On behalf of over a hundred condo owners, an Ottawa woman has filed a $3-million class action against builder Theberge Developments Ltd., which has allegedly deceived purchasers with hidden costs and ultimately failed to live up to its promises.
Sabrina Heyde alleged that the developer fraudulently tacked on a rental agreement for a heating system—which Heyde said was never disclosed in the initial sales pitch—along with other paperwork that Heyde ended up signing in 2013 without her knowledge.
As a result, Heyde and the other owners had to pay an extra $89 a month for their combined heating system and hot water tank.
“It’s an issue of being tricked. It’s an issue of being lied to,” Heyde said, as quoted by CBC News.
Now approaching retirement, couple Valeda Babineau and Joe Corkery said they feel “cheated” by Theberge.
“We were lied to,” Babineau said. “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 couple said that they learned about the heating system only during their upgrades meeting. Subsequently, Babineau and Corkery consulted a lawyer to try to get out of the deal, but they had spent $3,000 in legal fees so far without success.
“They manipulated us,” Corkey said.
The class action also slammed 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 said that the original contract, which included storage lockers in the purchase price, had a drafting error.
Theberge said that it would be appealing to have the case dismissed, refuting the claimants’ assertions of breach of contract, breach of the Condominium Act, and negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation.
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