Oakville Homes

September 30, 2013

Mattamy 1 – Homeowner 0 House inspector only way to go.

My last post featured “Cowboy Builders”, a term used in England but certainly applicable to Canada.  You’ve read about them and occasionally something is done to help the screwed homeowner.  In Ontario, Tarion has a very shaky record in helping consumers, not surprising considering the slanted emphasis in regards to builders/developers on their board of directors.  Occasionally even the courts help out – probably against a builder who hasn’t paid his “political dues”.

Shows initiated by Mike Holmes and Brian Baeulmer try to help the consumer and do educate in what to look for but alas, hampered by ???, they do not show you who is screwing who.

In the Town of Oakville, who has received very large donations from Mattamy/Peter Gilgan in the past, it is obvious that the Mayor and Council will do nothing to really protect the consumer/homebuyer.  Yes, they have a Building Department who is “legally obligated” to enforce the somewhat weak building code but, as we have seen, they are less than perfect.  According to letters I have received, they will only inspect a dwelling when told it is time by the builder – reactive and not proactive.  So much for really looking after the consumer.

And, the Town of Oakville is afraid to enact a by-law allowing homeowners to hire a house inspector to monitor the build – something they could do under their responsibility to enforce the building code.  The house inspector would inform the building inspector of any infractions.  Like community policing where the public assist the police in policing their neighbourhood.  But, they seem afraid of this.  Why?  Too many donations by the developers/builders?  Someone have pictures of someone doing something with animals?  Who knows, except, the Mayor and Council refuse to help out the consumer.  A former councillor, who went the provincial route, voted to have the Council pass on my recommendation to the Ontario government.  The Ontario government, in their wisdom, felt they could not pass such a law as “it would cost the homeowner money”.  The councilor who voted to have it taken to the province, is also involved in the provincial decision to not place the power plants in Mississauga and Oakville.  That only cost the taxpayer $500 million it seems.  But, I guess friends of the Liberals were the beneficiaries of the monies spent so, all is well in the political world.  How about it Flynn, why not get a law passed that would help a homeowner and the cost is “optional”?

It is hard to fight city hall and I recently communicated with someone having a battle with another builder, Ballantrae.  They have similar issues with the builder and government agencies.  As a screwed homeowner, you quickly find that donations work and politicians really don’t care about the average homeowner, unless there is at least a photo-op.  Maybe we can arrange some photo-ops around election time, which is coming up.

My last post was number 600.  Other than having the Mattamy bully boys after me, the Mattamy legal beagles threatening me with libel and other ridiculous things, I must admit that I haven’t really accomplished what I wanted.  A by-law protecting homeowners.

As I have stated above, donations rule the roost and local politicians really don’t give a damn about these things.  Looking good does and getting donations even better but helping screwed homeowners – that is counterproductive to milking developers for donations.

So, I have decided to take a different tack – appears the mighty blog doesn’t accomplish anything.  A more proactive protest is in order I believe.  So, this will be my last regular blog posting, although I may visit it occasionally to pass on any tid-bits that are given me by those who want the truth out there.

The Mayor and Council of the Town of Oakville obviously don’t understand the word “apology” and, neither will I when the time comes.

So, remember, no one will look after you when you buy a house except yourself, your own paid lawyer and a professional house inspector.  Remember, you too can get screwed and if you hire a house inspector to monitor the build, just helps you in court where you will find yourself at odds to prove the “truth”.  Lawyers for builders hate that word and will do everything to prevent it from being introduced.

Me, I got the Mattamy Bully Boys.

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September 26, 2013

Cowboy Builders – they exist and some have big names. Right Peter?

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I’ve just returned from a very informative trip to England.  It was nice to see homes that have been around for a while – centuries to be exact.  Had a Guinness in a pub that was over 400 years old – the pub that is.  While there, I viewed a show called, “Cowboy Builders“.  Basically a show that helps people ripped off by bad builders.  Sort of like a Mike Holmes or Brian Baeumler type of show.

Major difference – they actually name the less than honest builders with pictures, company name and anything else that would identify them and help the consumer.  Brian and Mike are good at what they do and help consumers to learn what to look for but, they don’t name the bad builders.  That is up to the consumer to guess while watching the show.  I understand Mattamy has been showcased on at least one of Holmes’ shows. To be a true consumer advocate, they should name the builders who are not up to snuff.

But, it seems that the lawyers rule the roost.  Say anything and they try to send their kids through college or buy a bigger yacht on your dime.  They don’t seek the truth, just try to shut you up and help their client make more money without fear of being exposed for what they are.  Back in the day, you were apt to be persuaded to shut up with a bully boy but now, it is the threat of a lawsuit from some Bay Street lawyer.  Few people can actually afford to defend themselves in today’s court system.  Actually, Mattamy has tried both on me.

I have had correspondence with someone fighting another builder and they are having to pay quite a bit to get their story out there – a story even municipal governments don’t want printed.  Developers pay a lot of money into the political system and they want their monies worth.  Some people donate money to a good cause – without strings attached and then there are those that donate to ensure their name is emblazoned upon the edifice.  There was a large donor to the Oakville YMCA but there is nothing named after him.  He donated for the cause, not the advertising.

If I had seen a show like “Cowboy Builders” and noticed it was about a builder I was interested in, I would have second thoughts about buying.  Or, I would ensure I built in some protection.  I would be forewarned and able to make a more educated decision on what to do.

Our system is flawed.  It seems Tarion, dominated by builders/developers, has a poor reputation when it comes to protecting the consumer.  Our municipal building departments – who are charged with protecting the consumer and ensuring all facets of the (weak) building code are covered.  In Oakville, we have seen this fail.

Speaking of Oakville.  I have had communication with the Mayor and Building Department.  They have replied with nice letters that when you read between the lines, basically tell me to FO.  Yes, they quote me the scripture, according to the building code but take no responsibility for what they do.  According to them, they will act when a builder like Mattamy tells them they are ready.  What happened to a proactive enforcement program?  Personnel issues maybe?  If you are short numbers, then why not let homeowners hire house inspectors to monitor the build and report infractions to the building inspectors.  Why would you be frightened of this?  As a municipality, it would be quite legal for you to pass this bylaw.  The municipality is responsible for enforcing the building code and this would be one positive strategy to allow the municipality to complete this task.

I forgot – DONATIONS.  And don’t forget pre-election photo-ops.

I ask the Mayor of Oakville – why no apology from the Town of Oakville for putting my children at risk by allowing Mattamy to sell a house with illegal wiring?  What are you afraid of?  They can’t sue you for telling the truth.  Unless your lawyers are afraid of the truth.  A simple apology for the transgression.  Unless of course, your cash cow has told you that there will be no more money if you do it.  Get a back bone and stand up to the developer/builder and put it on the table.

Something honest people do.

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