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Conciliation

What is conciliation?

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.

When can I 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.

Can Tarion make an exception to the request for conciliation timeline?

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.

Is there a cost for 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.   

Can I cancel a conciliation?

Yes.  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.

How do I prepare 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.

What happens at the 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 do I find out if the items inspected are covered?

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.

Video: Ten Things You Need To Know About Your Conciliation

What are the roles of the homeowner, the builder, and Tarion during this time?

Homeowner

  • Schedule a conciliation inspection via MyHome or contact Tarion to request a conciliation inspection during the relevant timeframe
  • In the time leading up to the conciliation inspection, continue to work with the builder to resolve warranty claim items
  • Allow the Tarion representative and builder access to the home for the inspection
  • Identify the items in dispute
  • Provide supporting documentation for items in dispute
  • If the claim involves a damaged item, show that the damage was caused by the builder (e.g., a note on the Pre-Delivery Inspection Form)

Builder

  • In the time leading up to the conciliation, continue to address and resolve warranty claim items
  • If items are in dispute, work with the homeowner to reach a resolution
  • At the inspection, explain why the condition of the item exists
  • At the inspection, explain why the condition is not covered by the warranty or why it has not been resolved

Tarion

  • Contact the homeowner to confirm which warranty claim items remain unresolved and require conciliation
  • Assist with resolving items before the conciliation inspection
  • Gather information and make observations 
  • If necessary, invite an external expert for assistance

Conciliation outcomes

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.

Exceptions to Chargeability

Not all conciliations that result in warranted items are chargeable.  A conciliation is “non-chargeable” if builders can show that they could/would have complied with their customer service obligation but were unable to do so through no fault of their own. If an exception applies and the conciliation is not chargeable, the builder is still responsible in almost all cases for resolving the warranted item(s).

The following are situations in which a conciliation could be determined to be non-chargeable:

  1. Denied access: The builder made reasonable efforts to address the warranted item but was prevented from doing so by the homeowner's actions or behaviour.
  2. Reasonable repair refused: The builder was committed to resolving the warranted item and proposed a reasonable solution. However, the homeowner disagreed with one or more aspects of the builder’s plan, such as timing, scope, or method.
  3. Reasonable cash settlement refused: The builder tried to the resolve the warranted item through a reasonable offer of monetary compensation which the homeowner did not accept.
  4. Evidence of prior satisfaction: The builder decided to take no further action on an item based on documentation indicating that the homeowner was satisfied with a prior repair or resolution.
  5. Re-introduced item or new issue: The builder did not have a reasonable opportunity to address the warranted item because: a) it was not described accurately enough by the homeowner; b) the item was removed from a homeowner’s list and later re-introduced; or c) it is a new item resulting from a builder’s repair for which the builder did not have sufficient time before the conciliation to address.
  6. Shortened or no builder repair period: The builder was not given reasonable time to address the warranted item either because Tarion decided to abridge the repair period or because Tarion failed to provide notice of the claim or conciliation to the builder.
  7. Warranty decision overturned by the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT): The homeowner’s appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal resulted in a reversal of Tarion’s warranty decision. In this situation, Tarion assumes full responsibility for the warranty claim and waives any right of recovery from the builder.
  8. MSD Tarion obligation: For homes where the purchase agreement was signed before July 1, 2012, the former process related to major structural defect (MSD) claims applies. Under the former MSD process, Tarion assumes full responsibility for claims.

Non-Chargeable Conciliation Numbers

The following table shows a breakdown of non-chargeable conciliations in 2020:

Exception Reason Number of Cases
Reasonable cash settlement refused 45
Re-introduced item or new issue 18
Denied access 15
Shortened or no builder repair period 14
Reasonable repair refused 12
Evidence of prior satisfaction 2
Warranty decision overturned by BAF 1
Warranty decision overturned by LAT 2
Repair made during post-conciliation repair period 95*

*Due to the provincial emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the assessment of chargeability was moved to the claim inspection for inspections conducted after March 20, 2020, pursuant to Registrar Bulletin 4: Temporary Covid-19 Supplement.

For more information about chargeability and exceptions to chargeability, please refer to Registrar Bulletin 4.

Resolving a warranty dispute

The next step in the regular warranty process is Warranty Assessment.

Other dispute resolution methods you may consider during this time include:

Negotiation

Facilitation by Tarion

Litigation

Ombudsperson

  

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