An entrepreneur abandons her clients in the middle of the renovations

An entrepreneur abandons her clients in the middle of the renovations
An entrepreneur abandons her clients in the middle of the renovations

A Blainville entrepreneur allegedly extracted hundreds of thousands of dollars from more than fifteen clients before abandoning them in the middle of their residential renovation project, our Bureau of Investigation learned.

Formal notices, police interventions, investigation at the Régie du bâtiment du Québec and reports to the Consumer Protection Office: TP Maison has given many headaches to owners who wanted to renovate or build their house during of the last year.

“We got tricked,” laments Robin Bhuiyan, who paid $75,000 to this company for the renovation of a large part of his residence in La Prairie last summer. The work was never completed and the man had to pay almost the same amount to complete his site with another contractor.

TP Maison was founded at the start of the pandemic by Karine Breard, a businesswoman at the head of a multitude of companies operating in a variety of fields. Over the years, the entrepreneur has had two personal bankruptcies and two of her businesses have had to file for bankruptcy protection.

Attracted on Facebook

Almost all of the customers who confided in us learned about TP Maison through a Facebook ad. The company, which offered a few hours of free consultation with a designer, claimed to be able to start projects quickly, which was attractive to owners.

Once the agreement was concluded, the customers paid 10% of the total amount of the invoice. As construction neared, they were still paying 40%.

Generally, the demolition was going well. But when the time came for reconstruction, when half the bill had been paid, things got complicated.

The work was delayed, the material ordered was not delivered, workers took turns or were absent for no reason. The customers, destitute, tried to reach Karine Breard, who then demanded new sums of money. She was also increasingly difficult to reach.

No completed projects

Karine Breard, entrepreneur

To date, no renovation work has been completed by TP Maison for the customers we spoke to. The situation is particularly painful for Fabienne Le Paih, in Lanaudière, who finds herself on the street after giving some $224,000 to Karine Breard (see other text below).

Matthieu and Caroline, from Brossard, paid $42,000 and hoped for more than three months that their kitchen demolished by TP Maison would be rebuilt. It never happened.

“It was excuse after excuse [pour justifier les retards] “, deplores the couple, who turned to other professionals.

Despite the $3,500 down payment last fall, TP Maison did not work a single day at Marie-Ève ​​Martin’s in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The client gave Karine Breard formal notice to reimburse her. “It didn’t work,” breathes the young mother.

Unpaid subcontractors

Several subcontractors who have worked with Karine Breard over the past year have also told our Bureau of Investigation that they have been cheated for tens of thousands of dollars.

Entrepreneur Brenda Perez estimates that TP Maison owes her some $15,000 for demolition and clean-up work carried out by its employees.

” [Karine Breard] wrote me checks, but the checks were without funds,” she laments.

A victim too

In an interview with our Bureau of Investigation, Karine Breard showed little empathy for the fifteen clients who lost large sums of money.

“I lost more than all these people put together,” she pleaded.

Karine Breard, who “knew nothing about construction”, claims to have entrusted the management of the sites to various contractors, who would have ruined her with false invoicing, theft of time and incompetence.

Our Bureau of Investigation contacted three of these business partners, who instead claim that it is Karine Breard who owes them tens of thousands of dollars. They would have worked without being paid and would have bought materials without being reimbursed, in particular.

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Photo taken from Karine Breard’s Instagram account

Karine Breard posted a photo of her gleaming Tesla on social media.

“It was not me who took it, the money […] I took part of it to live. But living is nothing, ”defends Karine Breard, who arrived at the interview driving a Tesla.

She says she tried to “save” ongoing construction sites by using deposits from new customers. After being “threatened”, she allegedly stopped calling back clients and subcontractors who wanted to reach her.

Although TP Maison has disappeared from the web, Karine Breard is not abandoning construction. Last December, she launched a brand new company, Kare Construction, which uses images of renovation projects on its website… carried out by other contractors (see other text below).

– With Denis Therriault, Nicolas Brasseur, Ian Gemme and Maude Boutet

Manor at the heart of a dispute

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Photo provided by a Source

The official address of TP Maison and several companies run by Karine Breard is that of this luxurious residence in Blainville.

