Oakville Homes

November 22, 2011

Lawsuits – do builders really fear them?


I’ve been asked why I didn’t sue Mattamy for the problems they caused and the fact they put my children at risk.  Unfortunately, I made a decision to go the high road and try to get the Town of Oakville to institute a bylaw that would allow a homebuyer the right to hire a house inspector to protect their interests.  I mean, the Town blew it with the inspection of the furnace, which allowed Mattamy to complete a sale most would consider if not illegal, at least unethical and morally deficient.

If you read the Toronto Star today, you’ll see another reason.

Seems that a Mississauga taxpayer, Elias Hazineh, is taking Mayor Hazel McCallion to court for violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act in relation to her activities at Peel Region.  He is alleging she used her position to enhance her son’s position in regards to a land deal within the City of Mississauga.  They state this could cost Hazineh at least $100,000 to pursue this course of justice.  Now you see the other reason I didn’t sue.  Just having moved into a house with issues, I didn’t have that kind of money lying around waiting to be used in a law suit against Mattamy Homes or the Town of Oakville. I mean, the owner is a big pocketed BILLIONAIRE with lots of lawyers. I’m just some poor schmuck of a taxpayer.

That is how builders hide behind shoddy workmanship and, in my case, hide behind the skirts of a Mayor willing to accept donations for Wellspring.  So, Mattamy probably saved over $100k due to the illegal sale and just cost them a donation.  Not bad.  And, for someone to pursue the matter in the courts, it will cost them a fortune. And, if Mattamy has better lawyers, probably I would have lost.  Between the bully boys, yelling lawyers and threatening letters, it is hard to do anything to protect yourself against a builder determined to not give you the product you paid for.

Now, here is a simple test you can try.  Ask your builder if “your” house inspector can monitor the construction, just like those who build commercially have someone of interest look after them.  If they say no, wonder why.  Is it because of the shoddy workmanship and short cuts they will use to make a profit?  Why are they afraid of a homebuyer protecting their investment?

The second test is to ask your local politician if they get donations or political contributions from the development/builder community.  If they do, walk away, walk away very quickly.  It is obvious that your interests will not carry the same weight as those who donate big.

It is such a big issue that this article notes those who are refusing donations from this area due to the unwanted influence.

In another article, it is noted: “In the 905 in 2006, election winners got 54.3 per cent of their funding from developers, losers 35 per cent. In Toronto, the numbers are 12 per cent and 4 per cent. ”  Kind of makes you wonder when you bring a complaint forward just whose interests will be protected – donator or taxpayer.

So, as you can see, maybe suing the ass off a builder or politician may have been the route to go although they run in the same social circles as the judges so you might find no friends there.  Trying the high road and getting bylaws to protect people certainly doesn’t work.  Not even an apology for their part in this illegal sale from the Town of Oakville.  I guess they were worried about their liability in this infamous real estate deal.  And Tarion proves less than perfect.

The only real way to protect yourself is through a PROFESSIONAL house inspector, a good lawyer, document everything (paper and pic) and, time on your hands.  Question why your builder will not allow the house inspector.  What have they got to lose – unless they fear having to do a proper job.

And Mattamy – they just move along and shaft a few more people.  One of which you’ll see in the next blog.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.


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