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Exceptions to the Regular Claims Process for Common Elements

There are certain items or situations that require shorter or longer resolution timeframes than are allowed under the regular warranty claims process. Learn more about these exceptions on this page. For detailed information, refer to Registrar Bulletin 2, Appendix A.

Exception in case of emergency

Certain severe conditions constitute an emergency situation. An emergency is defined as any warrantable deficiency within the control of the builder that, if not attended to immediately, would likely result in imminent and substantial damage to the home, or would likely represent an imminent and substantial risk to the health and safety of its occupants. Examples of emergency situations include:

  • Complete loss of heat between September 15 and May 15;*

  • Complete loss of air conditioning between May 15 and September 15;

    Gas leak;*

  • Complete loss of electricity;*

  • Complete loss of water;*

  • Complete stoppage of sewage disposal;*

  • Plumbing leak that requires the entire water supply to be shut off;

  • Major collapse of any part of the Condominium Project exterior or interior structure;
Water penetration through the walls or ceilings of Common Elements affecting a finished/occupied Common Element area or a unit;

  • A pool of standing water upon or within the Common Elements, or any portion thereof; and could impact critical use or be considered a health & safety issue;

  • Presence of unacceptable levels of hazardous substances – such as radon and mould – inside the Condominium Project due to an issue with a Common Element.

  • Any situation where, in the opinion of Tarion, the home is not fit for occupancy due to health or safety reasons.

* Emergency situations due to the failure of a municipality or utility to provide the service are not within the builder’s control.

What To Do In An Emergency

  1. Call the emergency contact telephone number provided by your builder. (Condominium owners should also contact the condominium corporation’s Board of Directors and/or the Condominium Manager).

  2. If you are unable to reach your builder or if your builder does not correct the situation within 24 hours, contact Tarion for further assistance.

  3. If damage to builder installed materials results, do not repair it. 
  4. If you cannot reach Tarion or your builder, and have no other option but to have the work completed, you or a contractor should correct the emergency condition only and document the problem with pictures, both before and after if possible.

  5. Submit an Emergency Form to Tarion as soon as possible after completing the repair with a copy to your builder. Forms are available by calling Tarion. Include all receipts/invoices for work and materials.

  6. If your builder is responsible for the emergency item, they will handle any resulting damage within 30 days of your notice to them and Tarion. If your builder fails to repair the resulting damage, Tarion will work with you directly to settle the matter.
Seasonal Items

If any warranted item listed on a Statutory Warranty Form submitted to Tarion involve the exterior of the Common Elements which cannot be repaired effectively within the normal CE Claims process due to weather constraints, Tarion in its sole discretion may extend or abridge the CE Claims process timelines.

The period from May 1 to November 15 is generally considered to have suitable weather conditions for making such repairs. In high-rise and low-rise condominium projects, these items are more likely to affect the common elements warranty and if so, would be handled by the condominium corporation’s Board of Directors.

These items include:

  • Exterior painting;
  • Exterior cement/concrete work (including parging application/repair);
  • Exterior mortar work (including brick installation/repair);
  • Exterior stucco work/repairs (including repairs to exterior insulation finishing systems [EIFS]);
  • Exterior caulking;
  • In-ground support for decks; and
  • Any other exterior work deemed appropriate by Tarion (but not including air conditioning, grading, sod, driveways and walkways which are covered separately below).
Industry/Regional Extraordinary Situations

An extraordinary situation exists when it is not possible for the builder to complete a repair within the regular repair timeframes. This may require an extension of the builder repair period for a part of the construction industry, a region or the entire province. 

There are two types of extraordinary situations that could cause a builder to seek an extension:

  1. An industry or regional event that affects a segment of the construction industry or region of the province (such as labour, trade or materials shortages, strikes or other labour disputes, and severe weather or other acts of nature); or

  2. Special circumstances affecting a particular builder or home, such as the special order of a part that will take more time to arrive than the Warranty Service Rules allow.

If Tarion confirms that an Industry/Regional Extraordinary Situation exists or is about to occur, Tarion will issue a written Warranty Alert to all builders affected.