British Columbia

Love it, list it or litigate? Home reno show crew denies liability after disgruntled couple sues

Crew members behind the home reno show Love It Or List It Vancouver have denied all the accusations made by a dissatisfied couple who sued them last year, saying all the renovations at the heart of the lawsuit were completed properly.

Reno riddled with defects that pose a 'substantial' danger to family health, homeowners allege

The home renovated for an episode of Love It or List It Vancouver pictured in North Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 11, 2019. Construction work done inside the home during an episode of the show is at the centre of a lawsuit filed by the homeowners against the producers. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The producers and a contractor behind the home reno show Love It Or List It Vancouver have denied all the accusations made by a dissatisfied couple who sued them last year, saying all the renovations at the heart of the lawsuit were completed properly.

Even if the work hadn't been done right, a response to the civil claim said, it wouldn't matter because the North Vancouver, B.C., homeowners gave up any right to sue when they signed a sweeping contract agreeing to be on the show.

"The plaintiffs assumed any and all liability for all of the renovation work following the [on-air] reveal," read the court document filed in July on behalf of the production company and the contractor.

Jeanine Almeida and Norman Waine filed their lawsuit against the company behind the show on May 9, 2018, claiming producers brought in an actor with no contracting experience to work on their Lynn Valley home for their episode. 

Jeanine Almeida and Norman Waine as seen during their episode of Love It or List It Vancouver, filmed in 2016. (HGTV)

The couple also claimed the renovation was riddled with defects that could lead to mould, fires, water damage and high concentrations of carbon dioxide — putting their family's health and safety at risk.

None of the couple's allegations have been proven in court.

The company, its producers and the contractor have asked for the case to be dismissed entirely.

The response to the couple's claim, filed in B.C. Supreme Court, said the renovation is up to code. It also said the contractor is not an actor and has 30 years of experience in construction.

Almeida, Waine and their four children appeared on season four of the show in 2016. 

During each episode, families have to decide whether to keep their current home. Two hosts, one real estate agent and one designer, try to sway participants to move or stay.

The real estate agent works to find a new house on the market suited to the family, while the designer renovates the participants' current home. At the end of the episode, homeowners choose to move or stay in their spruced-up old house, which is shown to them in a walk-through on camera.

Almeida and Waine claimed they paid the show's production company, Should I Stay or Should I Go West Productions, more than $175,000 for the renovation.

The kitchen, dining room, laundry room, garage and back deck were transformed. During the on-air reveal of their new house, Almeida and Waine said they loved the "gorgeous" final product.

They claimed issues cropped up after the show aired.

In their lawsuit, the couple said they signed a contract agreeing that work would be carried out by Kenny Gemmill, the show's resident contractor, or a "reasonable alternative." Almeida and Waine claimed the show instead hired Kerry van der Griend, whom they described as an actor with "little to no experience" as a general contractor. 

The defendants said that allegation alone is "reckless" and false. The court filing said the couple's allegations have harmed Van der Griend personally and professionally.

Almeida and Waine are asking for damages for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation, as well as general and special damages. They did not specify how much compensation they were seeking.

The defendants denied the couple "suffered any loss, damage or expense, as alleged or at all."

The Love It or List It franchise, developed by Big Coat Media in Toronto, has versions in Australia, the U.S. and several countries in Europe. Love It or List It Vancouver was the first spinoff.


Rhianna Schmunk

Senior Writer

Rhianna Schmunk is a senior writer for CBC News based in Vancouver. Over nearly a decade, she has reported on subjects including criminal justice, civil litigation, natural disasters and climate change. You can send story tips to