Become a Licensed Builder/Vendor

After the Application is Submitted

Once the HCRA has received a licence application or licence renewal application, along with the required fees and supporting documentation, HCRA staff will review the file to ensure that the application is complete. The applicant may be contacted if additional information is required.

The HCRA strives to process applications in a timely fashion while remaining objective, fair, and consistent. The HCRA will be transparent about anticipated processing times for applications, so applicants know what to expect.

There are four key areas that form the core of an assessment based on the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 (NHCLA) entitlement criteria:

  1. Conduct

    Can the applicant be expected to carry on business in accordance with the law and with honesty and integrity? For more details, see the Guide to Good Conduct for Home Builders and Vendors.
  2. Competency

    Does the applicant have the knowledge and skills necessary to build new homes or sell new homes and generally engage with purchasers and homeowners? Factors include completion of approved or equivalent courses and ability to apply knowledge to business and service planning and to the building of new homes.
  3. Financial Responsibility

    Can the applicant be expected to be financially responsible in the conduct of business? Factors include history of bankruptcy.
  4. Good standing (renewal only)

    Has the applicant met the responsibilities as a licensee, including satisfying any conditions that may have been applied to the licence and all Tarion obligations related to warranty performance? Other factors include contravention of the NHCLA, the ONWHPA or their regulations such as cooperating with an inspection or investigation, complying with the Registrar’s request for information and paying any fines owed to the HCRA.

For corporations and partnerships, the assessment will include consideration of the financial responsibility, conduct, and competency of principals

, directors, officers, partners, and interested persons.

Applicant interviews

First-time applicants may be required to participate in a licensing interview, conducted virtually, as provided for in Section 6 of O. Reg 631/20. Should past or present conduct suggest any consumer protection risks, renewal applicants may also be required to participate in an interview. The HCRA conducts interviews in order to:

  • Explore any potential risks related to conduct or the role of particular persons in the applicant’s business, including interested persons
  • Assess whether new applicants can apply technical knowledge and experience gained through educational courses and experience
  • Evaluate financial responsibility in the start-up or operation of an applicant’s business

For corporations, one or more of the principals, officers, and directors may be asked to participate in the interview. The outcome of the interview is part of the assessment of the application to determine entitlement to a licence.

Credit checks

All new applicants and applicants for renewals, as well as any related principals, officers, directors, and partners are subject to a credit check performed by a third-party provider as a part of the application.

The results of the credit check, including bankruptcies and past judgments, will be considered as part of the assessment of financial responsibility. The credit check is an important tool that provides a consistent measure for the Registrar’s assessment of financial responsibility and may also be relevant to expectations regarding compliance with the law and acting with honesty and integrity.

Potential Outcomes of the Application

The HCRA Registrar will take one of the following actions on the application once the assessment process is complete:

  1. Grant a licence or renewal of licence
    If the application is successful and the licence is granted or renewed, the applicant will be notified by email.
  2. Grant a licence or renewal of licence with conditions the applicant has consented to
    The purpose of applying a condition to a licence is to mitigate an identified risk and to support consumer protection. Examples of possible conditions include completion of further education, and supervision or mentorship arrangements. The HCRA will engage with the applicant on the content of any condition on a licence the Registrar has determined is necessary.
  3. Issue a Notice of Proposal to grant or renew a licence with conditions
    If it is proposed to grant a licence subject to conditions, the Registrar may have sought the applicant’s consent to the condition(s). If the applicant does not consent or if the circumstances warrant it, the Registrar may proceed with a Notice of Proposal (NOP) to grant the licence subject to the proposed condition(s). The NOP will set out the reasons for the proposed conditions and the applicant’s right to ask for a hearing by the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
  4. Issue a Notice of Proposal to refuse a licence or renewal of licence
    If the Registrar determines that the applicant is not entitled to a licence, the Registrar will issue a Notice of Proposal (NOP) to refuse the licence or to refuse to renew the licence. The NOP will set out the reasons for the proposed refusal and the applicant’s right to ask for a hearing by the Licence Appeal Tribunal.

    Once the Registrar makes a final decision to refuse a person the renewal of a licence or to revoke a person’s licence, the person may only reapply if one year has passed since the refusal or revocation as per Section 7 of O. Reg. 631/20.