I have a friend…
A sentence every good story should start with.
A friend living in the penumbra of a renovation project.
My friend lives in a semi detached house in Toronto. About a year ago a builder bought the semi detached house on the other side.
The old saying everything that could happen, will happen, is valid in this case.
The builder started ripping the house apart before he attained any city permits.
There were very quickly no windows or walls….the house was open to the elements.
The back of the house was dug up….a basement dug out and a huge extension built out back. My friends garden was soon adjacent to a massive pile of dirt. That’s when the cracks began to appear. Cracks…coming down from the ceiling and along the corners of the rooms that attach to the adjoining wall.
Water started coming in through the basement. Water that had never been present before…
My friend came home one day and the chimney had been removed….no permit.
The city inspector said not to worry…a permit was imminent.
This was when I started to wonder what was going on.
A permit was coming ?
Anyone who has ever had a permitted job through the city of Toronto knows full well that they shut you down if there is even a whiff of non compliance or a stone removed without the proper paperwork going through the proper channels.
This wasn’t a matter of nobody knowing what was happening…this was a matter of the city inspector waving through un-permitted work for some reason or another.
The back yard garage was removed and my friend was told that the owner would be building a new one….Something I was under the impression was not allowed, or if allowed, very hard to have successfully passed.
Drainage pipes were unfettered and poured down onto the new structure over into my friends side of the semi.
Is this the price one pays for city building ? for semi detached downtown living ?
My question to you is….Should there be a higher standard of work demanded when the work you do directly and physically affects your neighbour ? How is it possible that this can happen ?
How is it possible that when confronted with the cracks and water damage, the city inspector told my friend that it was fine and if more proof than his word was required a structural engineer would have to be called in at the expense of my friend????
The occupant of this semi detached house was ridiculed and insulted by the builder who had bought the other half of the house to “flip” …to make bags of money from. Should there be some recourse for this owner ?
Is it too insulting to wonder if palms are being greased ?
Does this sound legitimate ?
Does your answer to these questions change depending on whether you are an owner or a builder owner ?
I am all for making money….bags…pots of it. But IF the city with all their codes and expensive permits is being circumvented somehow, then what is the answer ?
Should someone be held accountable and how ?
I remember some time ago some very shady building dealings happening in Quebec.
I remember it….In the end it all fell apart.
People had to pay.
Have you ever experienced this situation and if you did was there recourse ?
This week my friend had one half of the adjoining eavestrough and downspout removed…yup…just the one half !!!
A nightmare of unbelievable proportions.

A nightmare of unbelievable proportions

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