The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (“HCRA”) is responsible for regulating new home builders and vendors in Ontario.
The HCRA has the authority to request information from builders or vendors under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 (“NHCLA”). The HCRA may need to gather information under various circumstances, including if they are investigating a complaint made against a builder or vendor or if they are processing a new application.
Licensees are obliged to provide the requested information to the HCRA (NHCLA, s. 56(3)). Failure to respond to the request could result in administrative or legal enforcement action, including:
- Refusing to renew a licence;
- Placing conditions on a licence;
- Revoking or suspending a licence;
- Commencing a disciplinary proceeding;
- Issuing a compliance order; and/or
- Issuing charges under the Provincial Offences Act.
Similarly, if an applicant fails to respond to a request from the HCRA, the application might not be processed.
Below are tips for responding to the HCRA:
- Licensees have an obligation to respond to the HCRA’s requests as soon as reasonably possible.
- If you need time to collect the requested information, let the HCRA know. Do not avoid the HCRA’s emails or telephone calls.
- Use the opportunity to ask the HCRA questions to understand the reasons for their request.
- It is preferable to communicate in writing to keep a clear record of the exchange.
- Anything you say during the investigation may be used against you if the HCRA decides to prosecute you.
- Most importantly, use this opportunity to provide your side of the story. Consider hiring a lawyer to help you put together your document in a manner that tells a compelling story.
Contact me for assistance
Provincial regulatory bodies or professionals with questions about the proposed legislation and its impact on their work can contact me at Jillian M. Siskind & Associates for more information or guidance. Our firm has the trust and respect of a broad network of regulators and we want to help professionals find the legal solutions that work best for them.
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