In this post we touch on the importance of understanding the Tarion warranty program when buying a newly built home or condo in Ontario.
By documenting and submitting warranty claims to Tarion and the builder to remedy any warrantable defects in work and materials, you can help ensure you are getting the performance and workmanship from the home you’ve contracted the builder to deliver.
Every new home builder in Ontario is required to be registered with the Tarion warranty program. This means that any new home or condo built in Ontario is warrantied for a period of seven years. There are strict rules and guidelines the builder must follow to ensure new home buyers under the program are protected. Any incomplete, unsafe or defective items that are covered under the Tarion warranty should be completed or repaired within a predetermined amount of time.
It can be a daunting task to determine what is and what isn’t covered under warranty and when claims need to be submitted by. From cosmetic deficiencies to building code compliance.
Tarion publishes a hefty document called Construction Performance Guidelines to help homeowners and builders determine which work and material defects are covered by the statutory warranty. The nearly 300 page document includes a list of over 200 warrantable items.
PDI – Pre Delivery Inspection
Before occupancy, the builder will schedule a Pre Delivery Inspection (PDI), where they provide an inspector (hired by the builder), to walk you through the new home and make a list of any unfinished, damaged or warrantable items that are required to be repaired or completed.
After the PDI and upon occupancy, the home owner can take advantage of four warranty claim periods, and must submit items for these claims under the warranty program deadlines and protocol.
30 Day Warranty
The home owner can submit a warranty claim for items listed on the PDI and other warrantable items covered under the 1 year warranty period. Deadline to submit is before the 30th day of possession.
1 year warranty
A claims form may be submitted during the last 30 days of the first year of possession, but not after the first year. Only one claims form can be submitted for the 1 year warranty claim period.
2 Year warranty
A claims form may be submitted anytime during the second year of possession, but not after the second year.
7 year warranty (Major structural defects)
Only after the second year of possession will major structural defect (MSD) issues will be considered for claims. You can make an MSD claim any time before the end of your seventh year of possession.
Warranty claim submissions require supporting documentation including photographs and specific details about the defects in order for the the claim to be processed. Every claims period covers a different set of warrantable items.
For more information on what is and what isn’t covered under the different claims periods, you can reference Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines.
Hiring a qualified New Construction Inspector to perform a New Home Warranty Inspection, can help provide an objective and unbiased, third party perspective and peace of mind when navigating the Tarion warranty program.
Phil Goldsmith is a New Construction Inspector and holds the NCI designation certified by CAHPI (Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors).
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