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Using Municipal Building Permit Information to Identify Illegal Building

Illegal building affects everyone in the new home industry. Consumers may not find out about the warranty coverage  they are entitled to, illegal builders may use sub-standard trades, and homes may not even meet Ontario Building Code standards.

The Good Government Act, 2009 and specifically a change to O.Reg. 503/09 was passed in December 2009. This change made it mandatory for municipalities to provide information about building permits and applications to Tarion.

This applies to any building whose proposed use is classified as a Group C major occupancy and which is not  a boarding, lodging or rooming house, or a building containing a hotel. Information on all permits issued on or after January 1, 2011, regardless of when the permit was applied for, must be sent to Tarion. Municipalities will have 45 days  after a permit has been issued to provide the prescribed information to Tarion.  More information pertaining to the specific legislative requirements can be found on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's website .

On February 1, 2021, the Home Construction Regulatory Authority became the regulator of the new home building industry. As part of its mandate, the HCRA will:

  • Regulate and license new home builders and vendors
  • Enforce high professional standards in competency
  • Handle home buyer concerns about the conduct of their builder or vendor
  • Manage the Ontario Builder Directory 

As the new regulator, the HCRA will review complaints and investigate potential illegal building. In order to facilitate the HCRA’s investigations, Tarion will share building permit information provided by municipalities.

Submitting Building Permit Information to Tarion

Municipalities will be able to submit information in three ways: electronically, by fax or by mail.

Electronic Submissions

Tarion is developing a software application to allow municipalities to easily upload builder  permit information directly to Tarion. The Municipality Building Permit Submission Overview v.4.0 provides all the information necessary to enable that process, including acceptable file formats and internal software requirements.
 
The instructional information in this document is highly technical and meant as a guide for the IT staff tasked with  constructing the XML or flat file output for electronic transmission to Tarion.

New information for IT Staff: Key Websites
Faxed Submissions

Fax paper submissions to 1-800-668-7504 with a cover sheet indicating the sender's name and contact information, the number of permits involved, and the total number of pages in the fax. Permits must include the following information (as per this Sample Building Permit CSV format v.3.0):

  • Street name of location for which the permit is granted 
  • Muncipality in which the construction will occur 
  • Applicant's first and last name
  • Applicant's address (street number, street name, city, province and postal code)
  • Applicant's answer to the question, "is the proposed construction for a new home as defined in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act?"
  • Applicant's answer to the question, "is registration required under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act?"
  • The date the permit was signed/submitted
Mailed Submissions

Mail paper submissions to: Tarion, 5160 Yonge St., 12th Floor, Toronto, ON,  M2N 6L9. Permits must include the same information as listed above in Faxed Submissions.

How to Report Illegal Building

If you suspect illegal building may be taking place, or have concerns related to builder conduct, please visit the HCRA’s website and follow their complaints process. For further information, you can email info@hcraontario.ca  or call 416-487-4272.
 

  

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