Karine Breard, most of her companies and some of her business partners all indicate that they are domiciled in a luxury house in Blainville.

However, this house – which notably has an indoor swimming pool – belongs to a former dentist who is currently fighting in court to repossess the property.

Karine Breard and her former spouse repeatedly failed to pay the $3,200 monthly rent, according to a court document.

The owner is now asking for the departure of the tenants and the sum to stop using her address for commercial purposes. A judge is due to hear the case at the end of the month.

The Régie is investigating

The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) has opened an investigation into TP Maison, which allegedly launched several construction sites without a valid license.

TP Maison is said to have used license numbers belonging to three different contractors over the past year. The owner, Karine Breard, assures that everything is legal, since these contractors acted as “project managers”.

The RBQ recalls, however, that an entrepreneur is “a person or a company that is a promoter or that sells construction projects”. Even if the company isn’t performing the work, it must have a license, according to spokesperson Sylvain Lamothe, who points out that unlicensed work is subject to fines of up to $192,000.

Ruined by her new house

A Lanaudière woman who paid $224,000 to TP Maison to rebuild her house finds herself with an unfinished building that was “not built according to the rules of the art” and which should be dismantled.

“I don’t even know what’s good in the house,” plagues Fabienne Le Paih, who hired TP Maison in March 2022 to rebuild her home in Sainte-Marcelline-de-Kildare, which had been razed by flames.

Karine Breard’s company was to take care of the “complete management of the project” estimated at $250,000, assures Ms.me The Paih. With supporting evidence, the client paid nearly $25,000 when the contract was signed, then a second sum of $119,000 when the work began last summer.

Between June and November 2022, no fewer than four different contractors worked on the site. The work was delayed, the materials ordered did not arrive and employees complained of not being paid.

To calm things down, Fabienne Le Paih agreed to pay $40,000 twice to TP Maison.

Worrying report

As winter approached, the structure still had no roof, window, floor, or electricity. Fabienne Le Paih herself paid a professional to close the openings. Doubting the quality of the work done, she also had the house inspected.

The report that followed, dated November 25, is unequivocal: “The building was not intended to be constructed this way and there is a future risk for the building as well as the occupants”, can we read. Unless otherwise advised by an engineer or other experts, the inspector “strongly” recommends dismantling the house.

Out of breath, ruined and living for months with her sister, Fabienne Le Paih unsuccessfully asked Karine Breard to reimburse her. The entrepreneur stopped answering him.

“I am a victim, but I feel extremely guilty. I feel dumb. I couldn’t imagine that Karine and TP Maison wouldn’t finish the house,” confides the woman.

Asked about this specific case, Karine Breard claims to have put $150,000 of work on the house of Fabienne Le Paih. Although TP Maison signed the contract for this construction, the businesswoman maintains that the responsibility for these setbacks lies with the contractors.

“Did I do everything possible to put people in who were going to do the work? Yes. I really wanted his house to be well done, ”she defended herself.

Images of an actress’ house

Karine Breard used images of renovation projects carried out by other contractors without authorization to promote her new construction company, including photographs taken from Isabel Richer’s residence.

At the end of the line, the actress cannot explain how the images of her house ended up on the Kare Construction site. She has never done business with this company and has “not at all” heard of Karine Breard.

The actress assures that her renovation work was carried out by Le Chantier général, a company from the Laurentians managed, among others, by Samuel Langlais. By consulting the Kare Construction website, Mr. Langlais also realized that other of his projects were there. He had never heard of Karine Breard or her companies either.

Landscaper cheated

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Photo taken from Karine Breard’s Facebook account

TP Maison would have appropriated photographs belonging to a landscape architect from Blainville to boost its Facebook page.

The Chantier général is not the only one in this situation. Last year, a landscape architect from Blainville discovered on Facebook that TP Maison, owned by Karine Breard, was appropriating his creations.

“They used my project photos, downloaded from my Facebook and they put their logo on it! These are photos that belonged to me, for [lesquelles] I paid a photographer”, plague the professional.

Faced with these allegations, Karine Breard first denied having used photographs that did not belong to her, before indicating that she would have no problem removing them.

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The article is in French

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