Section 4.05 of the Homeowner Protection Act Regulation allows the Registrar to refuse a residential builder’s licence application if there have been illegal business practices that may harm consumers if allowed to continue.
Consumer protection provision
The consumer protection provision is intended to protect consumers from bad business practices and give them greater confidence in their new home purchases.
Specifically, a licence may be denied if the applicant or any of the persons in control of the company have:
- Been the subject of an order, a monetary penalty, a conviction or a judgment under any of the following 11 pieces of legislation within the last five years:
- Been convicted of an offence involving fraud within the past 10 years
- Ever been found by a court to be in material breach of their contractual obligations with a buyer of a new home
Applicant disclosure requirements
All licence applicants, including renewing licensees, are required to disclose all such breaches on their application.
Applicants aren’t required to disclose complaints, investigations or lawsuits that have not resulted in a breach through a conviction, or order of disciplinary action by a court or other regulatory body. Applicants don’t need to report under this provision legal actions that are settled out of court. Likewise, applicants don’t need to disclose such disciplinary actions that were overturned on appeal.
Once a breach is reported
If such a breach is reported, the Registrar or the Registrar’s delegate will review the information disclosed and verify the breach and date of breach. If the breach is verified and within the timeframes in the Regulation, the Registrar will then consider if issuing a licence is consistent with the objective of consumer protection. The Registrar will consider the harm caused by the breach, actions that were taken to remedy the breach and how the applicant changed their business practices after the breach.
Serious breaches or a history of breaches may result in the licence application being denied. Other breaches might result in a conditional licence, such as restricting enrolments or requiring the licensee to take particular training. A minor breach that does not cause potential harm to consumers will not affect licence issuance.
Reporting a breach of the Consumer Protection Provision
If you would like to report a possible breach of the consumer protection provision by a licensed residential builder or applicant for a new residential builder licence, call our Licensing & Consumer Services department at 604-646-7050 or email us at [email protected]. We will keep caller information confidential upon request. We will investigate complaints to determine whether a material breach has occurred that could harm consumers if allowed to continue.
Reporting a violation of the Act and Regulations
Our Compliance and Enforcement team investigates breaches of the Act and Regulations. The team’s compliance efforts ensure:
- Residential builders, homeowners and developers comply with the licensing requirements of the Act
- Homes being built or sold in B.C. are covered by home warranty insurance where required, or are properly exempt from the Act’s licensing and home warranty insurance requirements
- All disclosure requirements related to the Act are met
Our Enforcement Registry is a searchable database of past compliance orders, monetary penalties and convictions under the Act and Regulations.