Ontario Putting Consumers First
Proposed Changes Will Increase Consumer Protections for Household Services
Ontario is strengthening consumer protections by introducing new rules for home inspections, door-to-door sales and payday loans.
Minister of Government and Consumer Services Marie-France Lalonde made the announcement today in Toronto. The proposed new rules are part of the government's Putting Consumers First Act, and are aimed at protecting consumers in transactions with common household and financial services.
If passed, the proposed changes would:
- Make it possible to ban unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances, including water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and water filters
- Regulate the home inspection industry through required licensing and proper qualifications for home inspectors, as well as minimum standards for contracts, home inspection reports, disclosures and the performance of home inspections
- Strengthen consumer financial protections with new rules for alternative financial services such as payday loans, including extended repayment periods and more time between loans, as well expanded rules against unfair debt collection practices.
- Home inspectors are one of the only professionals involved in a real estate transaction that are not currently provincially regulated.
- Ontario has over 800 payday lenders and loan brokers.
- Starting January 1, 2017, Ontario’s maximum total cost of borrowing a payday loan will drop to $18 per $100 borrowed.
- Door-to-door sales have been among the top complaints received by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services for some time. Recently, the number of complaints about furnaces and air conditioners has surpassed those received for water heater rentals since the new rules for water heater door-to-door sales came into effect April 1, 2015.
- The government will seek public input to determine the types of household products that would be restricted from door-to-door sales.
- The proposed legislation to regulate home inspectors was based on 35 recommendations made by a 16-member expert panel, which were supported by both industry and consumers.
“Our government is committed to protecting consumers at home and in the marketplace. This proposed legislation will strengthen consumer protections in Ontario, and we will continue to work to inform consumers of their rights and make government work better for all Ontarians.”
“I have heard from too many consumers, including many seniors, who are being taken advantage of at their doorsteps. Our government is taking steps to protect vulnerable Ontarians and provide consumers with more protection against aggressive and misleading door-to-door sales tactics.”
“Ontario home buyers that use a home inspector should be confident that they are in the hands of a qualified professional. I am pleased that our government is making it a priority to ensure that home inspectors are regulated and qualified.”
“People have a right to expect government oversight of everyone involved in a real estate transaction. High professional standards in the home inspection industry will ensure home buyers and sellers receive reliable, informative and professional advice when making one of the largest decisions of their lives.”