Builders warn of danger of using ‘cash’ contractors

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A program to help Canadians who are having a home built or renovated has been extended for three years. The Canadian Home Builders Association in partnership with the federal government will continue the Get it in Writing initiative to help consumers with topics such as hiring a contractor and the dangers of using illegal ‘cash’ operators. Kevin Lee, CEO of the CHBA warns: “Cash operators threaten the financial security of homeowners, the physical integrity of their homes, harm the businesses of legitimate renovators, and undermine the well-being of all Canadians by evading taxes that support the government services we all depend on.” Home renovation and repair represent more than half of all residential construction investment—over $60 billion each year.  The industry supports over 500,000 jobs and nearly $28 billion in annual wages and Mr Lee says as well as damaging this part of our economy the savings are not worth the risk: “Homeowners who think they are getting a deal when they agree to pay cash for a lower price often end up paying far more when things go wrong, and they have no way to hold the contractor accountable.”
  • Mike on 2015-03-09 8:27:21 AM

    On the flip side if there is no written contract when the contractor does do a lousy job and you refuse to pay him he can't simply lien your property and screw you over. Works both ways. Perhaps the secret is to find guys who take pride in their work then the job gets done right, whether it is cash or not. The government seems to be the one pushing more trades to cash, huge red tape, trade licenses (my hair is going to look so fabulous once my hairdresser gets a licencse from the Ontario government), HST at 13% and dumb restrictions. Does it make sense that the guy who opens my pool can't start my pool heater because he does not have a gas fitters license, but being a home owner I can repair it my self if I want. By the ay why it illegal for me to pay cash. The contractor is free to claim the money if he wants to. That's my Monday morning rant.

  • Rod on 2015-03-09 8:49:01 AM

    @Mike, you are so right my friend. I echo your sentiments.

  • Werner on 2015-03-09 11:03:52 AM

    Mike, you are too kind to call it rant.

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