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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If you were offered another warranty at no extra cost, would you turn it down? Of course not. Especially when it comes to something as expensive and complex as your new house or condo.
For a lot of new home buyers, this is not a fantasy. The reality is that many Ontario builders offer their own warranty on top of the mandatory provincial new home warranty. They want to show their customers they really care by going above and beyond the minimum requirements.
It all sounds nice so far. But the extra warranty coverage that a builder may provide is very individualized, both in the coverage offered and in the claims process. This can make it tricky for homeowners to know who to make a claim to and when. Our call centre staff will tell you that this is a major source of confusion (and not to mention frustration) among homeowners.
Keep in mind that the seven-year Ontario new home warranty is the only one that is protected by a third party - Tarion.
By all means, take advantage of the added coverage from your builder. But keep in mind that the seven-year Ontario new home warranty is the only one that is protected by a third party - Tarion. This means that if you miss out on submitting your warranty claim to Tarion, you also miss out on being able to ask Tarion for help if your builder fails to resolve something.
Here’s a quick breakdown of when and how you can make a warranty claim to Tarion:
The First Year
In the first year, you have two opportunities to submit a warranty claim to Tarion:
- During the first 30 days after you take possession or occupancy. Use the 30-Day Form to list any unresolved warranty items you and your builder identified during your pre-delivery inspection (PDI), as well as any new items that have arisen since you took possession of your house or took occupancy of your condo unit. You can submit only one 30-Day Form, so make sure you include ALL warranty items that you want to report.
- During the last 30 days before your first anniversary of taking possession or occupancy. Use the Year-End Form to list all outstanding warranty items to date. It’s important to note that the one-year warranty is the most comprehensive, and this is your final opportunity to report items covered by the one-year warranty to Tarion. If you do not submit a Year-End Form before the deadline, you may risk not having certain items covered by the warranty. Only one Year-End Form will be accepted.
The Second Year
You can submit a warranty claim at any time during your second year after taking possession or occupancy, and as many claims as necessary. Use the Second-Year Form to report any items that are covered by the two-year warranty.
Years 3 – 7
Between years 3 to 7 after taking possession of your house or occupancy of your condo unit, your home is covered against major structural defects. If you want to learn more about this coverage, click here. If you need to make a claim, you can submit a Major Structural Defect Form at any time during this period.
Having additional warranty coverage on your new home is a wonderful thing, but please take a moment to understand the difference between what your builder may provide independently and the mandatory coverage you get as a new home buyer in Ontario. This will ensure that you get the most out of your multiple layers of protection.
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.