As of February 1, 2023, administrative penalties are an enforcement tool for the HCRA. An administrative penalty is a financial penalty, similar to a fine that can be issued for a range of violations of the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 (NHCLA) and/or the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWPA).
Builders and vendors of new homes in Ontario must adhere to the law and HCRA's standards for professionalism and ethical conduct. For licensees, failure to do so can be considered a serious licence breach, and the HCRA has a range of enforcement actions - including administrative penalties - to address unethical behaviour and illegal behaviour.
For builders and vendors operating illegally without a licence, administrative penalties are an additional enforcement tool.
When the HCRA receives a complaint about a contravention of laws or regulations pertaining to new home builders and vendors, an assessor (the HCRA Registrar or someone appointed by the Registrar), will review the matter to determine:
- If an administrative penalty is appropriate;
- The amount of the administrative penalty ; and
- Where appropriate, the amount of an additional monetary benefit penalty stemming from the contravention. Additional information on monetary benefit is available on our website.
If the HCRA issues an administrative penalty, the recipient will receive a Notice of Intention to Make an Order Imposing an Administrative Penalty.
Within 15 days of receiving the Notice, the recipient of the notice can submit, in writing, any additional information (with supporting documents) they would like the assessor to consider, including:
- Their version of events;
- Information about any actions taken to mitigate or remedy the contravention; and
- Other Information that may impact the amount of the penalty.
The assessor will consider any new information received and determine whether or not to issue the administrative penalty.
If the assessor decides to issue the penalty, the penalty will show:
- Who the penalty is against;
- The section(s) of the legislation that was contravened;
- Penalty amount, including its due date (due within 30 days);
- How the penalty amount was determined;
- The assessor’s consideration of the information provided by the recipient; and
- Information on how to appeal the penalty.
The recipient has 15 days to appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT).
More details on administrative penalties, including prescribed provisions and maximum penalties are detailed on the Government of Ontario’s website.