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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COVID-19 has affected almost every part of our lives – including our homes. If you’re a homeowner who has been waiting for a conciliation inspection of your home to help resolve warranty issues, you’ll be happy to hear that Tarion has restarted in-person inspections effective July 13.
But you should expect that inspections will be a little different in light of COVID-19 and the need to protect the health of everyone involved. So, if you have an inspection in your future, here are some things that you should know:
- Self-screening will be required. To protect the health of homeowners, builder representatives and Tarion employees, everyone who will be participating in an inspection will be asked to evaluate their health in advance and confirm whether they have any risk of potential exposure to COVID-19. Tarion has developed a pre-screening questionnaire based on the Government of Ontario’s self assessment tool.
- The number of participants will be limited. Homeowners will be asked to have no more than two people participate in the inspection and to have any other individuals who will be in the home maintain physical distancing wherever possible. Builders will be asked to only send one representative and Tarion will only involve the number of staff or third-party experts that are required for the assessment.
- Everyone involved will be asked to wear a mask. When Tarion employees arrive for an inspection, they will be fully equipped with personal protective equipment, including a face shield, mask, gloves, booties and sanitizer. Homeowners and builder representatives participating in the inspection will also be asked to wear masks unless there is a reason why they are unable to.
- No physical documents will be exchanged. Whether it is reports, letters or other documentation related to the items to be inspected, everything should be provided to Tarion electronically. If electronic versions aren’t available, the Tarion representative may ask permission to take a photo of documents at the inspection.
- You’ll be asked to demonstrate the defects. If it’s a switch that won’t work or doors that don’t open properly, homeowners will be encouraged to show the issues themselves to reduce the need for Tarion employees or builder representatives to touch surfaces in the home.
- Virtual inspections may be suggested for some items. Depending on the number or type of items that need to be inspected, a virtual inspection might be an option to reduce the amount of time that needs to be spent in the home. For a virtual inspection, a homeowner downloads a free app on their mobile phone, then calls Tarion and uses the app to provide a live video feed that is viewable by the Tarion representative. Tarion will then send a link to the builder representative to join the live video feed on their own device. Being able to see what the homeowner is seeing, the Tarion representative can ask questions, provide directions and take measurements using this virtual inspection technology. Although virtual inspections may not be appropriate in every case, it provides a contactless alternative for assessing certain types of items. More information on virtual inspections is available here.
While this provides an overview of what to expect, if you have an inspection scheduled you can rest assured that you’ll receive all the information you need in advance and will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. For additional information on our health and safety protocols for inspections, you can click here or contact our COVID-19 response team at email@example.com.
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.