Today’s blog really is “the lull before the storm” in the disappointing saga our efforts to buy pre-sale!
I mentioned in an early blog that I’ve pretty much given up on pre-construction condos in Condoland and bought a detached (but still partially condo “POTL“) pre-construction four bedroom home in Oakville, right by the lake.
In my most recent correspondence to this cowboy “builder“, (and I use the word builder with a great deal of liberalism as this guy couldn’t build a reputation let alone a house!) I had to tell him that “I owe him a debt of gratitude on behalf of my hundreds of thousands of readers” for giving such ‘content rich‘ and meaningful real life builder conduct to write about.
I’ve spoken with some of my “to-be” new neighbours, all of whom are very dissatisfied with this guy for repeatedly have proven himself a liar to them!
How can it be that a builder can enter into a contract with a consumer, lie to them repeatedly, fail to meet specific requirements under their agreement, yet still be able to “force the consumer to accept occupancy while living in a full on construction zone“.
I have been extremely impressed with the rigid oversight that the Municipality of the Town of Oakville imposes on developers and builders.
It certain has proven a stark contrast to the lack of oversight in Condoland’s (Toronto) concrete and glass high-rises.
It is funny how your mind always plays tricks on you (I’ve addressed this in previous blogs) when it comes to pre-construction.
For some strange reason, our minds always convince us somehow that “the developer’s intentions are to build something spectacular, that they aspire to build a good reputation by delivering on all those flashy adjectives their ad agency included in their brochures, and that the dream home that you are buying will just be magnificent“.
Hell, my mind keeps doing it to me after a dozen or so personal condo buys and I’ve been in the business most of my career!
So, my debt of gratitude to this builder, is that he has laid his lack of personal and professional integrity out in the open for all to see.
I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to set him straight, right out of the box when I first caught on that he was a liar!
The very first thing he told us was that he had “invested five years developing the site“, when simple research (and reading of his own documents) told us that another developer had actually developed the site and simply sold lots to this guy.
Why lie to us? God only knows! That’s one of those questions that I’ve struggled with and simply cannot come up with a logical answer.
But an uncalled for lie (I can accept that in rare cases of self-defence someone may distort the truth) that carried no benefit or relief whatsoever to him, show a “pathology“!
This man, and his partner, (and their investors who tour the site weekly with him), thus their company has proven themselves to be “pathological” (as in “pathological liars“) repeatedly and repeatedly for no reason!
Their own published material contradicts a $50,000 lie introduced while selling us regarding the Lot being a “Premier Lot” (their brochures contradict this while setting out which lots were “premier lots“).
Records show that they lied about the number of units they had, misrepresenting to us (consumers) that “there was only one remaining lot” when in fact records show that there was seven (he later sold 6 to a cousin).
But today is not about tar and feathering this guy (although at certain times in history he would already have been tarred and feathered and run out of town).
His total lack of ethics, morals and integrity are actually a bonus to all consumers as I get to publish everything here (shortly), and everything means absolutely everything, from his brochure (full of lies), through the contract, through to his repeated conscious efforts to circumvent provision under the Tarion Warranty Program, to how he, contrary to a specific clause in the Subdivision Agreement imposed occupancy on unsuspecting buyers, to his rather lame efforts to manipulate required Notices under the Tarion Warranty, to interfere with his buyers (consumers) ability to rent our or sell their homes in line with the closing of their new one by failing to deliver required Notices.
All of this will be set out in in articles in the following weeks.
Six months ago I emailed them with a Subject Line . . . . . . “POTENTIAL CRIMINAL CODE “FRAUD” OFFENCES & CIVIL LITIGATION FOR DAMAGES“, so you have an idea of what is to come.
The most incredible aspect of this timeline is, that when I returned from Florida (I bought “the location“, over the Internet site unseen, knowing just how special the location was – after all I’m a full time investor) and discovered the large sign immediately behind this lot (that they had lied about being “the only remaining lot” for which I paid $50,000 extra) and got my hands on their Price List that showed the “premier lots” with this one not included, I visited the site and waited for him to appear (we had never met before).
I’m accustomed to fighting with developers over precisely this type of behaviour on behalf of my buyer agency clients and tragically this is anything but an isolated case study.
I went to great lengths right up front to tell him who I was and all about my blog, even before I bought the lot (always trying to negotiate my best deal and hopefully intimidate them into at least trying to behave themselves and be civil).
Apparently that was too much to ask!
So, when I caught him on site, I went to considerable lengths to diplomatically explain to him that “I am known for being a ‘prick’ in the developer world because I blog about every meaningful development in pre-construction that I come across, for my global readers (over 250,000 and growing by the day)“!
