victim fine surcharges in the St. Catharine’s Provincial Offences Court for illegally building eight new townhomes.
In July 2015, a new home buyer contacted Tarion regarding a delay in the completion of her new home. A search of Tarion’s permit database revealed eight permits to construct new townhomes had been issued in January 2015, but none had been enrolled in the warranty program prior to construction. The builder was also no longer registered with Tarion.
Once notified by Tarion of the offense, the builder then attempted to register but was refused. Tarion’s registration process ensures builders have the technical competence and financial means to build new homes. The builder had previously been registered, but had numerous financial and after-sales customer service issues. Tarion did not have confidence in the builder’s capabilities to fulfil his warranty obligations, and refused his registration.
Speaking after the January 22, 2016 decision, Tarion’s Director of Enforcement Dave Roberts noted, “As a builder who was formerly registered with Tarion, he is well aware of the regulations in place. This builder knowingly chose to break the law, and put these homeowners at risk by building without registration and failing to enroll the home in the warranty program.”
Under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (“the Act”) home builders are required to register as a builder and enrol every new home with Tarion before construction. Tarion protects the rights of new home buyers by regulating new home builders and administering and guaranteeing the province’s new home warranty program. Part of Tarion’s mandate is to find and prosecute illegal builders. In 2015, the efforts of Tarion’s enforcement team led to 105 convictions and $334,000 in fines.
“By refusing to register this builder, Tarion hopes to diminish the damage he can cause to future new home buyers. It is essential for all new home buyers to check the Ontario Builder Directory on Tarion.com to make sure you are working with a registered builder before you sign a contract,” adds Roberts.
Cambridge Homes Inc. was convicted on Section 12 of the Act, failing to enroll the homes with Tarion as required by law.
Illegal building can be anonymously reported by calling Tarion at 1-800-786-6497, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. New home buyers are also encouraged to visit the Ontario Builder Directory on Tarion’s website to confirm that their builder is registered.
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