Items & deficiencies not covered by the warranty
It is important for homeowners to note what is not covered by the statutory warranty.
The Act sets out a list of exclusions from warranty coverage for Freehold, Contract & Condo Units. Use the options below to better understand what types of homes are not covered, as well as the items and deficiencies that are not covered for each category.
The HCRA determines what type of home is covered and what type is not covered by the new home warranty. For more information, visit the HCRA advisory that outlines the various home types and their definitions.
Freehold and Contract Homes, Condo Units & Condo Conversion
The following conditions are not covered under the new home warranty for Freehold homes, contract homes and condominium units:
- Defects in materials, design and work supplied by the homeowner
- Secondary damage caused by defects under warranty, such as property damage and personal injury
- Normal wear and tear
- Normal shrinkage of materials caused by drying after construction
- Damage caused by dampness or condensation due to failure by the homeowner to maintain adequate ventilation or proper operation of moisture-producing devices such as humidifiers
- Damage caused by the homeowner or visitors
- Alterations, deletions or additions made by the homeowner
- Settling of land around the building or along utility lines, other than beneath the footings of the building
- Contractual warranties which lie outside the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act
- Damage caused by insects or rodents, except where construction does not meet specifications of the Ontario Building Code
- Damage caused by municipal services or other utilities
- Surface defects in work and materials specified and accepted in writing by the homeowner at the date of possession.
Acts of God
The warranties in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act do not apply to “damage resulting from an act of God”.
An act of God is a natural event that is unexpected and unavoidable and causes damage that is beyond the control of the builder. Examples include tornadoes, earthquakes and extreme winds.
This exclusion does not include weather events that are typical to our climate, such as ice, snow, high winds and heavy rains. It includes only extraordinary occurrences or conditions of nature that could not have been reasonably foreseen or guarded against. For example, a high wind is not an act of God unless it is of such exceptional strength that no builder in Ontario could be reasonably expected to anticipate or provide against it. Homes that are designed and built to Ontario’s standards (e.g., the Ontario Building Code) should withstand Ontario’s normal environmental conditions.
If an owner reports a concern after a storm or other natural event has occurred, the builder should not assume that the act of God exclusion applies. The condition must be inspected and assessed to determine whether there is a defect in the builder’s work or materials, Ontario Building Code violation or other defect covered by the warranties.
If there is a builder defect, then the onus shifts to the builder to show that the act of God exclusion applies. For example, if roof shingles were not installed properly by the builder and flew off on a windy day, the builder would be required to replace the shingles unless the builder can show that the shingles were performing properly and flew off only because there were extraordinary winds.
Tarion will review situations on a case-by-case basis as they are brought forward by owners or builders to determine if the act of God exclusion applies.
Additional items not covered for condo conversions
Pre-existing elements are not covered by the one-year warranty on workmanship and materials.
This exception is because the pre-existing elements are often much older and cannot be certified in the same way as the new construction. All other one-year warranty protections, including that the home meets Ontario Building Code regulations, would apply to both the pre-existing elements and the new components of the project.
Support from Tarion
When you are likely to incur incidental costs as a result of an authorized and warranted repair, you should inform the Warranty Services Representative at Tarion handling your file.
Tarion will look into the matter and then determine whether Tarion will reimburse you for those costs, up to a maximum of $1,000. Tarion will inform you of its decision in writing.
If Tarion agrees to pay for an incidental cost, you will be offered a cash settlement. If you agree to the cash settlement, those funds will be sent to you.
For more information about reimbursement of incidental costs, contact 1-877-982-7466.