Toronto Real Estate Tips and Advice

Real Estate Nightmare #3

Real Estate Nightmares - Toronto Real Estate

For those of you who have missed my previous two, here’s another good one.

This has to do with all you DIYers. One thing many forgot or ignore is getting a permit
for you construction, even in condominiums. The Board must approve any major renovations to
your space.
Within the last year there have been at least two major catastrophes in the Toronto area. There
are probably more minor ones that aren’t as note worthy.
The first involved a contractor who was asked to dig out and shore up a basement. The
homeowner hired this licensed contractor. Turns out they did not have the training not expertise
to undertake this job. Tragic results incurred with the death of a young worker when the
foundation (and the house) collapsed.
The other more recent newsworthy event, happened without death but with major loss to the
homeowner. These homeowners bought a semi-detached – two homes under one roof, usually
side-by-side. The new homeowner undertook a complete renovation with contractors. While
they completed their job, their attached neighbour attempted the same. The problem came
when the neighbour did not take all the precautions necessary in their complete redo. They did
not have permits and were shut down numerous times by the city. In this process the first
homeowners discovered shifting stairways, ceiling and wall cracks and were told their home
would likely collapse. They moved out fearing their lives. The case has been tied up in the
courts for over two years.
I have seen many contractors, renovators working in Toronto. Very often you see worker with
unmarked trucks (no name, license numbers, contractor numbers, etc). I have even seen major
projects with no visible permits on site.
If you suspect an illegal, non-permuted project tin your neighbourhood, call your city councillor
and check. They are more then happy to pass along the address to the permits office, send out
inspectors and get back to you about the status of the project.
Don’t hired unlicensed, uninsured individuals. You may think you are saving money by paying
cash, but you are cheating the government and putting all of us at risk.
When you are buying a new home, work with a professional realtor to help prevent any of these
surprise from catching you. Selling or buying a home on your own has many risks. Undisclosed
problem or illegal renovations can be costly mistakes. It’s your investment, protect it any way
you can.

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