Tarion Warranty Corporation (“Tarion”) does not permit the video or audio recording by builders or homeowners of any meetings or inspections conducted by Tarion or its agents.
Photographs or videos, however, may be used to document any physical defects in a home which may eventually become the subject of an inspection. For example, a homeowner may wish to video record an occurrence of water penetration in their home and submit it to Tarion in connection with their warranty claim.
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 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 interaction, the fact is that each person may perceive these requests differently and may feel harassed or intimidated by the act of someone audio or video recording them.
Tarion staff have been advised they are not required to continue with an inspection or interaction where any party has been asked to cease recording and refuses to do so (with rare exceptions, as outlined below).
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 recordings have only served to interfere with the process and may disrupt or frustrate 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 submitted by the homeowner and/or builder. A recording of the conciliation or claims process does not assist in making these assessments.
Further, if Tarion’s decision is ultimately appealed to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, Tarion’s assessments will be re-examined by the Tribunal based on live testimony and documentary evidence.
Process for Requesting Permission to Record an Inspection
A homeowner or builder who wishes to video or audio record an inspection should make their request in writing, with reasons, to the Tarion representative assigned to their case, as soon as possible and, in any event, prior to the inspection.
Tarion will determine if a valid exception to this policy applies (please see below). If no exception applies, the homeowner or builder will be reminded of Tarion’s policy and advised that no audio or video recording may take place.
If no request to audio or video record is made (and granted) prior to the inspection and Tarion staff become aware during the appointment that they are being recorded, they will ask for the recording to cease immediately. If their request is not respected, the appointment will end and Tarion’s ability to assess the warranty claim may be adversely affected.
Where a builder has asked to make the audio or video 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.
Exceptions to this policy may be granted by Tarion.
Exception requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis and will be decided on the facts and merits of each case. For example, if a homeowner or builder submits that video or audio recording of an inspection is necessary for the accommodation of a disability under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Tarion will assess the request and may grant an exception and allow video or audio recording.
Any requests involving accommodation under the AODA should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org, to the attention of the Director of Customer Services. All parties will be notified of Tarion’s decision, in writing, with supporting reasons.
Any other requests (for any reason other than AODA) should be made in writing to the Tarion representative assigned to the case, along with reasons for the request, at least 48 hours prior to the inspection or appointment to allow time for the request to be reviewed.