Originally published in the Toronto Sun on January 6, 2018.
A new home is a big investment – perhaps the largest investment most of us will ever make. We understandably want to have the peace of mind of knowing that it is protected.
In December, the Ontario legislature passed the Strengthening Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2017, which enables the establishment of two administrative authorities – one to administer new home warranties and protections, and the other to regulate new home builders and vendors.
Under this new legislation, Tarion’s functions will be split between two separate organizations and this change will help strengthen consumer protection in the new home industry.
We are pleased to be supporting the Ontario government on the smooth transition and delivery of their plan. And we are looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunities that this change will bring for the benefit of new home buyers and the industry.
In the meantime, I am excited about the enhancements we have been making to our operations to make us a more adaptable and innovative organization.
Today, most of us can’t bear to be without our smartphones that keep us connected and allow us to research, purchase and do business while on the go. Homeowners and builders aren’t any different. That’s why Tarion has made home buying tips, warranty information and builder services available in mobile-friendly apps.
We’ve also digitized our processes, making it possible for consumers and builders to upload and manage their documentation online. This makes everything from claims processes to builder registrations more efficient while also helping us reduce our environmental footprint. What’s more, we’re piloting artificial intelligence tools to improve our services.
But our technology upgrades are only part of the story. If someone has a problem with their home, they want to talk to someone who understands. At Tarion, our people are our strength and we’ve been equipping our teams with additional skills in mediation and dispute resolution to help resolve warranty and customer service issues.
We’re also continuing to expand our enforcement efforts and employing additional tools to ensure new home builders are properly licensed and qualified.
The new home industry continues to evolve – and so too must consumer protection measures that protect new home buyers and owners. Change is good and we look forward to the improvements and innovations in the years to come. In the meantime, consumers can continue to rely on Tarion to protect their new home purchases.