Code of Ethics for New Home Builders and Vendors
The arrival of the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA), established under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 (NHCLA) has brought about many changes impacting new home builders and vendors in Ontario.
Most recently, on July 1, 2021, regulations under the NHCLA came into effect introducing a Code of Ethics to new home builders and vendors and further establishing a Discipline Committee and an Appeals Committee to oversee complaints about Code violations.
The Code is comprised of 20 principles which builders and vendors of new homes are required to abide by. Among these requirements, builders and vendors are expected to:
- Treat people honestly and with integrity;
- Not engage in discrimination, harassment or bullying;
- Provide reasonable accommodations to those with disabilities;
- Protect the health and safety of the public;
- Ensure financial responsibility in the conduct of business;
- Not engage in disgraceful, dishonorable, unprofessional, unbecoming conduct or act in a manner which may bring the industry into disrepute;
- Not intimidate, coerce or subject any person to undue pressure; and
- Not provide false, misleading or deceptive information or documents.
It is important to note that ongoing compliance with the Code is not only mandatory but will also be assessed by the HCRA when reviewing a builder’s or vendor’s initial licensing application and/or renewal application.
If a complaint concerning a licensee’s breach of the Code is received by the HCRA, the matter may be dealt with by the registrar at the licensing stage (which can include issuing a notice of proposal to suspend or revoke a license, or to apply conditions to a license) or may be referred to the Discipline Committee for adjudication. The Discipline Committee may decide on the matter and may order a licensee to:
- Take further educational courses;
- Fund educational courses for persons that the licensee employs or to arrange and fund the courses;
- Impose a fine up to a maximum of $25,000 to be paid to the regulatory authority;
- Suspend or postpone the taking of further educational courses, the funding or the arranging of educational courses or the imposition of the fine for the period and upon the terms the committee designates; or
- Fix and impose costs that the licensee is required to pay to the Home Construction Regulatory Authority.
The decision and/or order of the Discipline Committee may be appealed to the Appeals Committee. More important updates on these changes will be communicated as new information becomes available. If you have any questions with respect to the new Code of Ethics to new home builders and vendors, please contact the Real Estate Group at Merovitz Potechin LLP at 613-563-7544.
The content on this website is for information purposes only and is not legal advice, which cannot be given without knowing the facts of a specific situation. You should never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. The use of the website does not establish a solicitor and client relationship. If you would like to discuss your specific legal needs with us, please contact our office at 613-563-7544 and one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you.