Ontario’s home construction regulator takes action against two home builders for illegal sales

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 Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) has taken action against two home builders for selling new homes illegally and unethically.

“In one case, several new homes were being sold without a licence — which is illegal. In the other, there was a failure to conduct business with honesty, integrity and in accordance with the law,” says Wendy Moir, the HCRA’s Chief Executive Officer and Registrar.

The HCRA investigated Christopher Lamb and his former company Novel Condominiums, also known as 1970175 Ontario Inc., and found they had sold 26 homes illegally. The lawyer representing the company says the business reached a negotiated settlement, resulting in a fine of $26 ($1 per home) plus a victim impact surcharge.

Lamb was given a $150,000 fine, the HCRA says in an April 24 statement.

“He consented to the voluntary cancellation of his company’s licence for a fixed period of time,” his lawyer Michael Doyle of Siskind Doyle wrote in an email to Ontario Construction News on Friday (May 3). “It is more akin to a suspension, in that he is explicitly able to apply for renewal and reinstatement on a set date.”

In another case, Hira Custom Homes Inc. of Cambridge was also denied a licence.

The HCRA said that Hira Custom Homes tried to sell homes that were already under an agreement of purchase and sale, which is illegal. The company also increased the prices unjustifiably, did not comply with the conditions of its licence, and provided false information to both the purchasers and the HCRA.

“Both cases reinforce the importance of new home buyers making an informed decision by checking the Ontario Builder Directory to learn about a builder before doing business with them,” Moir says.

The Ontario Builder Directory, which is maintained by the HCRA, provides information about companies, including their licensing status, directors, and officers, as well as their conduct history with the regulator. The HCRA said that anyone who wants to sell new homes in Ontario must be licensed by the HCRA and meet their professional standards and expectations.

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