What you need to know
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 below.
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;*
- 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 home’s exterior or interior structure;
- Water penetration through the interior walls or ceiling;
- A pool of standing water inside the home;
- Presence of unacceptable levels of hazardous substances inside the home, such as radon and mould; and/or
- 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
- 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).
- 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.
- If damage to builder installed materials results, do not repair it. 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.
- 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.
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 warranty items
Seasonal warranty items involve service requests regarding the exterior of the home which cannot be repaired effectively within the regular warranty timelines due to seasonal conditions and/or severe sustained weather.
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).
Seasonal warranty items should be reported on a 30-Day, Year-End or Second-Year Form, as appropriate. They will be dealt with according to the regular repair timelines subject to suitable weather conditions as described above. If the builder cannot correct a seasonal warranty item within the required timelines due to unsuitable weather conditions, they must complete the repairs as soon as possible after suitable weather conditions return and in any event between the following May 1 and September 1.
If for any reason the builder does not complete the repairs to the homeowner's satisfaction, the homeowner has 30 days (until October 1) to contact Tarion and request our assistance. If the homeowner does not do so, the seasonal warranty items listed on the Warranty Service Form will be considered resolved and the matter will be closed. (Note that the homeowners may resubmit the item at a later date if the warranty covering the item is still in effect).
Special seasonal warranty items
The completion of the new home’s final grading, landscaping (laying sod, etc.) and the installation of driveways, patios and walkways are considered special seasonal warranty items. (In a high-rise or low-rise condominium, 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).
The builder has 270 days of “seasonable weather” from the date of possession to complete any warrantable special seasonal items reported on a 30-Day or Year-End Form (unless a longer period within the time limits permitted under applicable municipal agreements was negotiated between the builder and the homeowner).
”Seasonable weather” is the period between May 1 and November 15 (inclusive) of any given calendar year. There are 199 days of seasonable weather in one calendar year. For details and examples on how to calculate “seasonal weather” days, please refer to Registrar Bulletin 1.
If the item is not installed or the repair is not completed by (i) the 270th day of seasonable weather from the date of possession; (ii) another date agreed between the homeowner and the builder, granting the builder a longer period; or (iii) the date permitted for such installation by any applicable municipal agreement if earlier than the date agreed between the homeowner and the builder, then the homeowner may contact Tarion and request and assessment within 30 days. If the item is determined to be warrantable, Tarion will work with the homeowner directly to settle the matter.
Defects in work and materials that result in problems with builder-supplied air conditioners are covered by the one year warranty. A complete loss of cooling due to the failure of a builder-supplied air conditioner between May 15 and September 15 (during the first year of possession) is considered undue hardship and can be dealt with outside the regular repair timelines.
IMPORTANT: In a condominium, the air conditioning may be part of the condominium project’s common elements and therefore not covered by the unit’s one year warranty. If the air conditioning is part of the common elements, homeowners should report the issue to the condominium corporation’s Board of Directors.
Homeowners should report an air conditioning issue on either the 30-Day or Year-End Form. It will be dealt with according to the timelines set out in the Warranty Service Rules.
However, if the air conditioning is not working between May 15 and September 15, homeowners should contact the builder and Tarion to arrange an assessment. If the condition is assessed to be covered by the one year warranty, the builder will arrange repair or complete the installation within 30 days of the initial request. If the air conditioning has not been restored within 30 days of contacting the builder, the homeowner should contact us for further assistance.
An extraordinary situation exists when it is not possible for the builder to complete a repair within the regular repair timeframes for reasons not related to seasonality.
There are two types of extraordinary situations that could cause a builder to seek an extension:
- 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
- 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 the builder applies to Tarion for this type of extension on any of your outstanding items, the homeowner will be notified in writing. If the extension is granted, we will set a new timeline and confirm it with both the builder and the homeowner.
Homeowners should call the builder or contact us if they require a more detailed account of the process for resolving items affected by extraordinary situations.