Input sought on proposed changes to legislation regulating conduct of home builders, vendors

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services will receive input until Apr. 29

Input sought on proposed changes to legislation regulating conduct of home builders, vendors

Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has launched a consultation process to seek input from the public on proposed changes to legislation regulating the conduct of builders and vendors of new homes across the province.

On Mar. 30, the ministry introduced Bill 109 or the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022, which includes proposed changes to the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017. These proposed changes aim to strengthen protections for buyers and owners of new homes and enhance the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) enforcement powers. This provincial government agency regulates and licenses entities that build and sell new homes in Ontario.

“The proposed legislative amendments to the Licensing Act will help ensure consumers and their financial investments are better protected when making one of the biggest purchases of their lives − a new home,” the ministry said.

In particular, the proposed changes will increase the maximum fine that the HRCA’s discipline committee may impose on licensed builders and vendors of new homes violating the Code of Ethics from $25,000 to $50,000 for individual licensees and up to $100,000 for non-individual licensees. This Code of Ethics requires a licensee to operate professionally with honesty, integrity, financial responsibility, and without intimidation or coercion.

The proposed changes will also authorize the discipline committee to impose an additional fine in an amount equal to the monetary benefit acquired by a licensee due to a breach of the Code of Ethics.

“The proposed legislative amendments are not expected to create a burden on the new home construction sector as builders and vendors should be adhering to the requirements and rules currently set out under the Licensing Act and its regulations,” the ministry said. “They are intended to deter future conduct issues and to give the HCRA the tools to better protect consumers.”

In addition, the proposed changes will increase the maximum administrative penalty from $10,000 to $25,000 and allow the assessor to impose an additional penalty in an amount equal to the monetary benefit acquired by a person in violation of the Licensing Act or its regulations.

The proposed changes will also authorize the court to impose an additional fine equal to the monetary benefit acquired by a person found guilty of a violation of the Licensing Act or its regulations.

The ministry will receive input until Apr. 29.

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