Making the warranty repair process work for you

Click here to view a PDF of Tarion President and CEO Howard Bogach's original column in the Toronto Sun.

Many big ticket items that we buy – cars and appliances, for example – come with warranties. Your newly built home does too. The warranty, provided by your builder and backstopped by Tarion, offers you peace of mind but it also comes with some responsibilities. 

If you identify an issue with your new home, the first step in the warranty process is to submit your claim using the appropriate form based on where you are in your warranty period (e.g., in your first 30 days, you use the 30-Day Form). 
Once you submit your claim, the builder has a certain number of days to repair or otherwise resolve the issues you’ve put on your warranty form. 

Ultimately you and your builder both want these issues resolved so the best approach is cooperation and communication. To help things go as smoothly as possible and to protect your warranty rights, I’ve got a few tips.

1)    Provide reasonable access. When repair work is required, be sure to give your builder and their tradespeople access to your home during normal business hours, at a time that you have mutually agreed upon in advance. Since this may require you to take time off work, your builder in turn should do their best to respect your schedule and have the tradespeople show up on time and equipped to do the work that was agreed to. If you think you have a valid reason for denying your builder access to your home, we strongly recommend that you contact Tarion for guidance.
 
2)    Document the situation. Take photos before and after repairs are completed. This way if you’re not satisfied with your builder’s repairs, you’ll have documented evidence of the work in case you want to get a second opinion.
 
3)    Know exactly what you’re signing. Many builders or their tradespeople ask homeowners to “sign off” on repairs. In some cases, they will ask you to confirm that you’re satisfied with the work they have done in order to prevent you from raising the issue again at a later time. While it is fair for your builder to ask you to sign an
acknowledgement that work has been done, they cannot require you to sign a document
indicating that you are satisfied or agree with a resolution if that is not the case.
 
4)    Don’t make changes to repairs. No matter how handy you are, you should not consider warranty repairs to be a DIY project. It is important that you do not attempt to further resolve an issue after it has been addressed by your builder. Homeowners who in any way alter their builder’s work run a serious risk of excluding the item from warranty coverage. 

While warranty repairs are between you and your builder, our Tarion staff are always here to help if you have questions or run into roadblocks. And if your builder does not complete your repairs, be sure to contact us to request a conciliation. To learn more about the warranty process and timelines, visit Tarion.com or give us a call anytime at 1-877-9TARION or email customerservice@tarion.com
 

    

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