Apparently, this guy has proven to be either too stupid to get it, (I’ve reminded him every time we’ve met and that has been far too often!) or just is out to screw everybody that comes near him, or has a death wish.
THAT TAKES ME TO AN IMPORTANT OFF TOPIC POINT:
PLEASE GO TO THE BOTTOM OF MY BLOG AND SUBSCRIBE,
AS I AM TRYING TO START A CONSUMER PROTECTION
MOVEMENT AND NEED AS MANY READERS AS POSSIBLE.
this is your chance to have your voice hear!
Fortunately consumers have the Tarion Warranty (seriously flawed as it is), which although I’ve blogged many, many times about how fundamentally useless it is, there are some provisions that actually can work for consumers.
This guy obviously prefers to not comply with Notice requirements set out in Tarion.
It’s not rocket science and is clearly set out on Tarion’s web site.
This really is the bible of self-preservation when it comes to pre-construction.
You want to know these dates verbatim and the law requires every contract to now have them.
This guy missed his first Tentative Closing Date and failed to give proper notification of his failure to meet it and then chose to (creatively I guess) blend two date requirements (120 days each) to make it easy for himself.
Well, Tarion Notice requirements are very specific and lend no flexibility.
For example, on September 1st, 2015 this guy sent us Registered Notice of Delay with an alleged second “Tentative Closing Date of February 10th 2016“.
According to the Tarion Warranty “If your home is not completed by the First Tentative Closing Date, you builder is allowed two extension of 120 Days each without paying delayed closing compensation, provided you are given proper written notice.
Notice of a delay beyond the First Tentative Closing Date must be given no later than 90 days before this date or the First Tentative Closing Date automatically becomes the Firm Closing Date (obviously in this case there was only 29 days).
The Notice that we (consumers) were given on changing the First Closing Date of September 30/15 (no 90 day Notice) set the new (second) Tentative Closing Date to February 10, 2016 (10 days AFTER the required 120 Notice was passed with no second 120 day delay introduced).
One Hundred and Twenty Days added to the original Closing Date of September 30, 2015 takes us to January 30, 2016 thus this guy’s proposed new Closing Date of February 10, 2016 fails to meet the Tarion Warranty requirements!
Then, in March we received another Notice of Delay of Closing pushing the closing date to May 30, 2016.
Now, having failed to deliver the required notice under the Tarion Warranty, the validity or legitimacy of this Notice has got to be in question.
And, you guessed it, he failed to meet that date as well and once again . . . . . delivered absolutely NO NOTICE (imagine if we were moving across the country and just showed up with a moving van full of furniture!!!)!
So . . . . . . . where is all that consumer protection that we hear so much about!?!
So after this date pass by, one June 1st, he sent us yet another ethically questionable Notice of an alleged “Unavoidable Delay of up to 12 weeks” due to a strike of a couple trades (framers, tilers, and the like) referring to Tarion clauses justifying his doing so.
The delay had been underway for some time (upwards of a month) yet he had not given us any Notice.
The strike was announced over by CBC on the same date of his Delay Notice!
None of this has anything whatsoever to do with legitimacy!
He is so far out of his Notice requirements that it is insulting to see the flexibility that developers are given.
After a year of fighting with this guy (you can’t call the builder a company as they have no employees! It’s him, his partner and some investor – I just learned that the only guy with any skill, knowledge and/or integrity “walked off the site” . . . as in quit!).
This guy is now forcing occupancy on their purchasers (how they are doing this while in “Breach” of the Subdivision Agreement with the Municipality is yet to be understood) despite functioning definitively outside of their contractual obligation (“breach of contract“) under the Subdivision Agreement (which this guy hid from me for over a year of repeated requests for it) with the Municipal Government.
I’ve spoken with Tarion and they say “there is nothing we can do through them until we Close“, (at which time we can submit a claim and complaint) but also not, that after closing we will be entitled to Delay Closing Compensation ($7,500) Plus $1,500 for failure deliver adequate notice!
I’m O.K. with that, and I’ll probably sue them in small claims court and possibly civilly for misrepresenting the $50,000 for this lot, if not civilly for damages, for “entering into contract in bad faith“.
I’m waiting to talk with the Municipal Government because the Subdivision Agreement, Schedule ‘M’ Clause 39 says: “That the owner constructs a board on board wood fence around the perimeter of the lands to a height of not less than 2m and otherwise permitted under the Towns fence by-law, PRIOR TO OCCUPANCY OF ANY DWELLING ON THE LAND” (emphasis mine).
Yet today, this guy is “forcing his buyer’s to accept Occupancy” and live in a construction site WHILE FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE SUBDIVISION AGREEMENT!
Municipality of the Town of Oakville