For the first time, Mike Holmes has spoken publicly about a lawsuit that alleges houses in a “Holmes Approved Homes” development in Meaford, Ont., were built with defects.
The celebrity contractor and popular TV host posted a statement on his Facebook page four days after CBC News reported on an update on the lawsuit. The suit was launched in 2021 by Tarion, a consumer protection organization for new-home buyers in Ontario.
Holmes said he was “deeply disappointed” by “news reports” about the lawsuit and that “only some” of the statements his company, the Holmes Group, provided to the media “were used, and even those were taken out of context.”
Holmes said his company had no access to the development’s houses during construction, so it was unable to “assist in verifying or identifying potential problems.”
Holmes also said he continues to stand proudly by his record, and that he and his company “will not be deterred in our mission to help homeowners Make It Right.”
Tarion’s $8-million lawsuit targets the Holmes Group and more than a dozen other parties involved in the development, called TerraceWood. The suit alleges that between 2015 and 2019, 14 TerraceWood houses were built with flaws, including major structural problems.
Tarion says the builder, Third Line Homes, failed to fix the defects, so Tarion has been paying for all the repairs.
Tarion recently decided demolition was a more reasonable option for three of the houses. Two have already been torn down.
In its lawsuit, Tarion claims the Holmes Group failed to do additional house inspections for homeowners who had commissioned them and misrepresented the builder, Third Line Homes, as competent.
In his post, Holmes said he and the Holmes Group “do not deny we advertised our inspection services” to homebuyers. However, he says, the company inspected no TerraceWood houses, because no one bought the “Holmes Approved Homes” inspection package.
Holmes did not explicitly respond to details in the CBC News report about his endorsement of the “Holmes Approved Homes” project in ads and the involvement of two of his other companies. One of those companies bought and later sold a TerraceWood house with alleged defects, and the other company lent money to Third Line Homes, via private mortgages.
Holmes also did not address comments from homeowners who said they thought they were automatically buying “Holmes Approved Homes,” and didn’t know the Holmes inspections cost extra.
He also didn’t respond to homeowners who complained that, after problems surfaced in TerraceWood, Holmes never returned to help “make it right.”
Allegations of misrepresentation
Holmes said in his post that he’s confident the courts “will provide an appropriate forum to present our compelling evidence.”
He did not say how the Holmes Group will address Tarion’s allegation that the company misrepresented Third Line Homes, as “a competent, expert, reliable builder when that was not accurate.”
Paul and Mary-Jo Osborn, principals with Third Line Homes, and the Municipality of Meaford, which inspected the houses, are also defendants in the lawsuit.
Both parties deny any wrongdoing and argue Tarion’s decision to condemn three homes was unwarranted.
The Osborns also claim it was Tarion that caused problems by excluding Third Line Homes from dealing with homeowners’ complaints about defects.