Buying a new home is a dream for many, but for some in Laval, Que., the dream appears to have been shattered.
“He broke our dreams, I swear,” said homebuyer Mohammad Hori.
Hori is just one of more than one hundred families who allege that they have lost tens of thousands of dollars each to developer Bel-Habitat for the construction of homes in Laval.
Hori’s saga began in 2020 when he first met with the owner Luc Perrier.
“I told him I will give you $100,000 now,” Hori told Global News. Perrier promised a discount if a large deposit was made, Hori alleges.
The homebuyer says he got a 60 per cent discount, lowering the cost of the new home to $610,000. But he says after several months of delays and excuses, the company stopped returning his calls.
Lisa Alahaydoyan said she and her family had a similar experience. She alleges that earlier this year they were enticed to make a large deposit on a home.
“They promised a discount,” Alahaydoyan claimed, “so the higher amount you give, the more discount they give you.”
She said their family deposited $160,000 and were told they would get a $39,000 credit on the million-dollar home. However, like Hori, she said there were multiple delays in construction. She and her partner became suspicious and started asking questions.
“The mortgage broker got back to us and had to tell us that unfortunately, the day before, they had filed for bankruptcy,” she explained.
Now the families are wondering if they’ll get their deposits back.
Global News’ attempts to contact the developer were redirected to a bankruptcy agent.
In a press release, the Residential Construction Guarantee (GCR) which administers the guarantee plan for new residential buildings wrote, “As soon as information about the company’s bankruptcy was brought to the attention of GCR, its accreditation was immediately withdrawn. The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) has also withdrawn its license. More than a hundred consumers could be affected.”
L’Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation du Québec (l’APCHQ) warns that single-family home buyers have a warranty protection limit of just $50,000.
“Of course you can give more deposit if you want to,” François Bernier, senior vice-president of public affairs for l’APCHQ explained. “But you have to be conscious that there’s no protection after this amount.”
The GCR says they will support the families and that they have filed a complaint with Laval police against Bel-Habitat over the matter. Laval police confirm that a file has been opened on the issue.