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Streamlining Building Permit Approval and Protecting Homebuyers

Archived Backgrounder

Streamlining Building Permit Approval and Protecting Homebuyers

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

To help speed up the building permit application process and to better protect homebuyers, the proposed Good Government Act, 2009 contains a number of amendments to the Building Code Act, 1992 that would, if passed, streamline the permit process and help Tarion Warranty Corporation identify unregistered builders.

Setting timeframes for building permit approvals

The Building Code Act, 1992 currently requires chief building officials to decide within a prescribed time period, e.g., 10 working days for a new house, whether to issue a building permit or refuse with accompanying reasons. To provide greater clarity to municipalities and builders, a proposed amendment to the act would provide for regulations that establish criteria for when that time period begins.

Identifying unregistered builders

To help protect homebuyers from unregistered builders, the Building Code Act, 1992 would be amended to require municipal building officials to give Tarion prescribed information relating to building permits. This change would support enforcement of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, promote consumer protection and public safety, and combat the underground economy.

Enhancing municipal enforcement of the Building Code Act, 1992

Another proposed amendment to the Building Code Act, 1992 would establish the limitation period for municipalities to prosecute offences under the act, such as construction without a permit, as one year from the date the offence is discovered. The act currently limits prosecution to within one year following the occurrence of the offence

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