The Alberta government is considering a new licensing standard for any homebuilder operating in the province.
Other than municipal or regional business’ licences and permits, there are no qualification standards to be a homebuilder in Alberta.
Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson says he’s studying whether or not to change that to protect consumers.
“A lot of people from around the province have sent us concerns and questions, especially during the boom times when people come in and build houses and don’t have licensing,” he said. “They make numbered companies or shell companies and build a house and then they’re gone.”
An online homebuilder licensing survey is asking for consumer and industry input on the need to regulate, construction safety, work quality, timeliness, value and financial or home warranty protection.
The survey is open until March 14.
The homebuilding industry supports a set of standards to set a level of professionalism province-wide.
“It’s really around standing behind your work and having that assurance that somebody is going to be there for you a year or two after you’ve moved into your home,” said Allan Klassen, the Chair of the Calgary Region for homebuilders, BILD. “The quality is an issue or a concern, but I don’t see that as much of a concern as really having guys and companies standing behind their work long-term.”
The idea for a licensing program was tested last June in Fort McMurray.
Builders were required to join a homebuyer registry and declare their qualifications and business history so consumers could have more information before choosing a builder.