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Improvements to Customer Service and Consumer Protection under the New Home Warranty and Protection Program

Following public feedback received earlier this year, Tarion is moving forward with new consumer protection initiatives to address recommendations  made by the Auditor General of Ontario, as well as additional improvements to the new home warranty and protection program. 

Tarion is committed to implementing all 25 recommendations received by the Auditor General of Ontario as we continue to work to build a more transparent, fair, and accountable new home warranty and protection program.

Since the release of the Auditor General’s report, Tarion has implemented 19 of the Auditor General’s recommendations in 2020, with only six remaining to be implemented in 2021.

The new improvements include:

  • A new e-learning hub with plain-language modules to help homeowners understand their warranty coverage, rights and responsibilities and the importance of the Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI); 
  • A new timely and cost-effective mediation option for homeowners who dispute Tarion’s warranty assessments, using independent mediators;
  • A new targeted inspection program aimed at higher risk builders to proactively identify potential deficiencies relating to Ontario’s Building Code prior to occupancy.
  • Updated policies related to performance security and collections , to bolster builder accountability if they do not honour their warranty obligations;
  • A new risk-based inspection program to proactively identify potential deficiencies related to Ontario Builder Directory violations during construction;
  • Requirements that builders provide Tarion with information regarding title and title restrictions for condominium construction projects deemed to be high-risk;
  • Additional disclosure to purchasers of restrictions that could cause delay or cancellation of a project; and
  • Improvements to the Ontario Builder Directory to include additional helpful information such as defects a builder refused to repair, unpaid money a builder owes to Tarion, and the investigations into a builder’s behaviour that found they lacked honesty and integrity.

Tarion has also implemented changes which take effect for all Agreements of Purchase and Sale signed on, or after, February 1, 2021:

  • A new requirement for a Warranty Information Sheet to be attached to all purchase agreements to provide clear and helpful warranty information at the time of sale; 
  • A new requirement for builders to provide Tarion with purchaser contact info to allow for earlier communication about the importance of the PDI as well as key elements of the new home warranty that would apply during the pre-possession period.

Finally, as consulted on earlier this year, Tarion is also moving forward with an additional consumer protection initiative to change some warranty compensation limits, including:

  • Increasing the compensation limit for claims involving hazardous substances (such as mould and radon)
  • Increasing the compensation limit for defects relating to condominium common elements (such as parking garages, and exterior cladding); and
  • Increasing the compensation limit on septic system issues where homes have a separate septic system.

Thank you for sharing your feedback on creating a stronger and more transparent new home warranty and protection program for all Ontarians. The input we received has been crucial for improving the new home warranty process. For more information on these new measures, please view our Q&A.

We are confident that the changes we are making will help homeowners and create a stronger new home warranty and protection program for all Ontarians.

As we work to address all of the Auditor General’s recommendations, we will continue to provide regular updates on our progress. Tarion’s implementation plan to address the Auditor General’s recommendations can be found here

  

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