An Ontario court has ordered a developer to pay nearly $180,000 after illegally selling homes in Richmond Hill.

Last week, the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) announced that Ideal (BC) Developments Inc. pled guilty to selling a new home without a licence and other charges.

The HCRA said the developer took hundreds of thousands of deposits from unsuspecting purchasers for new residences in Richmond Hill.

As a result of its investigation, the HCRA laid charges against Ideal (BC) in 2021 under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. And last week, the regulatory body said the court sentenced the developer to fines of $15,625 for illegal selling and $18,750 for failing to provide evidence required by a search warrant.

The court also ordered the developer to pay $150,000 to the HCRA, which will distribute the funds among the victims to partially offset the lost deposits they paid.

“This outcome reinforces our message that anyone building and selling new homes must have a valid licence from the HCRA. It’s the law,” Wendy Moir, the HCRA’s CEO and registrar, said in a statement.

“While this restitution does not compensate purchasers for their lost deposits, we hope it helps alleviate some of their financial loss.”

In addition, the HCRA has refused to renew licenses for all Ideal Developments Inc. and related companies.

“The HCRA will continue to investigate and take action against illegal building and selling where necessary,” Moir said.

“Consistently enforcing high professional standards for the sector is critical for protecting consumers and giving new home buyers confidence when making one of the biggest purchases of their lives.”