A guest article from the Office of the New Home Ombuds
Many owners of newly built homes are aware that there is a New Home Ombuds there to help them, but they still may be a bit confused about when they should contact us. Let’s take a look at two types of situations where we can help.
Reason #1: You need help navigating Tarion’s processes
Tarion works to ensure that homeowners have the information they need to successfully navigate the warranty process; however, it can still be daunting if you’re a first-time homeowner, you’re juggling multiple forms, or you’re dealing with several different staff members. In these cases, the Ombuds office can help sort out who to speak with and can coach you on how to articulate your issues in a way that will make it easier for Tarion to assist you. Below are two examples of how we can help with next steps.
The case of Mr. P
Mr. P was juggling two separate warranty claims and dealing with two different Tarion representatives. He became confused about who he should be talking with about what issues. In desperation, he called the Ombuds office. Our staff were able to view his file while on the phone with him and to help him understand which case his current concerns belonged to and which Tarion staff member he should be speaking with about them. With this information, Mr. P was able to resolve his concerns more effectively.
The case of Ms. H
Ms. H wanted to request that Tarion bring in a contractor to inspect her hardwood floors, but she wasn’t sure who to ask or whether the request would even be considered. We assured Ms. H that no harm would come of making the request and helped her to articulate the reasons why she believed a hardwood expert’s opinion was necessary. We put her in touch with the appropriate Tarion staff member and she was able to effectively convey her concerns to Tarion.
So, if you are at your wits’ end, or even just unsure of what to do next, give us a call. We can help you sort it out.
Reason #2: You believe Tarion has treated you unfairly
If you believe that Tarion has been unfair to you, the Ombuds office is definitely the place to go. If the situation involves a warranty decision, we will first determine if there was some part of the assessment process you believe was unfair, or if you simply disagree with Tarion’s decision. It’s possible the decision was reached fairly but that you disagree with it. In this case, the Ombuds office can’t help, as we don’t have the expertise or authority to change warranty decisions. To resolve this dispute, you will need to follow the process outlined in the letter that accompanied your Conciliation Assessment Report. Information about this process is also available on Tarion’s website.
However, if there is question of whether the assessment process itself was flawed, we can review that concern. If we determine that the process was unfair, we can recommend a solution, as you can see in the example below.
The case of Mr. N
Mr. N contacted our office regarding issues with a leaky roof, which had been assessed as not warranted. Mr. N had hired an engineer to inspect the roof and had provided their report – which clearly outlined problems – to Tarion. Although the engineer’s report had been provided prior to the Conciliation Assessment Report being issued, Tarion’s assessment made no mention of it.
Our review determined that the report had been received by Tarion but not added to the file. Furthermore, it had not been considered in Tarion’s assessment of the roof. This was a procedural fairness issue and the Ombuds office recommended that the roof be reassessed to take into account the information in the engineer’s report.
There are other ways we can help
Although we’ve focused on two scenarios in this article, there are other reasons for contacting the New Home Ombuds. Our office can also help if your concern involves other aspects of Tarion’s service, such as delays, poor communication or lack of response.
So, if you think you’ve been waiting too long for a warranty decision, if Tarion is not responding to your emails, or if you believe there have been problems with how Tarion handled your file, please contact us at 1-877-880-3828 or email@example.com.