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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Belinda’s excitement over her new condominium grew stronger as her occupancy date neared. Another chapter was about to begin in her life, and it all would unfold in a pristine living space that reflected her character in so many ways.
Buying pre-construction gave her the opportunity to tailor her unit not only to her personal tastes, but also her unique needs. Belinda (not her real name) is a senior whose severe arthritis makes everyday things like walking – and sometimes even just standing – difficult and dangerous. As a result, the bathtub and fixed shower head that were standard items in her unit simply would not work for her. So, she paid her builder $7,500 for an upgrade to her ensuite bathroom that included a walk-in shower, hand-held shower head, and grab bars to ensure her safety while bathing.
During her pre-delivery inspection, Belinda discovered that the grab bars were missing. Her builder’s representative duly noted this on the pre-delivery inspection form and promised her that they would get around to installing them soon.
Ideally, builders should address any missing or damaged items noted during the pre-delivery inspection before purchasers move in. However, it is not uncommon for there to be some outstanding work even after a purchaser moves into a newly built home.
Belinda moved into her unit and the grab bars were still not there. She sent a note to her builder to remind them. She also reminded herself about her new home warranty and Tarion. Without delay, she registered for MyHome, Tarion’s online service for homeowners, and submitted her first warranty claim.
Under the regular warranty claims process, builders are provided an initial repair period of 120 days in which to resolve items with homeowners. Belinda hoped she would not need to wait that long for her grab bars. She sent another reminder to her builder but, as before, failed to get a response.
She turned to Tarion to see if anything could be done. Belinda was connected with Tarion’s early resolution team, where she met Assunta. Tarion’s early resolution process is a new initiative that is specifically designed to assist homeowners whose warranty claims require a speedier response from their builder.
Assunta gathered all of the details from Belinda and contacted her builder’s office the same day. She explained to a member of the customer care team that Belinda’s situation demanded immediate attention because it was a matter of health and safety. Without the grab bars, Belinda risked serious injury or worse. While some of her other warranty claim items could take longer to resolve, this safety hazard could not wait.
Within a few days, Belinda received a call from her builder to let her know that the grab bars had been ordered and would be installed as soon as they arrived. Her first emotion was relief – she could finally look forward to enjoying her new home with confidence.
Relief was followed by astonishment at the sudden change in attitude displayed by her builder. She understood that their new sense of urgency was due to Tarion’s intervention.
Belinda wrote back to us to express her gratitude: “Assunta has been a real help. Her quick action and understanding are greatly appreciated. I feel much safer now.”
- If items noted on your pre-delivery inspection (or PDI) form have not been addressed by the time you move in, you’ll need to submit them on a warranty form to your builder and Tarion to ensure your warranty rights are protected. This is because the PDI form, though an official record of the condition of your new home before you moved in, is not a valid request for warranty service.
- Register for MyHome as soon as you take occupancy. MyHome is every new home owner’s best friend. It sends you reminders for important warranty dates and enables you to submit warranty claims to your builder and Tarion simultaneously. You can also attach photos or any other documents you wish to include in support of your claim.
- If you’re ever in need of warranty assistance, contact Tarion. There are many ways we can help homeowners resolve their warranty concerns, including early resolution, conciliation, and mediation. We can help determine the best course of action for your situation.
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.