Buildings and construction
You must obtain a permit before you renovate, demolish or build a building on your property.
Renovation, demolition or construction
Anyone wishing to renovate, demolish or construct a building on their property must first obtain a building or demolition permit, and is required in the Building Code Act, to ensure the safety of the occupant with respect to fire, structural stability, and energy efficiency to the minimum standards of the Ontario Building Code. Any work done without obtaining a building permit may result in a work order against the property or even the loss of a sale.
Above ground and in-ground pools
The fee for a construction or demolition permit is calculated in accordance with Schedule A of By-law 2005-40.
The fee for a permit to construct a pool and fence is fifty dollars $50.00
Homeowners’ inspection responsibility
It is always the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that all inspections are done including the final inspection to close off their Building Permit.
All Building Permits need to be closed even if the work was never started. If the work is not finished, a renewal building permit is required with an inspection of the property and a renewal fee is applicable. If after a year, the homeowner has not been in contact with the building department, a work order may be issued against the property. The Work Order can be removed by scheduling an inspection of the property with the building department and following their recommendations.
A work order is issued when a Building Permit was not taken for a project or is not closed. These deficiencies can be found in a few ways: a lawyer makes an inquiry, a neighbor calls or a potential buyer makes an inquiry. Aerial photos are also used to show the addition of a structure from one year to another. As a result of these scenarios, the Building Department has no choice but issue a Work Order if something is not to code.
An outstanding work order (OWO):
A property is considered to have an OWO when the owner (or applicant) of a building permit issued in the past did not call for a final inspection. In order to be formal, this building permit file must contain drawings, details and/or a clear description of the project.
A property is without a doubt considered to have an OWO when there is an “ order to comply” or a “ stop work order” or a “ building inspector’s report” stating that there is still work that needs to be corrected.
A property is not considered to have an OWO if there is an open file and work is still ongoing meaning this file is still active and one or more inspections need to be performed in order to close this file. In these cases, the Chief Building Official will inform the interested party (i.e. owner, lawyer or purchaser) and the file remains opened.
When buying or selling a property, do not wait until the last minute to do a little search as this can make closing difficult and costly. Also, be aware that Title Insurance may not cover all work order related issues. If the insurance Company deems that due diligence was not done by the closing lawyer to ensure that the property was clear of all outstanding building permits and/or work orders, the new homeowners will inherit these issues even though they did not initiate them.
We hope this information is helpful and do not hesitate to contact your Building Department if further information is required.