Regina homebuilder facing criticism, suspensions for unpaid debts to sub-contractors
REGINA -- Harmony Builders has had its membership suspended by the Regina Homebuilders Association after nine years in good standing.
A report published by CBC News alleges Harmony Builders failed to pay several sub contractors for completed work. Some of those sub-contractors have placed liens on properties and field lawsuits against Harmony Builders.
“We had first heard from some of our members that are creditors of Harmony Builders that they had received notification that Harmony was essentially offering them 20 cents on the dollar,” said Stu Niebergall, from the Regina Home Builders’ Association.
Similar complaints have appeared on Harmony Builders Facebook Page.
A former customer who spoke with CTV News said they moved into a Harmony built home in 2018. They said they are still waiting for the builder to address leaking windows, cracked stairs and interior flooring.
CTV News contacted Harmony Builders but did not receive a response to our request for an interview.
The Provincial Government passed prompt pay legislation for building contractors in 2019, but it is still not enacted.
“It’s brought to the foreground, a lot of the emotions that we’ve been going over for the past two years about getting this legislation enacted,” said Jason Duke, from Certa Pro Painters.
The legislation comes into effect in 2021. Duke hopes the law will tighten up inefficiencies in the current construction system, offering protection for sub-trades and home owners.
“You’re actually out the cost on that project, in most cases, 90 plus days, so I can see how sub contractors and contractors are always in a conundrum because basically it’s always their good customers that are always paying for their bad customers,” said Duke.
The Saskatchewan Construction Association is lobbying the government to withhold any exemptions for residential builders under the prompt pay legislation.
“It’s not uncommon for us to get calls from leaders of construction companies where they are in tears, wondering how they are going to pay their employees, keep their business alive,” said Mark Cooper, from the Saskatchewan Construction Association.
“We believe that every contractor has the right to be paid in a timely manner and the right to defend themselves if they haven’t been paid in a timely manner and we don’t see why that legislation shouldn’t apply across the board.”
Cooper advises homeowners to choose a contractor you trust and ask questions. He said it is important to talk to everyone on-site to make sure they’re being paid, and ask for proof.