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Whether you own a new home or condo, are considering buying one, or just love to dream about it, the Open Door blog is here to share stories that can help you protect what is likely the biggest investment of your life.

The Open Door blog is published by Tarion, a non-profit corporation that administers Ontario’s New Home Warranty Plan and registers all new home builders in Ontario. Click here to learn more about us.

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A Condo Conundrum: How do you provide directions to a numberless suite?
April 26, 2016
A Condo Conundrum: How do you provide directions to a numberless suite?


Part of the fun of moving into your new condo – especially if it’s your very first home – is inviting your friends and family over to “ooh” and “aah”.

That was one of the many things Nyla (not her real name) was looking forward to when she moved into her new unit in late 2015. What she didn’t expect – especially 3 months after settling in – was that her guests would still have trouble finding her unit.

Nyla’s unit – and those of every unit in her new condominium – were not provided a unit number plate and the hallways did not have the appropriate signage directing visitors. Although important, Nyla understood, that such details would be addressed in time.

Yet after 3 months, Nyla – and her neighbours – were still waiting for their number to come up.Number five and a peephole on the front door

As a first time condo owner, Nyla was unsure who was actually responsible for the unit signs. Was it the builder, the condominium board or the individual owners?


As a first time condo owner, Nyla was unsure who was actually responsible for the unit signs. Was it the builder, the condominium board or the individual owners?
As a first time condo owner, Nyla was unsure who was actually responsible for the unit signs. Was it the builder, the condominium board or the individual owners? Since the signs are common elements placed outside of her door and in hallways, she was almost certain the individual owners wouldn’t each need to buy their own individual number sign.

So Nyla reached out to her condo board, asking for help. She quickly received a response – such common elements were the responsibility of the builder and they couldn’t help her.

Nyla was frustrated. Was it really up to her – or any of her other neighbours – to reach out to the builder to get this issue resolved?

Addressing the Problem

Instead of taking matters into her own hands, Nyla turned to Tarion for help. When she did, she was assured she was taking the right steps. The condo board and/or the property managers were responsible for resolving issues related to common elements by reporting them to the builder and Tarion to address defects or unfinished work.

With the process clarified, Nyla shared it with her board of directors. The President replied, thanking her for following up and assuring her she will work with the builder to complete the signage in the building.

Updates to the Condominium Act

The frustration that Nyla experienced is just one of numerous examples that has propelled the Ontario government to review the existing Condominium Act for the first time in 16 years. Working with condo owners, developers, managers and other experts, the government generated over 200 recommendations, which were used to amend and update the existing Condominium Act and the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.

Among the reforms enacted, condo managers will need to be fully licensed and board members will be required to undergo appropriate training and education, so they are better equipped to respond to owner questions and disputes. The changes also include extending most of the new home warranty coverage to certain condominium conversion projects.

Lessons Learned

  • Review the Disclosure Statement or Declaration and Description provided to you by your builder to understand the elements that belong to your unit and those that are common to the building.
  • If there are common elements that need attention, contact your condominium board. The condo board manages the common elements warranty, which covers the shared areas or common elements in the building. This warranty is separate from the warranty that comes with your unit.
  • If your condo board does not address your claim, contact Tarion for clarification. 

Do you have a story?

Are you facing an issue with your condo board or builder that Tarion helped resolve? If so, share it with us, so other homeowners have the information they need to protect their rights.


The goal of this blog is to provide you with general information about the warranty process by sharing real experiences from new homeowners. The blog should not be relied upon as legal advice. For privacy reasons, we will not address or resolve current cases in a public forum, so any comments or questions that are posted on this site that describe individual cases cannot be discussed. If you have a question about your warranty or Tarion generally, we would be pleased to discuss your issue, in the context of your particular circumstances and in confidence. We exercise reasonable care to avoid offensive, illegal or defamatory content from being posted, as well as comments that are intended solely for self-promotion or considered to be spam.

 

    

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