Tarion and City of Greater Sudbury Working Together to Prevent Illegal Building

Update (October 9, 2018): This page's content has been updated to include Tarion's new process for receiving compliance concerns.

​Sudbury, ON – Illegal building is a serious underground issue that affects consumers and builders alike. Today, Tarion VP Siloni Waraich and Joe Vaccaro, CEO of the Ontario Home Builders' Association, met with Guido Mazza, the City of Greater Sudbury's Chief Building Official and Louie Zagordo, Sudbury & District Home Builders' Association President, to discuss illegal building and Sudbury's ongoing efforts to prevent it.

"Illegal builders put homeowners at risk and are a problem in every community in Ontario, including here in Sudbury," said Waraich. "Builders who fail to follow the rules are more likely to build homes with serious defect and buyers typically aren't made aware of the warranty protection they are entitled to."

Under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, anyone in the province of Ontario who plans to build and/or sell a new home must be registered with Tarion and enrol the home in the warranty. One of the most common loopholes for illegal builders is to have homeowners take out their own permits as though they were building the home themselves. Since July 1, 2015, Tarion, in partnership with the Ontario Home Builders' Association and the Ontario Building Officials Association, has been running a pilot program to prevent illegal building activities disguised as owner built homes. 

Greater Sudbury was one of the first municipalities to join the pilot program.  Under the pilot, Tarion assumes responsibility for providing building departments with assurance that the home is a bona fide owner-build.  A permit is only issued once Tarion has provided that assurance via a letter of confirmation.

"Illegal builders put homeowners at risk, hurt the reputation of the building industry and harm the economy," said Vaccaro. "This is one of the ways we work together to protect home buyers and builders. It is a priority that concerns everyone in our industry."

"The City of Greater Sudbury is proud to be a part of this pilot program," said Mazza. "The City's role is to ensure new homes are safe and adhere to the Ontario Building Code. This program gives Greater Sudbury residents an extra level of protection by educating them about building their own homes and the potential risks associated with hiring an illegal builder."

In the past five years, Tarion's Enforcement Team has opened 51 investigations involving 85 homes in Sudbury. In September 2016, Tarion conducted a sweep of illegal building in the city, investigating 12 homes and laying 8 charges.

RED FLAGS

Homeowners should be suspicious of builders who say things like:

  • You don't need a Tarion warranty because I offer my own;
  • I could enrol the home in the warranty program, but it would cost you around $10,000 (home enrolment fees range from $385 - $1500);
  • I built the home for myself but decided to sell it instead;
  • You don't need a warranty if you leave my name off the building permit.

New home buyers can research a builder and confirm the registration of a builder in the Ontario Builder Directory.

If you suspect illegal building may be taking place, or have concerns related to builder conduct, please call Tarion's Compliance and Investigations team, toll-free, at 1-877-982-7466 ext. 3833. This number may also be used for inquiries regarding whether a specific home is enrolled and/or eligible for warranty coverage.

About Tarion

For more than 40 years, Tarion has been enhancing confidence in the new home buying experience. Tarion is a private, not-for-profit corporation that administers the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, and backstops the warranty coverage. We set the standards for builder licensing and after-sales service and step in when your builder cannot or will not fulfill their warranty obligations. Since 1976, Ontario's new home warranty program has registered close to two million homes and paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in warranty claims. Our mandate is to serve the public interest, and is what guides us every day.

About OHBA

The Ontario Home Builders' Association is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario representing 4,000 member companies organized into 29 local associations across the province. The industry contributes over $56 billion dollars to Ontario's economy, generating $19.8 billion in wages and employing more than 336,000 people across the province.

 

For more information, please contact:

Laurie Stephens, Senior Manager, Strategic Communications at (416) 229-3863 or laurie.stephens@tarion.com.

  

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