This is a reminder that there is little if any protection for homeowners in BC. For more than 25 years before the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) was even in existence the builders were running roughshod, and things really haven’t changed.
Building a house is not as simple as it used to be, but the loose standards from past decades prevail, and easily pre-date the birth of many first time home buyers in BC today.
It is regrettable and shameful that the leaders of the building industry still represent and tout work practices and standards from the dark ages that carry with it the need for additional layers and costs to the process for consumers, and while failing to deliver good quality construction.
The old building industry model that is still in use today is severely broken and doesn’t come anywhere near to meeting consumer expectations.
No education or training is required to be a licensed builder in BC, and a window or door installed out-of-square or out-of-plumb is not considered a defect because it is not a building code violation. Yes, uneven ceilings and floors are okay, believe it or not!
Senior governments have been downloading the responsibility of consumer protection for more than 25 years to the point that what little is left is now in the hands of the industry and its partners, e.g. warranty insurance companies, HPO, industry organizations, etc.
What's also lacking with this downloading is that there was no expectation of accountability.
The CBC have recently reported that the HPO is ignoring consumers complaints and allowing builders to continue; “business as usual” (confirming once again that the HPO is nothing more than a marketing tool for the building industry): Builder relicensed despite unfinished homes.
The serious lack of accountability and professional ethics spills over between all organizations involved in home building, but to a person, they all blame someone else, and even the consumer.
“Buyer beware” remains a challenge because if any reputable builders, or buildings, do exist they are impossible to distinguish, and the HPO registry is obviously a big waste of taxpayers money based on what the CBC reports.
The HPO only ever stood for Homeowner Protection in name. The recent announcement that as of April 2, 2010 the HPO will no longer exist was unnecessary because it never did.