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    Homeowners

Video and Audio Recording Policy

Tarion Warranty Corporation (“Tarion”) does not permit the video or audio recording by builders or homeowners during inspections or meetings, without its prior consent. The process for obtaining Tarion’s consent to record during an inspection/meeting is set out below.

Note that a “homeowner” throughout this document includes a condominium corporation and its designate(s) with respect to a common element claim.

Background

Tarion has a responsibility to ensure the health, safety and well being of its employees in the workplace. For many Tarion staff, their workplace is often someone else’s home.

Tarion staff have privacy rights as well as the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and intimidation. Although Tarion appreciates that this is most often not the intention of a homeowner or a builder who wishes to record an inspection or meeting, the fact is that each person may perceive these requests differently  and may feel harassed or intimidated by the act of someone video or audio recording them.

Rationale

Tarion staff are not required to continue with an inspection or meeting where any party has been asked to cease recording and refuses to do so.

It is important to note that the video or audio recording of a conciliation or claim inspection is not necessary for the inspection process to proceed properly and fairly. In fact, in Tarion’s experience, video and audio recording of staff (rather than the defect itself), has only served to interfere with the process and may disrupt Tarion’s ability to assess warranty claims.

A video or audio recording of the conciliation or claim inspection process (rather than the defect itself), is not relevant to the assessment of any construction deficiencies. Tarion’s assessments as to whether or not a claim item is covered by the statutory warranties are based on observations made by its warranty services staff at the home and/or documentation provided by the homeowner and/or builder. A recording of the inspection does not assist in making these assessments.

However, Tarion recognizes that a homeowner or builder may wish to record an inspection/meeting for record-keeping or other purposes, such as accommodation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and this Policy sets out the process for requesting permission from Tarion to do so. 

Process for Requesting Permission to Record an Inspection/Meeting

A homeowner or builder who wishes to video or audio record an inspection/meeting must make their request  in writing, with reasons, to customerservice@tarion.com, to the attention of the Director of Customer Service (see instructions below), as soon as possible and at least 2 weeks prior to the inspection/meeting.

The homeowner or builder will be required to sign documentation declaring that the recording will be used solely for the individual’s own purposes and will not be used for other purposes or posted on social media. The documentation will also set out acceptable parameters for the recording (e.g., no recordings of the Tarion representative’s face will be permitted), which must be followed.

Provided that the request meets these requirements (i.e., is made in advance and the relevant documentation is provided), the request will be approved in most cases. However, Tarion retains the discretion to deny a request in certain circumstances (e.g., prior unacceptable use of a recording), and if Tarion does so, it will provide written reasons for its decision to the requester.

If no request to audio or video record is made (and granted) prior to the inspection/meeting and Tarion staff become aware during the appointment that they are being recorded, they may ask for the recording to cease immediately. If their request is not respected, the appointment will end. The Tarion representative may also end the appointment in circumstances where parameters for the recording, as set out in the Tarion documentation, are being breached (e.g., a Tarion representative’s face in being recorded). In such cases, Tarion will attempt to reschedule the inspection/meeting on acceptable terms if possible, and/or assess the warranty claim using alternative methods (e.g., relying on documentation submitted, asking for written submissions from the homeowner/builder, etc.).

Where a builder has asked to make the recording but is not permitted to do so and refuses to participate in the inspection, the inspection will be conducted without the builder’s participation. In refusing to participate, the builder may also prejudice, among other things, their appeal rights before the Builder Arbitration Forum.

In addition, Tarion regards the audio or video recording by a builder of either Tarion staff or a homeowner without consent to be a breach of their professional, ethical and regulatory conduct standards (in terms of the requirement that builders act with honesty and integrity in the conduct of their business).

  

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