(press release via the Government of Ontario)
Ontario is strengthening consumer protections by introducing new rules for home inspections, door-to-door sales and payday loans.
Minister of Government and Consumer Services Marie-France Lalonde made the announcement today in Toronto. The proposed new rules are part of the government’s Putting Consumers First Act, and are aimed at protecting consumers in transactions with common household and financial services.
If passed, the proposed changes would:
- Make it possible to ban unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances, including water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and water filters
- Regulate the home inspection industry through required licensing and proper qualifications for home inspectors, as well as minimum standards for contracts, home inspection reports, disclosures and the performance of home inspections
- Strengthen consumer financial protections with new rules for alternative financial services such as payday loans, including extended repayment periods and more time between loans, as well expanded rules against unfair debt collection practices.
Protecting Ontario’s consumers is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Home inspectors are one of the only professionals involved in a real estate transaction that are not currently provincially regulated.
- Ontario has over 800 payday lenders and loan brokers.
- Starting January 1, 2017, Ontario’s maximum total cost of borrowing a payday loan will drop to $18 per $100 borrowed.
- Door-to-door sales have been among the top complaints received by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services for some time. Recently, the number of complaints about furnaces and air conditioners has surpassed those received for water heater rentals since the new rules for water heater door-to-door sales came into effect April 1, 2015.
- The government will seek public input to determine the types of household products that would be restricted from door-to-door sales.
- The proposed legislation to regulate home inspectors was based on 35 recommendations made by a 16-member expert panel, which were supported by both industry and consumers.
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