There are numerous laws and regulations that relate to construction and renovation work (the Building By-law, zoning regulations, codes for plumbing and electrical systems, etc), and Building Permits will only be issued for work that is allowed under these regulations.

Permits work in conjunction with inspections, which ensure that the work is built as planned (according to the permit), and was constructed correctly and safely.

If you find out you need a permit after the work has started:

If you do not have a permit for work that has already started, and it turns out you need a permit for that work, you could face serious – and potentially costly – consequences, including:

  • A “work without permit” penalty. This is an additional fee equal to 50 percent of the permit fees for the project, or $198.59 (2021 rate), whichever is greater, to a maximum of $27,234.64 (2021 rate).
  • A delay while your permit application is processed. All work must stop during this time. The original timeline and fees to process an application still apply.
  • Possibly having to undo the work that was done.
  • Possibly having to do more work than you had originally planned and budgeted for, such as additional structural or mechanical work.
  • Possible legal and /or financial issues down the road, such as impacts on selling your property or making an insurance claim.

NOTE: As the homeowner, you are responsible for paying these fees or penalties yourself even if you have hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not needed.