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Homeowners hired a contractor to build a pool. They say he took their money and never finished the job

A number of householders in rural Ottawa say they’re drained, annoyed and out tens of hundreds of {dollars} after hiring a contractor for a job that was by no means completed.

CBC spoke to 4 individuals who all confirmed they employed Serge Yasmine of BMX Renovations, a Gatineau, Que., firm, to put in in-ground swimming pools on their properties throughout the pandemic. Three agreed to share their tales.

All stated they signed contracts with Yasmine after he was really useful by somebody they knew, paid tens of hundreds of {dollars} in deposits, gear and labor, and in each case the work was by no means accomplished.

Two of the householders CBC spoke to are suing Yasmine and the contractor has additionally been charged by Ottawa police for uttering loss of life threats to certainly one of his prospects.

Yasmine has repeatedly ignored CBC’s requests for an interview, however in a collection of textual content messages, blamed the pandemic and inflation for the delays in ending the tasks he was employed for.

The view of the yard from Tyler Bruce’s Greely, Ont., dwelling. He says his yard regarded this fashion for months after hiring contractor Serge Yasmine to put in a pool. The job was speculated to solely take a couple of weeks. (Submitted by Tyler Bruce)

Guarantees made, cash paid

Tyler Bruce appears over his unfinished pool within the yard of his not too long ago constructed dwelling in Greely, within the south finish of Ottawa.

It is a job that was speculated to be finished by now and by Yasmine.

In February 2021, Bruce met with Yasmine for a session.

“He promised us he was going to, and these had been his phrases, not mine, ‘make our yard desires come true,'” remembers Bruce.

The couple signed a $70,000 contract with Yasmine and paid a $20,000 deposit meant to cowl the entire pool supplies. The work was to start that August and be accomplished in about six weeks.

WATCH | Tyler Bruce employed Serge Yasmine to put in a pool at his Greely dwelling:

Greely house owner particulars ‘hectic’ expertise with pool contractor

Tyler Bruce, who employed Serge Yasmine to put in a pool at his Greely dwelling, says he parted methods with the contractor after many delays and he is now caught paying “six figures” to get the work completed.

A 12 months earlier, about 16 kilometers away in Manotick, Khalid Amr, had additionally employed the contractor to put in a pool. He signed a contract with Yasmine for $48,000, and instantly paid a $15,000 down fee. The job was anticipated to start in July 2020 and Amr was promised it will be over no later than the tip of August that 12 months.

“This was a horror story,” stated Richard Brant, who says he had an identical expertise.

Already having employed somebody to do the landscaping of his yard, Brant and his spouse had been trying to have a pool put in for the summer season of 2021.

Having seen a number of of his neighbors rent BMX Renovations, Brant stated he signed a regular contract price $46,000 for a three-week set up job to start in July. He additionally paid a $15,000 deposit after which one other $12,500 for provides up entrance.

Serge Yasmine is the proprietor of BMX Renovations, the corporate three householders say they employed to redo their backyards and set up in-ground swimming pools. (Serge Yasmine/Fb)

Delays and excuses

It did not take lengthy for alarm bells to go off. As work started, all three prospects stated progress was gradual.

Lawns had been torn up, bushes ripped out, holes dug and concrete was ultimately poured, however throughout a interval of a number of months as a substitute of the few weeks that was promised.

When requested about timing, “the contractor would go darkish for weeks on finish. Promised all the things. Day after day, for months, would say ‘I am on my manner there now.’ Then at all times one thing,” stated Bruce.

“I used to be on him continually, continually, continually,” stated Brant.

Every thing from gear malfunctions, a loss of life within the household or medical appointments, Bruce stated there was “at all times an excuse, by no means any supply.”

CBC reviewed a whole bunch of textual content messages exchanged between Brant and Yasmine from November 2020 and October 2021, which present no less than 30 situations during which work, gear or communication was promised, then canceled by Yasmine.

WATCH | Richard Brant says pool contractor left them excessive and dry:

‘Wasted time and wasted effort’: Resident says pool contractor left them excessive and dry

Richard Brant says Serge Yasmine of BMX Renovations wasn’t usually on the website to oversee the set up of a pool he had agreed to construct. In a collection of textual content messages, Yasmine blamed the pandemic and inflation for delays in ending a number of tasks.

