The HCRA evaluates each complaint to determine the most appropriate action to address the specific concern and to support ongoing compliance by licensed vendors and builders.
The HCRA may determine that no action will be taken if the allegations contained in the complaint are not supported by the evidence and information obtained by the HCRA.
The complaint may be outside the HCRA’s jurisdiction. If the complaint is not within the HCRA’s mandate, the HCRA will advise you in a timely manner and, where appropriate, provide advice on a more applicable channel to pursue the matter. The following are pathways the HCRA complaint process can take.
Resolution As a first consideration, the HCRA will attempt to facilitate agreement on a solution to the complaint between the complainant and the licensee who is the subject of the complaint.
Potential Registrar actions Directions the HCRA Registrar may choose include:
Education The Registrar may require licensees take further education courses or pay for courses of any of their employees if it is found that the complaint resulted from a lack of knowledge or skill.
Warning The Registrar may issue a written warning to the licensee that will remain on their file with the HCRA. The warning letter will be taken into consideration in the event of future complaints.
Conditions The HCRA Registrar may propose a condition on a licence.
Non-renewal Licensees are required to renew their licence with the HCRA on an annual basis. A licensee’s complaint file will be taken into consideration at the time of renewal
Suspension A licensee may have their licence suspended until further actions can be determined. If the licensee does not agree with the suspension, they can ask for a hearing by the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
Revocation The HCRA Registrar may revoke a licence. If the licensee does not agree with this action, they may appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
Refer a matter to the Discipline Committee The HCRA Registrar may refer a matter to the Discipline Committee if the HCRA receives a complaint about the conduct of a licensee and believes that the conduct may have violated the Code of Ethics.
Potential Court action:
Provincial court prosecution Those who contravene the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 (NHCLA) or its regulations, may be prosecuted in the Ontario Court of Justice. A conviction for an offence under the NHCLA may come with fines and/or imprisonment and/or an order to pay compensation and/or make restitution.
Code of Ethics Section 84 (1) (f) of the NHCLA and O. Reg. 245/21 (effective July 1, 2021) establish a Code of Ethics for licensees, which sets out clear ethical standards that Ontario’s home builders and vendors must meet. Section 57 of the NHCLA and O. Reg 245/21 set out the establishment of Discipline and Appeals Committees. The HCRA Registrar may refer a matter to the Discipline Committee if the HCRA receives a complaint about the conduct of a licensee and the Registrar believes that the conduct may have violated the Code of Ethics. Determinations and/or orders from the Discipline Committee may be appealed to the Appeals Committee.
Discipline and Appeals Committees The Discipline and Appeals Committees are statutory committees established pursuant to section 57 of the NHCLA and O. Reg. 245/21 to conduct pre-hearing conferences, discipline hearings, and appeals of decisions or orders, supported by independent legal counsel. The Discipline and Appeals Committees may order a licensee to:
Take further educational courses
Fund educational courses for persons that the licensee employs or to arrange and fund the courses
Impose a fine up to a maximum of $25,000 to be paid to the HCRA
Suspend or postpone the taking of further educational courses, the funding or the arranging of educational courses or the imposition of the fine for the period and upon the terms the committee designates
Fix and impose costs that the licensee is required to pay to the HCRA