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Builder of my house didn't pay the contractors?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 26th, 2018 11:46 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 5, 2006
181 posts
56 upvotes
North York

Builder of my house didn't pay the contractors?

I hope this is in the right forum thread...apologies if it is not...

Hello I have a new home build that I have been living in for almost 1.5years (16months). A contractor knocked on our door this month telling us how he was contracted by the builders of our home and wasn't paid and that many other contractors that helped build our house weren't paid. He wasn't directly asking us for money but was asking us if he could bring people to our home later to take pictures and what not I guess to prove he did work on our home?

I gave them what contact info I had about the builders from our paperwork so they could hopefully contact them and figure things out.

This is the first we have heard about this and have not had any direct contact with the builders who built our home we just purchased it the typical way through our agent and lawyer. What I know of the builders is that they are a small family run business that has been passed down from generation to generation for many years. They do small projects it isn't some big building company.

My question is if anyone has had this type of experience before, and whether I should be worried about this situation? I do not want to get in the middle of a legal battle but I do feel for the contractors who are owed money for their hard work.

Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks.
30 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
16025 posts
17300 upvotes
Oakville
It sounds like a door to door scam. Even if it wasn't I wouldn't let strangers into my house. If they really need photos of specific items I'm might offer to take photos for them.
Be sure to get all of their information, including photos of their drivers licence.
Maybe even ask for their lawyer to contact you formally.
Be friendly but skeptical.
Banned
User avatar
May 12, 2004
9759 posts
4114 upvotes
Ottawa
The Ontario Construction Liens act is there to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone. They had ways to claim their money owed under the OCLA structure. So you’ve got 2 possible explanations:
1- you were being scammed
2- they were working for cash at the time


Edit: i fail to understand what taking pictures of your house would prove.
Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
- Mark Twain
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33573 posts
7249 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
This happened at my previous house

The builder basically finished the subdivision and then filed for bankruptcy. Some of the trades were not paid and they actually came to our door and asked everyone for money. Particularly the driveway. The first layer of asphalt was applied but the final layer was not done as the builder was gone.

Same thing happened for the fences.

The road was not paved and the city was chasing them as well. It was a mess

Worst part, the builder opened up a different company and continued building in the area
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9964 posts
5250 upvotes
Paris
Cas77 wrote:
Edit: i fail to understand what taking pictures of your house would prove.
Where the iPhones and whatever passes for a VCR these days are kept.
Deal Addict
Jun 23, 2010
1813 posts
255 upvotes
Markham
engineered wrote: It sounds like a door to door scam. Even if it wasn't I wouldn't let strangers into my house. If they really need photos of specific items I'm might offer to take photos for them.
Be sure to get all of their information, including photos of their drivers licence.
Maybe even ask for their lawyer to contact you formally.
Be friendly but skeptical.
I agree, trust..but validate
Sr. Member
Jul 2, 2013
668 posts
180 upvotes
Aurora
Absolutely not, never let a stranger in your home, especially to take pictures lol. If they are legit and really did not get paid, then they need to get their payments schedules with their contractors in check. Its their problem and 100% not yours or something you should help them deal with.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 16, 2008
8064 posts
2732 upvotes
Maple
OP
Sorry to say, it's a battle between the builder and contractors. Why home owners get involved? Be very careful. Don't let strangers into house and take pictures. Sounds very fishy!!!
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
9582 posts
1844 upvotes
Toronto
Should have asked for their credentials and if you could take their pics so you can do a background check on them.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
4333 posts
3100 upvotes
Gee wrote: Worst part, the builder opened up a different company and continued building in the area
Infuriating how crooks like these manage to circumvent laws and policies while law-abiding, tax-paying citizens get the shaft.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33573 posts
7249 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Jazmina wrote: Infuriating how crooks like these manage to circumvent laws and policies while law-abiding, tax-paying citizens get the shaft.
The worse part was the deception. They presented themselves as an Italian builder and when you dig deep enough, there were no Italians and they were all south Asians

They cut a lot of corners and I ended up moving after a few years.

They filed for bankruptcy and didn't pay income tax either. City had to pay to get the road finished and I'm sure everyone paid for it with their property taxes. Total bottom feeders.
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
45337 posts
5881 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Gee wrote: The worse part was the deception. They presented themselves as an Italian builder and when you dig deep enough, there were no Italians and they were all south Asians

They cut a lot of corners and I ended up moving after a few years.

They filed for bankruptcy and didn't pay income tax either. City had to pay to get the road finished and I'm sure everyone paid for it with their property taxes. Total bottom feeders.
I'm surprised they were able to get away with it, and start a new company. Unless the company went bankrupt, wouldn't there be some sort of personal liability? I don't think you're allowed to take all the company's assets and declare bankruptcy.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33573 posts
7249 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Jon Lai wrote: I'm surprised they were able to get away with it, and start a new company. Unless the company went bankrupt, wouldn't there be some sort of personal liability? I don't think you're allowed to take all the company's assets and declare bankruptcy.
I don't know how they did it, but I am sure they emptied out the accounts well before the bankruptcy. Their plan was to screw the government and some trades, not the actual home owners.
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10262 posts
2823 upvotes
home owners are liable for outstanding bills on the house, at least out here in Alberta, yes its up to the builder to pay, but if they don't, the trademen can and do put a lein on the house for when its sold to recoup their money. a large builder went under in Edmonton recently and many people are facing this scenario.

I don't know what the rules are on time limits, but a title search of your property will show outstanding liens on the house.
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10262 posts
2823 upvotes
looks like 45 days in Ontario from the date of substantial completion is the limit for adding a lien. my builder hung a sign in our window and told us to leave it there for a few months, it said something like "notice to all contractors, this property is clear of all liens and to contact the builder with any questions"
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
16025 posts
17300 upvotes
Oakville
Gee wrote: This happened at my previous house

The builder basically finished the subdivision and then filed for bankruptcy. Some of the trades were not paid and they actually came to our door and asked everyone for money. Particularly the driveway. The first layer of asphalt was applied but the final layer was not done as the builder was gone.

Same thing happened for the fences.

The road was not paved and the city was chasing them as well. It was a mess

Worst part, the builder opened up a different company and continued building in the area
So what happened in the end? Did you have to pay?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
35043 posts
4289 upvotes
Winnipeg
Gee wrote: The worse part was the deception. They presented themselves as an Italian builder and when you dig deep enough, there were no Italians and they were all south Asians

They cut a lot of corners and I ended up moving after a few years.

They filed for bankruptcy and didn't pay income tax either. City had to pay to get the road finished and I'm sure everyone paid for it with their property taxes. Total bottom feeders.
oh was that why you moved? i had no idea, your place looked so nice.
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
45337 posts
5881 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Gee wrote: I had to pay for the driveway and fences. So did all my neighbours.
How does that work for tax purposes? Are you able to claim that the purchase price of your home is now higher than what was on the contract?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33573 posts
7249 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Jon Lai wrote: How does that work for tax purposes? Are you able to claim that the purchase price of your home is now higher than what was on the contract?
Didn’t even consider the tax. This hit came 5 years after the house closed.

The value of the property went up, we decided to leave well enough alone.

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