When You and Your Builder Can't Agree

By Howard Bogach, CEO, Tarion Warranty Corporation

Originally published in the Toronto Sun on February 3, 2018.

Knowing that your brand new home is protected by a seven-year builder’s warranty brings peace of mind, but what do you do when you and your builder can’t agree on warranty repairs?  That’s where Tarion can help.  

Tarion’s role is to backstop your builder’s new home warranty.  As a dispute resolution body, our responsibility is to resolve disagreements about warranty coverage when you and your builder are unable to do so.

The first step homeowners must take is to submit their warranty claim to Tarion within the relevant timeframe using one of Tarion’s warranty forms.  If you’re registered for MyHome or the MyHome app, you can fill out and submit your form easily from your computer or mobile device. 

Submitting a warranty form to Tarion triggers a repair period during which your builder is expected to resolve all of the items on your form that are covered by the warranty.  Wherever possible, Tarion Warranty Services staff are actively involved in trying to facilitate a resolution between homeowners and builders during the repair period.

If your builder does not resolve your warranty items by the end of their repair period, you can request a conciliation.  Conciliation is a process where Tarion will decide whether the items on your warranty claim form are covered under the warranty and require resolution.  The conciliation is conducted by a Tarion Warranty Services Representative, a neutral and impartial decision maker.  It may include an inspection of your home, a desk assessment, and a review of relevant documents, such as your purchase agreement or pre-delivery inspection form. 

As a homeowner, you should know how to prepare for and participate in a conciliation.  You are responsible for providing all of the information, arguments, and documents that you want Tarion to consider when assessing your claim.  These can include written documents as well as other things like photographs, sound recordings, videotapes, floor plans, information stored electronically and even physical objects.  If there’s a document or information that your builder has and you need to support your claim, Tarion can require your builder to provide it.

After the conciliation, the Warranty Services Representative will provide a Warranty Assessment Report that outlines Tarion’s decision.  Keep in mind, not all items claimed by homeowners are covered.  A hairline crack in a concrete basement floor is just one example.  If Tarion agrees that your claim item is covered, we’ll give your builder a final 30 days to resolve it.  If that doesn’t happen, we’ll resolve your claim directly with you.

For over 40 years, we’ve helped resolve warranty disputes between new home owners and builders.  If you and your builder find yourselves at an impasse over repairs, contact us – the sooner, the better.  Know that we’re here to help.

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