North Vancouver couple sues reality home reno show

North Shore News

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A renovation at this home at 1364 29th St. East in Lynn Valley, completed as part of the Love It Or List It Vancouver home improvement reality TV show, is at the centre of a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court. photo Mike Wakefield, North Shore News

A North Vancouver couple who appeared on the TV show Love It Or List It Vancouver has filed a lawsuit against the show’s parent company and its producers, claiming the renovation completed on their home for one of the episodes was substandard and resulted in “real and substantial danger to the health and well-being” of their family.

Jeanine Almeida and Norman Waine, a North Vancouver couple, appeared on the home renovation show in an episode that was filmed two years ago and aired in October 2016.

The episode featured a renovation of the couple’s 1959-era Lynn Valley home on East 29th Street, including revamping of the living room and kitchen, creation of a playroom for their four children out of a garage space and rebuilding of an outside deck.

According to a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the couple signed a contract on Dec. 7, 2015 with the show’s production company to participate in the home renovation show. Under the terms of that contract, the couple agreed to pay just over $175,000 for a renovation of their home at 1364 East 29th Street.

Under the terms of the contract, the work was to be completed in accordance with building codes and permits, in a “good and workmanlike manner, free from defects and deficiencies” and would be “carried out by an experienced professional contractor, specifically Kenny Gemmill or a reasonable alternative contractor,” according to the statement of claim.

But instead, according to the lawsuit, the show hired actor Kerry Van Der Griend to act as a contractor instead of Gemmill.

The lawsuit alleges Van Der Griend had “little or no experience as a general contractor and no training or qualifications” to act as one.

Renovation work on the couple’s home started in April 2016 and was revealed to them on May 12, 2016. Prior to the big reveal, Almeida and Waine “were allowed only limited access to the home and were not able or allowed to supervise” the reno, according to the lawsuit.

While the TV show depicted the couple being pleasantly surprised by many aspects of the transformation, once the cameras stopped rolling, the story changed, the couple allege, who stated in their claim they later discovered “numerous defects and deficiencies in the work,” which the TV production company failed to fix.

Some of the deficiencies included those “which may lead to the growth of mould in the home, high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the home, water ingress into the home, danger of fire in the home,” according to the lawsuit.

Prior to the couple signing the contract, TV producers for the show told them they would receive a high-quality renovation as part of participation on the show and promised there had been no previous problems with any of the renovations previously carried out by the reality show, the lawsuit claims.

Those promises were “materially untrue, misleading and inaccurate,” according to the couple’s statement of claim.

None of the claims has been proven in court.

The TV production company has not yet filed a statement of defence and no one at the company’s Toronto or Vancouver offices responded to a request to comment. Van Der Griend also did not respond to a request to comment.

While the couple decided to “list it” – meaning they planned to sell the newly renovated home and buy another – at the conclusion of the 2016 episode, records indicate they did not subsequently sell the home. The assessed value of the property now sits at about $1.5 million according to BC Assessment.

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