Backgrounder Licensing

Feb 1st, 2021

The HCRA’s authority is focused on regulating the conduct of those required to be licensed as new home builders and vendors. This includes ensuring that all new home builders in Ontario act with honesty and integrity, have the right technical skills to build homes, and the right financial capacity to run a homebuilding operation.

Through the HCRA’s licensing process, a builder or vendor’s past and present conduct is assessed thoroughly before they are issued a licence to build homes.

Expectations of good conduct for new home builders and vendors include:

  • Comply with the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 and its regulations. This includes an obligation to comply with the Ontario Building Code and the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.
  • Treat people fairly, honestly and with integrity.
  • Honour their new home warranty obligations.
  • Not engage in or be a party to misrepresentation or false or misleading advertising.
  • Not engage in behaviour that is harassing, bullying or discriminatory.
  • Provide reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities.
  • Maintain required privacy and confidentiality of personal information and not disclose personal information without consent or as required by law.
  • Not participate in or facilitate the building or selling of new homes in Ontario by someone who was required to be licensed as a builder or vendor or required to obtain confirmation of enrolment by Tarion, but failed to do so.
  • Avoid conduct that would reasonably be regarded as being disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional, unbecoming a licensee or likely to bring the new home construction and sales sector profession into disrepute.

Licensing Fees

The HCRA has endeavoured to keep licensing costs to builders and vendors from rising significantly.

Any increases will be offset by the benefits of a more active and modern regulator improving the sector – which includes creating a more level playing field for builders/vendors and more confident consumers.

Annual licensing fees cover the administrative costs for the licensing process, ensuring each builder and vendor meets the required standards for competency and conduct. The HCRA Regulatory Oversight Fee is a flat fee paid by the builder or vendor on each unit they build, to reflect the scope of each builder and vendor’s operations. The builder or vendor has the option of passing these fees on to the home buyer; if so, it should be specifically listed as a line item on the home buyer’s charges when taking possession of the property.

Fees paid to the HCRA cover a range of vital services:

  • Licensing – setting and monitoring professional standards
  • Enforcement – cracking down on illegal/unethical builders
  • Complaints process – timely, thorough, fair investigations
  • Information – maintaining the Ontario Builder Directory and providing helpful educational materials