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How it works

Common elements warranty coverage begins on the date the condominium corporation is registered, or the date of an amended for  phased condominium projects and lasts for 7 years. This page provides a general overview of common elements coverage. For more detailed information on coverage, you can refer to the Common Elements Construction Performance Guidelines.

One-Year Warranty

One Year Warranty Coverage
 begins on the date of registration.

The One Year Warranty requires that the home be free of:

  • Defects in workmanship and materials
  • Defects that cause the building to be unfit for habitation
  • Ontario Building Code violations
  • Major structural defects
  • Unauthorized substitutions
The number one

Two-Year Warranty

A builder warrants that, for two years from the date of registration, the common elements are free from:

  • Water penetration through the basement or foundation walls

  • Defects in materials or work (including windows, doors and caulking) that result in water penetration into the building envelope

  • Defects in materials and work in distribution systems.
  • Defects in materials and work which result in detachment, displacement or deterioration of exterior cladding (such as brickwork, aluminum or vinyl siding)

  • Violations of Ontario Building Code regulations under which the Building Permit was issued, affecting health and safety, including, but not limited to, fire safety, insulation, air and vapour barriers, ventilation, heating and structural adequacy
The number 2

Seven-Year Major Structural Defect Warranty

A major structural defect is defined in the Act as any defect in work or materials that results in the failure of a load-bearing part of the home's structure or materially and adversely affects its load-bearing function; or any defect in work or materials that materially and adversely affects the use of the building as a home.

Major Structural Defect (MSD) 
The Major Structural Defect warranty covers years 3-7 and includes significant damage due to soil movement, major cracks in basement walls, collapse or serious distortion of joints or roof structure and chemical failure of materials. 

In addition to general exclusions such as damage/defect due to condominium corporation action, normal wear and tear, third-party damage, secondary/consequential damage or supplementary warranties/agreements, the MSD warranty specifically excludes: dampness not arising from failure of a load-bearing portion of the building; damage to drains or services; and damage to finishes.

The number range 3 - 7
A condo lobby

What is not covered by the Common Elements warranty

What is not covered by the Common Elements warranty

It is important for condominium corporations to note what is not covered by the statutory
warranty. The Act sets out the following exclusions from warranty coverage:


  • Defects in materials, design and work supplied by the owner

  • Secondary damage caused by defects under warranty, 
such as 
    property damage and personal injury

  • Normal wear and tear

  • Normal shrinkage of materials caused by drying after construction

  • Damage caused by dampness or condensation due to failure by the owner to maintain adequate ventilation or proper operation of moisture-producing devices such as humidifiers

  • Damage caused by the owner or visitors

    Alterations, deletions or additions made by the owner

  • Settling of land around the building or along utility lines, other than beneath the footings of the building

  • Damage resulting from acts of God

  • Contractual warranties which lie outside the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act
  • Damage caused by insects or rodents, except where construction does not meet specifications of the Ontario Building Code

  • Damage caused by municipal services or other utilities

    Surface defects in work and materials specified and accepted in writing by the owner at the date of possession