Oakville man sues town over six-digit home repairs
Lawsuit claims extensive repairs to Bronte townhome wouldn’thave been needed if the building was inspected properly.
By Alex McKeenStaff Reporter
Thu., Oct. 5, 2017
David Goodale and Jennifer Hyde had problems renovatingtheir first home, so they were feeling more confident with their next purchasein October 2013. The Oakville townhouse was only six years old and they had ahome inspection.
Looking back now, Goodale said that wishful attitude hasturned irreparably sour.
“It’s been one nightmare after another,” Goodale, 41, saidThursday.
Four years after Goodale and Hyde bought townhouse No. 26 at96 Nelson St., for $613,000, they’re still reeling from the emotional andfinancial strain the home caused. They say they’ve spent $350,000 in repairsand legal fees, had to postpone their wedding (even splitting up temporarily),and were forced to sell their Oakville home and move to the less expensiveGrimsby area.
None of the problems turned up on their home inspection, butlurked behind the walls — costly time bombs Goodale blames the Town of Oakvillefor failing to catch during mandatory building inspections when the home wasfirst built (municipalities are responsible for enforcing Ontario’s buildingcode).
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Goodale sued Oakville in August 2014, claiming $800,000 inlosses and damages from negligence. The claim has not been proven in court, andOakville denied both the existence of the losses, and any responsibility forthem in an October 2014 statement of defence.
A spokesperson for the Town of Oakville said the towncouldn’t comment on the case because it’s still before the courts.
The first red flag was a “musty smell” in the basementGoodale initially thought was caused by a minor leak. When an engineer brokeopen a piece of drywall, a host of structural issues were laid bare. The coupleeventually learned there was a 10-centimetre gap between the rear foundationand a wall, among multiple other major structural problems.
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Goodale alleges the town temporarily lost crucial buildingplans between 2007 and 2015 that could have saved him money in engineeringfees, only to later argue that he had spent too much on his home repairs.
Mostly, he feels he’s been failed by the town.
“The foundation walls don’t touch . . . How does theinspector miss that?,” he said.
All in all, it took a year, and much disruption to the livesof Goodale, Hyde and their neighbours, to fix the house’s structural problems.
In the statement of defence, the town argues “municipalitiesdo not provide a warranty nor do they guarantee that a building is constructedin accordance with the Ontario Building Code.”
The statement goes on to claim that if structuraldeficiencies occurred in the construction of Goodale’s former property, theyarose after the inspections and were therefore not the town’s responsibility.
Since selling the house and moving to Grimsby, Goodale saidhe and Hyde just want to get their lives back.
“They know we can’t do this. They’re just trying to crushus,” he said of the town’s defence.
Throughout the ordeal Goodale turned repeatedly to his towncouncillor, Sean O’Meara, who didn’t comment on the details of the case. ButO’Meara said he’s “very, very sad” to see Goodale and Hyde leave the town underthe circumstances they did.
“There are times when a municipal government sees itself asa corporation and acts like that,” O’Meara said. “I would never ever want thatto happen to anyone else again because of processes and circumstances anddecisions that are made beyond his control.”