I’m confident that even the most ardent skeptic has to accept, based on the Case Study that I’ve presented in the latest ten or so Blogs that I’ve written and presented, that the system is seriously flawed.
In this scenario we’ve seen buyers outright lied to!
We’ve seen the concept of municipal protection fly out the window!
We’ve proven that there is absolutely NO PROTECTION FOR CONSUMERS!
And we’ve even seen that when a mistake is made and some limited sort of consumer protect does slip into contracts, those clauses can be ignored to the detriment of consumers and “there is little or nothing that can be done about it“!
Prior to this focus, I articulated a very serious and downright threatening situation in Condoland’s high-rise tower construction where “window wall technology” proves to have only a 15 year lifespan and no-one is talking about or building into budgets the replacement of this “outside skin” of buildings.
No-one is talking about how the residential high rise construction industry remains “unregulated” thus unscrupulous builders and developers can literally get away with whatever the choose!
So, now in Oakville after a rather stinging rebuke of its practices surrounding residential development set out in my blogs, the discussion ends at “there is really very little we can do“, as uttered to me by the Municipality’s legal council.
The Mayor’s office has pledged to “do what it can” but emphasized the “there’s really very little we can do a this stage” argument.
What does all this mean?
Well, that’s a good question.
The fast and dirty bottom line is that these consumers, who have invested in excess of a million dollars of their hard-earned money, will more than likely, to the point of “probably” be forced to endure another winter living in an intolerable mess from which they were protected in the Subdivision Agreement by clauses that have been ignored at the sole expense and discomfort of these consumers.
The first argument tabled by the Municipality’s lawyer was the clash of various contracts that goes like this: “the Subdivision Agreement is between the municipality and the developer, who then entered into agreements, undisclosed at this time, with various builders, who entered into contracts with these consumers“.
Now, that might have thrown the average lay-person, and I admit I was born at night . . . . but it wan’t last night!
My retort was that “the Agreement of Purchase and Sale between the builder and consumer included specific references to the Subdivision Agreement which in my lay-man’s opinion appends the SA to the AP&S“.
My argument drew no resistance thus I say it must have proven valid.
I expressed my concerns that the municipality had “Registered” the POTL before construction had even started but my questions relating to this issue were deflected.
The only logical conclusion is that the playing field is normally very uneven and even when a mistake gets thrown into the mix, there really is no mechanism to jump in on consumer’s behalf.
That is sad!
And everyone that I’ve talked to, from site foremen, to contractors, to builders, developers, politicians and municipality staff all have the same support line response: “we wouldn’t get anything built if we didn’t have Occupancy“, which to me (an experienced world traveler) proves ludicrous as most other markets throughout the world DO NOT HAVE OCCUPANCY!
Florida, for example does not require buyers to live in incomplete buildings.
Buyers put down their deposits and when the building is finished they inspect the finished product, identify any deficiencies, those deficiencies are remedied and the consumer hands over the money!
And Florida is one of the condo capitals of the world!
So, please stop telling me that we need it to enable our market to survive!
And should a market that is dependent upon forcing buyers to live amidst the filth and squaller of a construction site for months and months while developers and builders walk away with millions of dollars in profits?
It’s a redundant question as Florida clearly shows!
So, why are consumers so poorly dealt with in Ontario’s Condoland?
It’s just the way it’s always been done.
The Condo Act (a bad joke) alleged to protect consumers, protects only developers and property management companies!
The Tarion Warranty alleged to be “consumer protection“, is managed and operated (majority of board members) by lawyers for developers.
And now, simplycharles.com in this Case Study has proven that not even CONTRACTS deliver any consumer protection.
It is obvious that something has to be done in Ontario as not only is there no consumer protection built into the system, there is no integrity in contracts as proven in this Oakville Case Study.
And if you have even a rudimentary understanding of politics in Ontario you can see why the odds are that “noting is going to change unless consumers insist on change“!
And Condoland has already proven to us that “the consumer is the consumer’s worst enemy“!
With respect to the Oakville mess that I’ve been blogging about, I will not take these consumer’s issues to Fernbrook’s President and ask for their co-operation in moving this project ahead with urgency, and contact the CEO of Nascent Developments who’s last two houses need the stone work completed (stonework requires scaffolding that would get in the way of grading) to enable Fernbrook (if they agree to try to help) and ask him to get the stonework completed asap.