HCRA revokes licence from Pinetree Developments following inspection

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Pinetree Developments Inc. is no longer licensed to build or sell homes in Ontario, following an inspection by the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) and revocation of the company’s licence.

Acting on complaints from purchasers, the HCRA concluded Pinetree had unjustifiably raised the price of a home under construction – despite a signed contract – and then attempted to resell that same property at a higher price when the original purchaser refused the increase and launched litigation.

The company also falsified building permit applications, failed to enrol properties with Tarion as part of its warranty obligations, ignored City of Mississauga orders and repeatedly failed to respond to HCRA inspection letters and compliance orders, HCRA reported.

“Any one of these actions would be cause for concern. Together they show a company unfit for a licence,” says Wendy Moir, the HCRA’s chief executive officer and registrar. “Consumers must be protected from dishonest, unethical and unprofessional conduct, so the HCRA is revoking Pinetree’s licence to build and sell new homes.”

In December 2022, the HCRA started an inspection into Pinetree’s business operations, which uncovered the following:

  • Despite a binding agreement of purchase and sale (APS) on a Mississauga property, Pinetree sought to significantly increase the price.
  • Pinetree refused to close the transaction and, despite numerous extensions, construction is not complete. The HCRA cannot confirm the cause for the delays because Pinetree failed to produce documents and respond to the HCRA’s concerns despite a Compliance Order requiring them to do so.
  • After the purchaser refused to agree to the price increase, Pinetree listed the property for sale at a higher price on Realtor.com, despite the binding APS and a Certificate of Pending Litigation being registered.
  • In order to obtain building permits from the City of Mississauga, Pinetree falsely identified the name and credentials of another builder, without their knowledge.
  • Pinetree has started construction on or already built at least five homes without enrolling the homes with Tarion, as required by law.
  • The HCRA received a complaint from the City of Mississauga indicating that Pinetree began construction on a home before the city issued a building permit. Once the city discovered that Pinetree had done so, it issued an order to immediately stop construction. Pinetree did not. The city then issued a second order but Pinetree still continued to build.
  • Pinetree has never provided the HCRA with any documents or information to address the HCRA’s concerns.

“One of the standards for a licence is financial viability and responsibility,” Moir said. “Pinetree’s failure to produce relevant financial documents during the HCRA’s inspection created serious doubt about their ability to meet this standard.”

In 2018, the company was charged and convicted in Provincial court for illegally acting as a vendor of a new home. Patricia Perruzza, a principal, officer, and director for Pinetree, was also charged and convicted of two counts of illegally building and selling a new home, in relation to a previous licence held by Pinetree.

“Pinetree had the opportunity to appeal the HCRA’s formal notice that their licence would be revoked but did not do so,” Moir explains. “Under those circumstances, the licence revocation is automatic and immediate.”

The Home Construction Regulatory Authority, launched in, 2021 as Ontario’s newest regulator, is responsible for licensing the people and companies that build and sell new homes in the province. To receive and/or maintain a licence, builders and vendors must demonstrate that they have the right technical skills to build homes, the financial capacity to run a homebuilding operation and will adhere to the province’s Code of Ethics.



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