A Peterborough-area builder has been convicted of illegal building following an investigation by the province’s homebuyer protection agency.
According to a release from Tarion, Kings Custom Homes Inc. and its owner, Corey Savary, have been convicted of illegal building for failing to enrol a home in Douro-Dummer Township, just east of Peterborough.
Tarion says Savary and his Omemee, Ont.-based company were fined $76,625 by the Ontario Court of Justice on Oct. 25 following a trial.
WATCH: 31 convictions in cases of illegal home building over the last 5 years in the Peterborough area
The conviction came following an investigation by Tarion in January 2017 following a complaint from a realtor regarding a home which was listed for sale. Tarion says the purchaser made $40,000 in deposits but the home was not enrolled in the new home warranty program. Tarion regulates new home builders and administers the province’s new home warranty program.
“This was a red flag for us and once we dug deeper, we discovered Kings Custom Homes had collected deposits for 29 new homes in the surrounding area,” stated Tanya Gibson, Tarion’s director of compliance and investigations on Wednesday.
“Construction hadn’t started on any of these homes nor were there any building permits issued.”
The investigation revealed that Kings Custom Homes Inc. had collected more than $1.1 million in deposits after entering into 29 agreements of purchase and sale for homes that were never built.
A CTV story a year ago revealed some of the deposits were allegedly made for homes planned in Bethany, just south of Peterborough.
Tarion says under the Ontario New Home Warranties Act, each purchaser was eligible for a maximum of $40,000 in deposit protection. Tarion has subsequently paid out $360,000 in deposit claims to date.
In March 2018, Tarion revoked the registration of Kings Custom Homes Inc, which means the company and Savary are no longer allowed to build new homes in Ontario.
“This is an example of how leads from the public – coupled with the co-operation of municipal building officials – can result in successful convictions of illegal builders,” said Gibson.
“The good news is that this builder can no longer build, but unfortunately the purchasers didn’t end up with what they truly wanted – their new homes.”
Gibson says if consumers suspect their home has been built illegally, they can contact Tarion at 1-877-982-7466 ext. 3833, or by email at email@example.com.