Why Your Moving Date May Keep Moving

Delays in New Home Construction

Click here to read Tarion CEO Howard Bogach's original column in the Toronto Sun.

There’s a lot to be said for the thrill of anticipation, except when that anticipation stretches into endless waiting for your new home to be finished.

Many people who have purchased a new home can tell you about the delays – reasonable and otherwise – that left them waiting for a move-in date that kept moving.

New home construction can be delayed by everything from bad weather to labour or material shortages. Some of these may be considered to be within the control of your builder, while others may not be. 

Recently, for example, a number of the trade unions in the new home building industry have been negotiating new contracts. While the majority of the unions now have deals in place, three years ago trade strikes had serious impacts on the delivery of new homes. 

When you buy a new home, your purchase agreement includes your builder’s commitment that the home will be ready for you to move in by a specific date. 

Depending upon what kind of home you’re buying, your agreement will specify either an occupancy date (condos) or a closing date (freehold) and this date can be ‘firm’ or ‘tentative’. 

If a builder is confident as to when the home will be finished, they’ll set a firm date, which is something a lot of home buyers ask for. After all, they may be trying to coordinate the sale and closing date of their former home, as well as planning for school and work changes.

If a builder isn’t sure exactly when your new home will be finished, they can set a tentative date. That gives them the flexibility to delay the completion date several times as long as they follow specific rules.

The important thing to know is that the details about what are referred to as your ‘critical dates’ are  spelled out in a document called the Addendum which is attached to every Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  It also indicates when you’re entitled to legally back out of your agreement if you choose to do so.

And the good news is that the new home warranty provides protection against delayed closing/occupancy under certain circumstances. So while it may not be possible to prevent all the factors that could impact the final delivery of your home, there is compensation for a number of costs that you might incur as a result of a delay. 

If your new home is delayed and you have questions about warranty protection, we’re here to help. You can visit Tarion.com to learn more or contact us at 1-877-9TARION or customerservice@tarion.com