By Canadian Contractor staff
HRCA revokes Mississauga builder’s development licenceCanadian Contractor Permits & Legal
June 12, 2023 – Pinetree Developments Inc. is no longer licensed to build or sell homes in Ontario, following an inspection by the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) and revocation of the company’s licence.
Acting on complaints from purchasers, the HCRA found that Pinetree had unjustifiably raised the price of a home under construction – despite a signed contract – and then attempted to resell that same property at a higher price when the original purchaser refused the increase and launched litigation. The company also falsified building permit applications, failed to enrol properties with Tarion as part of its warranty obligations, ignored City of Mississauga orders and repeatedly failed to respond to HCRA inspection letters and compliance orders.
In December 2022, the HCRA commenced an inspection into Pinetree’s business operations, which uncovered a series of unethical and illegal activities:
- Despite a binding Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) on a Mississauga property, Pinetree sought to significantly increase the price.
- Pinetree refused to close the transaction and, despite numerous extensions, construction is not complete. The HCRA cannot confirm the cause for the delays because Pinetree failed to produce documents and respond to the HCRA’s concerns despite a Compliance Order requiring them to do so.
- After the purchaser refused to agree to the price increase, Pinetree listed the property for sale at a higher price on Realtor.com, despite the binding APS and a Certificate of Pending Litigation being registered.
- In order to obtain building permits from the City of Mississauga, Pinetree falsely identified the name and credentials of another builder, without their knowledge.
- Pinetree has started construction on or already built at least five homes without enrolling the homes with Tarion, as required by law.
- The HCRA received a complaint from the City of Mississauga indicating that Pinetree began construction on a home before the City issued a building permit. Once the City discovered that Pinetree had done so, it issued an order to immediately stop construction. Pinetree did not. The City then issued a second order but Pinetree still continued to build.
- Pinetree has never provided the HCRA with any documents or information to address the HCRA’s concerns.
These are not the first infractions for Pinetree. In 2018, the company was charged and convicted in Provincial court for illegally acting as a vendor of a new home. Patricia Perruzza, a principal, officer, and director for Pinetree, was also charged and convicted of two counts of illegally building and selling a new home, in relation to a previous licence held by Pinetree.
“Pinetree had the opportunity to appeal the HCRA’s formal notice that their licence would be revoked but did not do so,” Moir explains. “Under those circumstances, the licence revocation is automatic and immediate.”