The following matters are not covered by the statutory warranties:
Normal Wear and Tear
- Normal shrinkage of materials that dry out after construction such as nail pops or minor concrete cracking
- Settling of soil around the house or along utility lines (other than subsidence beneath the footings of the home)
- Scuffs and scratches to floor or wall surfaces caused by moving, decorating, or day-to-day use of the home by the homeowner
Damage Caused by Improper Maintenance
- Dampness or condensation caused by failure to maintain proper ventilation
- Damage resulting from improper maintenance
Damage Caused by a Third Party
- Damage caused by municipal services or utilities
- Damage caused by floods, “acts of God” (see below), acts of civil or military authorities or acts of war, riot, insurrection, civil commotion or vandalism
- Damage caused by insects or rodents, unless it is the result of construction that does not meet the Ontario Building Code
Secondary Damage Caused by Defects that are Under Warranty
- Personal or property damage, such as personal injury, loss of income and other secondary loss associated with warranted defects or repairs. (However, your homeowner insurance may cover such secondary or consequential damage.)
- Warranties or agreements provided by your builder over and above the statutory warranties. Such matters are between the builder and the homeowner and are not enforced by Tarion.
Deficiencies Caused by Homeowner Actions
- Alterations, deletions or additions to the home that were made by the homeowner
- Changes by the homeowner to the direction of the grading or the slope of the ground
- Defects in materials, design or work that was supplied or installed by the homeowner
- The seven year MSD warranty does not extend to elevating devices
- The seven year MSD warranty does not extend to appliances that form part of the heating or cooling apparatus, equipment or systems, whether for water, air or other substances, including furnaces, air conditioners, chillers and heat recovery ventilators
Specific Defects Accepted in Writing
- Ascertained defects in work or material accepted in writing by the homeowner
Act of God Exclusion
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.