If you have been involved in the building industry at all in Ontario, you probably are aware of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Introduced in 1976, this act was created to protect home buyers by creating mandatory regulations for home builders and supply vendors. Tarion Warranty Corporation has been designated as the enforcer of the Home Warranties Act, and all warranty claims go through them.
As a builder, this means you are required to make sure your materials and workmanship are high quality and will last. Your product (the homes you build) must come with a warranty that requires you to replace or repair any defective work or materials for the first 1-2 years. Any major structural defects are covered under a 7 year warranty. Luckily, the builder is only responsible for the actual building and materials used in it…everything inside that was contracted separately (floors, appliances, etc.) are not covered by the Home Warranties Act. The home owners must obtain warranties for those products directly from the sellers.
Warranty claims must be dealt with in a specified time period, so you need to address any issues quickly but with great expertise and attention to detail. (You want to make sure whatever was found unsatisfactory the first time is now corrected and exceeds expectations.) Tarion makes the warranty claims process fairly simple for homeowners and builders alike, creating a smooth process. In fact, home owners do not necessarily even have to go through Tarion—they can work with the builder directly.
We have to say that we think the Home Warranties Act benefits everyone. It helps encourage builders to provide quality workmanship and suppliers to provide quality materials. It protects homeowners from cheap work and dishonest contractors, sending more business to better builders.