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    The Open Door Blog


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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Going above and beyond to break down barriers
January 28, 2016
Going above and beyond to break down barriers

Purchasing a brand new condominium usually marks a significant milestone in a person’s life; marriage, downsizing or independent living for example. In Ontario, where new homes and condos represent some of the most expensive real estate across the country, buying a new condo is also a significant investment.

A beautiful brand new condo

Imagine reaching that milestone and purchasing a brand new condo. Now imagine the heartbreak if you can’t even get past the threshold of your new home. This is what happened to a homeowner who suffers from polio and required an accessibility accommodation package that was purchased in addition to the condo but not delivered to her specifications. The homeowner’s wheelchair couldn’t fit through the bathroom door. The tiles were not slip proof, and the sink was not adjustable preventing her from using it – among many other serious issues.

For 40 years, Tarion Warranty Corporation has administered the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act which provides almost every new home in Ontario with a new home warranty. The new home warranty provides consumers with the confidence that one of the largest purchases of their lives is protected and normally provides coverage to homeowners where the builder does not comply with Ontario’s accessibility regulations. In this case, however, while the builder was in compliance with the accessibility regulations, they failed to have met this homeowner’s specific needs.

Enter Cheryl, a Customer Service Representative at Tarion. Although this matter technically fell outside the parameters of the new home warranty, Cheryl believed the fair and right thing to do was help defend the homeowner’s accessibility rights, and her dignity. So Cheryl dedicated herself to ensuring the builder took responsibility for delivering a condo that this homeowner could actually enjoy. She began the journey by meeting with the homeowner’s uncle to better understand the situation.

Cheryl you are a wonderful person, making everyone coming before you very comfortable and happy,” said the homeowner’s uncle.

This was not an easy process. The builder had complied with the accessibility regulations. The challenge is that the purchaser’s needs didn’t fit into the standard requirements. After getting approval from her manager, Cheryl pursued the matter with the builder and requested that they customize the unit to the buyer’s specific needs – all at a significant cost to the builder. The builder was persuaded. The changes were eventually made, and the new homeowner was finally able to fulfill her dream of independent living. “Cheryl you are a wonderful person, making everyone coming before you very comfortable and happy,” said the homeowner’s uncle.

Tarion is here to make sure that Ontario’s new home owners’ rights are protected, and builders are fulfilling their warranty obligations. Sometimes, looking at the bigger picture is needed in order to make the right decision. In this case, we are happy that this home owner can now enjoy her new condo with ease.

Lessons learned:

If you have questions about your new home warranty that aren’t answered on our website, call Tarion’s contact centre to speak with one of representatives at 1-877-982-7466.

Tips for using Tarion:

Tarion is committed to promoting the independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity of persons with disabilities by ensuring the accessibility of our facilities and services. To learn more about how Tarion is working to comply with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, read Tarion’s Integrated Accessibility Policy and Multi-Year Plan.

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.