Dhaliwal Homes Ltd. faces 51 charges for building code violation

The charges follow a three-month investigation by the city and relate to the construction of two semi-detached properties

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The City of Calgary has laid 51 charges against Dhaliwal Homes Ltd., its manager and two officers for failing to comply with provincial safety codes legislation and municipal land use bylaws.

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The charges follow a three-month investigation by the city and relate to the construction of two twin structures.

“This is a very serious case for us, it’s very unusual,” said Cliff de Jong, head of the city’s building security services. “We have, basically, four houses that were built without a permit.”

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He added at a press conference that it appears the company has received planning approval from the city to build two semi-detached properties with four units combined, but has not followed up with the proper permits.

The problem was not discovered until all four units were sold. It was during a buyer’s due diligence that it was discovered that there were no verified permits on the homes or garages.

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A buyer who contacted Postmedia said he was able to terminate the deal and get most of his money back once he realized the seller was under investigation.

Both buildings are located at 1704 27th St. SW and 2327 27th Ave. NW

A home on the 1700 block of 27th Street SW in Calgary on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The City of Calgary has laid 51 charges against Dhaliwal Homes Ltd.  for non-compliance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act.
A home on the 1700 block of 27th Street SW in Calgary on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The City of Calgary has laid 51 charges against Dhaliwal Homes Ltd. for non-compliance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act. Photo by Steven Wilhelm/Postmedia

The southwest property is still listed on a third-party real estate site for $899,900 and is currently being sold. It is a five-bedroom, four-bathroom, 1,905 square foot unit built in 2021.

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The northwest property was taken off the market on October 22, 2021 from third-party real estate website zolo.ca, but the four-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse was previously listed at $849,900.

Due to the investigation which revealed the lack of permits, no one was able to move into the houses.

The charges include:

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  • Building without municipal building permit for both houses and detached garages.
  • Building without the necessary safety code inspections (electrical, gas, plumbing and building) in progress.
  • Knowingly submitting false and misleading information regarding permits, inspections and occupancy permits.

There were a total of 49 charges of violations of the Alberta Safety Codes Act and Dhaliwal Homes Ltd. may be fined up to $100,000 per offense and/or jailed for up to six months if convicted. For both rule violations, they could face fines of up to $10,000 per count and/or imprisonment for up to one year.

“For the four houses and associated garages, permits are missing, and they produced documents that cannot be verified as proof that they had permits,” de Jong said.

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A home on the 2300 block of 27th Avenue Northwest in Calgary on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The City of Calgary has laid 51 charges against Dhaliwal Homes Ltd.  for non-compliance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act.
A home on the 2300 block of 27th Avenue Northwest in Calgary on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The City of Calgary has laid 51 charges against Dhaliwal Homes Ltd. for non-compliance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act. Photo by Steven Wilhelm/Postmedia

According to the city, Dhaliwal Homes Ltd. has been in business in the city for “some time” and has never been investigated of this nature before.

De Jong added that it’s important for homebuyers to do their due diligence when making a purchase of this size. Without the proper permits, a new Owner’s Warranty would not be issued. The owners, not the builder, would be responsible for all expenses to ensure the home met all requirements once the sale was completed.

“Our legislation directs us as the landlord to rectify any issues, so if someone moves in and completes a sale, we can only go to the person who currently owns the property,” de Jong said. “We need to make sure the structure is safe and our legislation directs us to the owner, so they would end up with a cumbersome and very expensive problem to fix.”

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He added that it would be difficult to go through the process of buying a house without one of the “gatekeepers” – real estate agent, lawyer or city – grasping the problem.

A home on the 2300 block of 27th Avenue Northwest in Calgary on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The City of Calgary has laid 51 charges against Dhaliwal Homes Ltd.  for non-compliance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act.
A home on the 2300 block of 27th Avenue Northwest in Calgary on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The City of Calgary has laid 51 charges against Dhaliwal Homes Ltd. for non-compliance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act. Photo by Steven Wilhelm/Postmedia

Permits will now have to be acquired and full inspections carried out on all four units before anyone can move in. This means that walls will need to be opened up and drywall removed so that the structure, plumbing, electrical, gas and heating can be inspected and passed before an occupancy permit can be obtained.

The case is now in provincial court, with a first appearance Wednesday morning.

— With files from Steven Wilhelm, Calgary Herald

[email protected]

Twitter: @JoshAldrich03


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