Situations may arise in which homeowners may need to have a warranty timeline shortened (also known as ‘abridged’) or extended due to extenuating circumstances. While the timelines are statutory timelines, there is discretion for some limited exceptions to be made under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (“ONHWP Act”).
Section 5.10 of Regulation 892 under the ONHWP Act gives Tarion the authority to abridge timelines for the submission of warranty forms and requests for conciliations in a limited number of circumstances:
- The vendor is unable or unwilling to repair or resolve warranted claim items;
- The warranty claim,
- Relates to items involving health and safety, seasonal repairs or an emergency, or
- Involves other extraordinary circumstances; or
- The specified timelines begin in, end in or span the period from December 24 of one year to January 1 of the following year, both inclusive.
The following are examples of situations that might qualify for exceptions:
- A builder is bankrupt;
- The relationship between the homeowner and builder has significantly deteriorated to a point where there is no communication or willingness to work together;
- The issue involves a health and safety concern, such as water penetration, mould, structural issues with the home;
- An extraordinary circumstance has prevented a warranty form or a request for conciliation to be submitted on time – for example, a personal illness or a death of an immediate family member.
Each request for an exception will be reviewed and determined individually on a case-by-case basis
Process to request an exception
- If a homeowner cannot file their form or make their request for a conciliation on time due to circumstances that fit into one of the categories listed above, they should write to firstname.lastname@example.org and explain the nature of their request (e.g., extend the timelines for my request for conciliation) and the reasons for the request.
- For issues related to the common elements of a condominium, the condominium corporation (as the owner of the common elements) is responsible for making statutory warranty claims to Tarion. If an exception to the timelines is required, then the condominium corporation’s appointed Designate should contact the Warranty Services Co-ordinator or the Warranty Services Representative assigned to their file. If they do not know who that is, then they may contact email@example.com and they will be referred to the appropriate person.
- Upon receiving a request for an exception, Tarion will follow up with both the homeowner or condominium corporation designate and the builder to review the history and details of the file. Tarion may request documentation from the homeowner/designate and/or the builder during the course of the investigation.
- If the builder is thought to be unwilling or unable to resolve the claim items, Tarion will proceed with our internal unwilling/unable investigation and process.
- Once we have reached a decision about the exception request, we will notify the homeowner/designate and builder of the results and we will advise of next steps. Every attempt is made to provide a response to the homeowner/designate within 10 business days of the initial request. In some cases, the investigation may take longer, particularly in cases in which Tarion is determining whether a builder is unwilling or unable.
Note: For exceptions to timelines that begin in, end in or span the period from December 24 of one year to January 1 of the following year, both inclusive, no request is necessary. These timeline exceptions have been programmed into our computer system.