What you need to know
When you submit a warranty form to Tarion, it triggers a 120-day initial builder repair period during which your builder should repair or otherwise resolve items on your form that are covered by the warranty.
The Timeframe for making repairs is also known as the Builder Repair Period. This is when the builder will come and inspect the items that need to be fixed, and will schedule trades to come into the home. During this period, the homeowner must provide reasonable access to the builder to address warranty claim items. View the items below for more information on this timeframe.
Conciliation is a process where Tarion assesses the items on a homeowner's warranty form and decides whether they are covered under the warranty set out in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Conciliation may also be used to assess:
- Whether Tarion agrees with the way a repair was done or offered to be done by the builder;
- Whether Tarion agrees that a settlement offer by the builder is reasonable; and/or
- What, if any, compensation or repair the owner is entitled to receive from the builder or Tarion.
In most cases, conciliation involves an inspection at the home with the builder's representative in attendance. The inspection is conducted by a Tarion Warranty Services Representative, who is an impartial decision maker.
Please Note: Tarion does not permit the video or audio recording by builders or homeowners during inspections or meetings, without its prior consent. To review our policy visit our policies page.
What happens at a conciliation inspection
During the conciliation inspection, the Tarion representative may ask you and your builder questions, make observations, take photographs, or bring in a specialist to help with an investigation. All of this is to make sure Tarion has the information it needs to assess the items.
When to ask Tarion for a conciliation
After the end of your builder’s initial builder repair period, you have 30 days in which you can contact Tarion to request a conciliation*. You can also schedule a conciliation through your MyHome account.
If you do not request a conciliation within this period, Tarion may not be able to assist you with your warranty claim items.
*Effective September 14, 2020, homeowners will have a 10-day grace period on the 30-Day and Year-End request for conciliation periods. For more information about these and other interim measures to protect homeowners, click here.
Timeline Exceptions for Conciliation Requests
Situations may arise in which homeowners may need to have a warranty timeline shortened or extended. The Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act gives Tarion the authority to adjust timelines for requests for conciliation in a limited number of circumstances. For more information, click here.
The cost of conciliation
When you request a conciliation, you must provide a fee of $282.50 ($250 + HST). This money will be refunded to you if we determine that one or more items we assess is covered by the warranty.
Preparing for, or cancelling a conciliation
Preparing for a Conciliation
During conciliation, you will be required to present your position to the Warranty Services Representative. Once your conciliation is scheduled, you should send Tarion your purchase agreement and any schedules, amendments, attachments or photos that could support your claim.
You are responsible for providing all of the information, arguments, and documents (such as the Pre-Delivery Inspection Form or selection sheet) you want Tarion to consider when assessing your claim. If you do not have a relevant document or piece of information that your builder may have, you can ask Tarion to obtain it for you.
Additionally, as you prepare for the conciliation, please take a moment to read our Video and Audio Recording Policy.
Cancelling a Conciliation
If you and your builder are able to resolve the items on your warranty form before the scheduled inspection date, you can cancel the conciliation. Tarion will refund your conciliation fee if you cancel your conciliation inspection with at least 24 hours advance notice.
What happens after a conciliation inspection
In the weeks following the conciliation inspection, we will provide you and your builder with a Conciliation Assessment Report. The report will tell you whether the items we assessed are covered under the warranty and need to be resolved by your builder.
If Tarion decides that the builder did not meet their warranty obligations within the builder repair period, there is a consequence to the builder called a “chargeable conciliation.”
When Tarion decides that a conciliation is chargeable, two things happen:
- The builder will pay Tarion a fee for having to conduct the inspection; and,
- The builder’s record on the Ontario Builder Directory is updated to reflect that the builder has received a chargeable conciliation. The chargeable conciliation is a measure of builder performance and stays on the builder’s record for 10 years.
Not all conciliations where Tarion finds warranted items are chargeable. A conciliation is “non-chargeable” if you can show that you could/would have complied with your customer service obligations but were unable to do so through no fault of your own.
The following are situations in which a conciliation could be determined to be non-chargeable:
|Denied Access||You made reasonable efforts to address the warranted item but the homeowner unreasonably denied access to repair the warranted item(s).|
|Reasonable Repair Refused||You were committed to resolving the warranted item and proposed a reasonable repair. However, the homeowner disagreed with one or more aspects of your plan, such as timing, scope, or method.|
|Reasonable Cash Settlement Refused||You tried to the resolve the warranted item through a reasonable offer of monetary compensation which the homeowner did not accept.|
|Evidence of Prior Satisfaction||You decided to take no further action on an item based on documentation indicating that the homeowner was satisfied with a prior repair or resolution.|
|Re-introduced Item or New Issue||You did not have a reasonable opportunity to address the warranted item because: |
a) it was not described accurately enough by the homeowner (including with regard to your obligation to speak with the homeowner to clarify the issue);
b) the item was removed from a homeowner’s list and later re-introduced; or
c) in the course of repairing or replacing the item, a new and different defect arises, that you were unaware of, but agree to address at or before the conciliation.
|Shortened or No Builder Repair Period||You were not given reasonable time to address the warranted item either because Tarion decided to abridge the repair period through no fault of your own, or because Tarion failed to provide notice of the claim or conciliation to you.|
|Warranty Decision Overturned by the License Appeal Tribunal||
The homeowner’s appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal resulted in a reversal of Tarion’s warranty decision.