More cash requested

Bruce, Amr and Brant had been all requested by the contractor for more cash, even with nearly all of the work but to start. Yasmine instructed them it was to pay suppliers.

Amr paid a further $15,000, adopted by one other request for $5,000. Brant was requested for $5,000 money throughout the first hour of Yasmine starting the work at his dwelling.

Bruce additionally made further funds, just like the others, believing he was paying suppliers up entrance for needed gear.

However a lot of the gear by no means confirmed up. The contractor blamed the delays on the pandemic, on prospects and suppliers.

In a single textual content message alternate, Brant tells Yasmine he is nervous about being requested for more cash so early on within the mission.

“In case you have points with belief, I quite we go separate methods now as a result of it is solely gonna get worst from right here,” Yasmine wrote again. “I’ve a $100,000 bobcat sitting in your property. You assume I am gonna [take] the cash and run?”

Richard Brant had employed Serge Yasmine to transform his yard and set up a pool final 12 months. He ended up having to rent one other firm to complete the job. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Allegations of withholding refunds, uttering threats

However regardless of reassurances, months into the job it turned clear to Bruce, Amr and Brant that they wanted to finish their contracts with Yasmine. Winter was approaching and Brant was left with a mud pit crammed with water and frogs.

Bruce who anticipated the pool to be completed by the tip of summer season final 12 months, waited all through the winter and into this spring. He and his fiance had plans to host their marriage ceremony reception of their yard this June, which they needed to cancel.

Each he and Amr’s backyards are nonetheless not absolutely accomplished. Brant employed a special firm to finish his pool late final 12 months.

All of them are nonetheless ready on refunds for Yasmine’s unfinished work. Bruce requested $25,000, Brant stated he’s owed about $10,000 and Amr stated he’s owed about $20,000.

They threatened authorized motion. Yasmine allegedly retaliated with threats of his personal.

Earlier this 12 months, he was charged by Ottawa police for uttering loss of life threats after he left a voicemail on Brant’s cellphone. CBC has reviewed the voicemail. It contained just one phrase that seemed like “lifeless.”

After refusing to pay him any more cash, Yasmine additionally put a lien on Amr’s home, which Amr has since eliminated.

Khalid Amr says Yasmine owes him roughly $20,000 for the unfinished work he paid for. (Zoom)

Yasmine responds

When CBC requested an interview from Yasmine by textual content, he responded saying “BMX Renovations sadly suffered great monetary losses final 12 months and hasn’t recovered since.”

He stated his firm is at the moment being dissolved.

“It’s unlucky for some purchasers as a result of we financially couldn’t get well. Add inflation and all the fabric shortages and prospects refusing to pay for sure jobs, we couldn’t maintain remaining in enterprise,” Yasmine wrote.

He wouldn’t comply with an interview.

“I will likely be referring this matter to the Ottawa Police Service, and I’ll defer to their place. As for any claims, the media is just not the suitable discussion board to pursue or deal with these claims, a few of that are effectively over two years outdated, ” Yasmine wrote in a remaining textual content to CBC.

Richard Brant says that is the extent of labor accomplished by Yasmine, months into the job. (Submitted by Richard Brant)

Shifting on

Bruce, Amr and Brant had been all compelled to rent different contractors to complete the job.

Bruce stated he has accomplished a number of the work on his personal, constructing a shed he had employed Yasmine to make. A brand new firm has taken over ending his pool and the landscaping of his yard.

He estimates having spent greater than $100,000 on the entire ordeal.

“Once you work for one thing and pay for somebody to do it after which you need to do it your self, it’s totally irritating, proper? It is a bit disheartening and also you lose loads of belief in lots of people,” he stated.

Amr stated he spent a further $30,000 to what he paid Yasmine for an additional contractor to work on his pool.

“I simply let go and I attempt to do no matter I can do to repair it,” he stated.

Brant has continued to try to get his a reimbursement from Yasmine. After quite a few texts and calls to the contractor, the police warned him towards harassing the contractor.

“I attempted to go along with a good firm, however as a result of I needed to have the pool sooner quite than later, I went with somebody, let’s assume much less respected, that I did not have that confirmed historical past with,” he stated.

Amr says {the electrical} work finished by Yasmine on his pool was poorly finished and incomplete. (Submitted by Khalid Amr)

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