An Ottawa woman has filed a $3-million class action against builder Theberge Developments Ltd., over allegations that the firm deceived purchasers with hidden costs and broken promises.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Sabrina Heyde on behalf of over a hundred condo owners, alleged that the developer surreptitiously inserted a rental agreement for a heating system along with other paperwork, which Heyde ended up signing in 2013 without her knowledge.
Heyde and the other owners thus had to pay an extra $89 a month for their combined heating system and hot water tank. She maintained that this added cost was never disclosed in the initial sales pitch.
“It’s an issue of being tricked. It’s an issue of being lied to,” Heyde said, as quoted by CBC News.
Theberge refuted the accusations of breach of contract, breach of the Condominium Act, and negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation. The firm said that it would be appealing to have the case dismissed.
Now approaching retirement, couple Joe Corkery and Valeda Babineau admitted they feel “cheated” and “deceived” by Theberge.
The couple said that they learned about the heating system only during their upgrades meeting. As a result, Babineau and Corkery tried to get out of the deal by consulting a lawyer, but they ended up spending $3,000 in legal fees without success.
“They manipulated us,” Corkey said.
“We were lied to,” Babineau added. “We didn’t know that when we purchased we were going to have to pay an extra $89 a month... Otherwise I think we would have thought twice about purchasing.”
The lawsuit also accused Theberge for not providing storage lockers promised to more than 60 condo owners.
“I would have not purchased the place without storage,” Babineau stated. The developer defended itself by saying that there was a drafting error in the original contract, which included storage lockers in the purchase price.
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