If you believe that an exception applies to your situation, you must advise Tarion and provide evidence of the exception prior to conciliation. The specific evidence required to support an exception to chargeability is outlined in Registrar Bulletin 4.
Please note that if Tarion determines that an exception applies and the conciliation is not chargeable, you are still responsible in almost all cases for resolving the warranted item(s).
Conciliation Assessment Report
After Tarion completes its conciliation of your warranty claim, we will send you and your builder a copy of our Conciliation Assessment Report. The report will tell you whether the items we assessed are covered under the warranty and need to be resolved by your builder.
What happens after Tarion issues a Conciliation Assessment Report
If the report contains items that are covered by the warranty, your builder will have a final 30 days to resolve them with you. Tarion will contact you 30 days after the date of the report to confirm that all the warranted items listed in the report have been repaired or otherwise resolved by your builder. If any of the warranted items remain outstanding at that time, Tarion will work with you directly to resolve them.
If the report contains items that Tarion has determined are not covered by the warranty, your builder is not required to take any action on those items.
How to dispute an Assessment Report
After receiving the Conciliation Assessment Report if you disagree with any of Tarion's warranty assessments and wish to challenge those findings, you can contact Tarion to request a Decision Letter. At this time, Tarion will determine whether any further negotiation, facilitation, or investigation will help to resolve the outstanding issue(s). You can also request that Tarion provide you as the homeowner with the most recent version of any third-party expert reports if they were used by Tarion in making their assessment.
You are also entitled to ask Tarion to arrange mediation as a further route to early resolution. This type of mediation will be between you and Tarion only (it will not involve your builder - unless you would like to invite the builder). It will be conducted by an independent external mediator. Subject to certain rules it is a mediator of your of your choice and will be strictly confidential. You will have the option of choosing a mediator from a list provided by Tarion or putting forward an alternative mediator. In most cases, the costs associated with this type of mediation are covered by Tarion.
In addition, or alternatively, as mentioned you can request a Decision letter which allows you to appeal Tarion's warranty assessment decision to the province's independent tribunal called the Licence Appeal Tribunal. Click here to learn more.
Roles & Responsibilities During This Time
- Allow access to the builder for repairs to items covered by the warranty
- If applicable, consider any settlement offers from the builder in lieu of repairs
- If applicable, challenge Tarion’s warranty assessments by providing further clarification of the condition complained of or evidence to suggest
- Tarion’s determinations are incorrect.
- If applicable, request a third-party, independent mediation with Tarion to attempt and resolve the issue
- If applicable, request a Decision Letter from Tarion to initiate an appeal through the Licence Appeal Tribunal
- Resolve items covered by the warranty within the applicable timeframe (either by making repairs or offering a reasonable monetary settlement)
- Determine whether claim items are covered by the warranty
- Determine whether the builder breached their warranty responsibilities
- Take into account all relevant information and applicable standards (including the Ontario Building Code and the Construction Performance Guidelines)
- If applicable, identify exceptions or exclusions to the warranty
- Issue a Conciliation Assessment Report that contains an assessment of each claim item
- If applicable, consider further information provided by the homeowner or the builder after Warranty Assessment Report is issued
- If applicable, provide the homeowner with the most recent version of any third-party expert reports used by Tarion to inform its warranty assessments
- If applicable, conduct a re-assessment
If the Conciliation Assessment Report contains items that are covered by the warranty, Tarion will contact you 30 days after the date of the report to determine if your builder has resolved them to your satisfaction.
What happens if a claim is still not resolved
Tarion will schedule a claim inspection or complete a desk assessment. The purpose of the claim inspection or desk assessment is to determine if your warranty claim has been resolved by your builder in an acceptable manner.
If Tarion determines that your builder failed to resolve your claim, Tarion will work directly with you to resolve it. Tarion will resolve your claim by either:
- Providing monetary compensation to you for the value of the repairs, or
- Arranging for repairs to be done
In determining the appropriate resolution, Tarion will consider, for example:
- The scope and cost of the repair required to resolve the warranted item;
- Whether you have held back any funds owing to the builder;
- Whether you have unreasonably refused the builder's proposed repair; and,
- Whether you have received any other compensation for the item (e.g. insurance claim).
Roles & responsibilities during this time
- Advise Tarion if the builder did not resolve warranted claim items
- If the builder’s repairs are considered to be inadequate, provide supporting information to Tarion (e.g. photographs, an expert report, or other type of documentation)
- Attend the claim inspection and provide a position on outstanding claim items
- If the homeowner feels that a proposed repair or settlement offer is inadequate, provide supporting evidence to Tarion that proves otherwise
- Contact the homeowner to confirm whether warranted claim items have been resolved
- If warranted claim items have not been resolved, schedule a claim inspection to review items and gather information from the owner and builder
- Determine the compensation or repair the homeowner is entitled to receive to resolve the warranted claim items
Alternative claim resolution methods
If you’ve gone through the regular process and your claims have still not been resolved, or if you require assistance earlier than the regular process allows, there are alternative methods available to help resolve your claims. This information is for owners of freehold homes, contract homes, condominium units. Visit our LINK alternative resolution methods page LINK for more information.