The HCRA releases new licensing fees and conduct guidelines

The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) has posted new licensing fees along with guidelines for builder conduct and consumer complaints, which will take effect on February 1, 2021.

The HCRA will be designated by the Ontario government as the regulatory authority under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 to assume responsibility for regulating and licensing the people and companies who build and sell new homes in Ontario.

“The HCRA will enforce high professional standards for competence and conduct in the homebuilding industry, giving new home buyers confidence in one of the biggest purchases of their lives,” said Tim Hadwen, Interim CEO of the HCRA. “We will also ensure consistency across the sector, curtailing unethical and illegal builders and maintaining a fair marketplace.”

Licensing fees will cover all costs for the HCRA to oversee a new modern licensing regime for builders and protect consumers when making the biggest purchase of their lives – a new home. A new Regulatory Oversight Fee – a flat fee paid on a per-home basis – will enable the HCRA to continue monitoring licensed builders and vendors, identify and take action against illegal and unethical builders, manage the complaints process for consumers, provide educational materials, and maintain the Ontario Builder Directory as the official source of background information about Ontario’s more than 5,000 home builders and vendors.

In developing the new fee structure, the HCRA endeavoured to keep costs to builders and vendors from rising significantly, with any increases offset by the benefits of a more active and modern regulator improving the sector.

Guidelines posted on the HCRA’s website include: Guide to Good Conduct for Builder/Vendors – setting out the behaviour expected of all new home builders, acting with honesty and integrity, and Consumer Complaints Guideline – explaining a streamlined complaints process.

At launch, the HCRA will take over the licensing function from Tarion Warranty Corporation. Tarion will continue to deliver Ontario’s new home warranty and protection program, backstopping the coverage provided by builders to purchasers of new homes.

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