Quebec’s Home Builders’ Association has filed a police complaint against a Laval developer who went bankrupt last week, but not before taking at least $17 million in deposits from prospective home buyers.
Lisa Alahaydoyan is one of those buyers.
Her plan was to have a Laval home torn down and rebuilt into her dream one with a two-car garage and possible pool.
“It was our dream home,” she said. “We worked meticulously to make sure every single room was the way we wanted it.”
She and her husband dealt with a well-known contractor called Bel-Habitat Incorporated that promised delivery by January.
Afarin Pouroskouei had the same plan for her family on the adjoining plot.
“We checked with the previous customers, we went inside their homes we checked their houses,” she said. “They were satisfied. Then we checked with other brokers and also with the banks and they said no problem, this company is reliable.”
Both fronted the contractor around $200,000 to get their respective projects off the ground, but they say there were red flags as the project was advancing.
Delays, paperwork issues, and rumours of unpaid bills started to pop up, and just when they were about to transfer ownership of the land to themselves, the contractors filed for bankruptcy.
Both families lost their entire deposits, and they were not alone.
At least 100 Laval families found themselves in the same situation with the same company; often after years of saving for a down payment.
Luc Perrier is president of Bel-Habitat. CTV News visited his office, which doubles a showcase house, but nobody answered the door.
According to the buyers, no one has seen him since he declared bankruptcy.
The future homeowners were suspicious and say Perrier encouraged his clients to increase their deposits to 20 percent of the purchase price leaving dozens ruined.
“In a second, all our dreams turned into a nightmare,” said Pouroskouei.
There is a glimmer of hope, however, as in Quebec, new homeowners are protected by what is called the homebuilders’ construction warranty monitored by an industry oversight group.
However, it only pays back up to $50,000.
The Homebuilders’ Association felt that there were enough questions raised that they’ve now filed a complaint to the police against Perrier.
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