Tarion Warranty Information

Tarion Warranty Overview

The statutory warranties on work and materials that you provide on the home take effect on the Date of Possession and last for a total of seven years. The Date of Possession is the closing date or, in the case of a condominium unit, the occupancy date/interim occupancy date. 

The statutory warranties are divided into the three timeframes outlined below. 

One-Year Warranty

  • Requires that the home is constructed in a workmanlike manner and free from defects in materials
  • Protects against unauthorized substitutions of items of construction or finishing that are referred to, or selected by the purchaser, in the purchase agreement
  • Ensures that the home is fit for habitation 
  • Protects against Ontario Building Code violations

Two-Year Warranty

  • Protects against water penetration through the basement or foundation 
  • Protects against defects in materials, including windows, doors and caulking, or defects in work that result in water penetration into the building envelope 
  • Covers defects in work or materials in the electrical, plumbing, and heating delivery and distribution systems 
  • Covers defects in work or materials that result in the detachment, displacement, or deterioration of exterior cladding (such as brick work, aluminum, or vinyl siding) 
  • Protects against Ontario Building Code violations that affect health and safety, including but not limited to fire safety, insulation, air and vapour barriers, ventilation, heating, and structural adequacy

Seven-Year Warranty

Provides coverage against major structural defects. These include:

  • Defects in work or materials that affect a structural loadbearing element of the home, resulting in an actual structural failure
  • Defects in work or materials that materially compromise a structural loadbearing element of the home, even if failure has not occurred or is not imminent
  • Defects in work or materials that materially and adversely affect the use of a significant portion of the home

Condominium Common Elements

For most condominiums, the common elements have the above warranty coverage. The condominium corporation is entitled to submit warranty claims for defects in work or materials in the common elements. There is no warranty coverage for the common elements of either a common elements condominium or vacant land condominium.
Common elements warranty coverage begins on the date the condominium corporation is registered. 

Coverage Limits

For all purchase agreements or construction contracts signed on or after February 1, 2021, these new warranty limits are in place:

  • The maximum statutory warranty coverage available for freehold homes and condominium units is $300,000.
  • The maximum coverage for condominium common elements is $100,000 multiplied by the number of units, up to a maximum of $3.5 million.
  • The maximum combined coverage for a condominium project (units and common elements) is $50 million.
  • There is a maximum of $50,000 for warranted damage caused by environmentally harmful substances or hazards, including mould, for freehold homes and condominium units.

For all purchase agreements or construction contracts signed before February 1, 2021, these warranty limits remain:

  • The maximum statutory warranty coverage available for freehold homes and condominium units is $300,000.
  • The maximum coverage for condominium common elements is $50,000 times the number of units, up to a maximum of $2.5 million.
  • The maximum combined coverage for a condominium project (units and common elements) is $50 million.
  • There is a maximum of $15,000 for warranted damage caused by environmentally harmful substances or hazards, including mould, and a maximum of $25,000 for coverage of septic systems.

 

Warranty Claims Process For Homes

The statutory warranties you provide on the home begin on the Date of Possession and last for up to seven years. The Date of Possession is the closing date or, in the case of a condominium unit, the occupancy date/interim occupancy date. 

Below is a general overview of the warranty claims process for homes (including condominium units), which is outlined in full detail in Registrar Bulletin 1. For an outline of the seven-year coverage, click here.

Warranty Claims

Homeowners should bring any warranty claims to your attention in writing as soon as possible within the applicable warranty coverage period. 

Tarion strongly encourages homeowners to submit their claims using the standard warranty forms available in MyHome, Tarion’s online service for homeowners. Doing so will allow you to access and view submissions through BuilderLink

Below is a list of the standard warranty forms and when they can be submitted by homeowners:

  • 30-Day Form: Within 30 days after the date of possession.*
  • Air-Conditioning Form: Between May 15 and September 15 during the first year after the date of possession.
  • Year-End Form: Within the last 30 days before the first anniversary of the date of possession.*
  • Delayed Closing/Occupancy Form: Anytime within the first year after the date of possession.
  • Second-Year Form: Anytime after the first anniversary of the date of possession and up to the second anniversary.
  • Major Structural Defect Form: Anytime after the date of possession and up to the seventh anniversary.
  • Emergency Form: Anytime after the date of possession and up to the seventh anniversary.

*Effective September 14, 2020, homeowners will have a 10-day grace period on the 30-Day Form submission period. Homeowners will also have a 10-day grace period on the Year-End Form submission period provided they supply written evidence that they reported items to the builder within the one-year warranty period. Examples would be that the homeowner reported the defect to the builder on any prior warranty forms, emails or other written materials during the first-year warranty period and by a method of written communication that was previously used between the parties to communicate about the home. Note that Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) Forms are not acceptable written evidence for the year-end grace period. For more information about these and other interim measures to protect homeowners, click here.

Builder Repair Period

When a homeowner submits a warranty form to Tarion, it triggers a 120-day initial builder repair period during which you are expected to repair or otherwise resolve items on the form that are covered by the warranty. 

Certain areas of the home and situations demand longer or shorter timeframes, such as exterior work, emergency situations, and Major Structural Defect claims. See Registrar Bulletin 1 for more information about exceptions to the regular warranty repair process.

Builder Responsibilities

Your responsibilities after receiving a warranty claim include the following:

  • Review the warranty claim;
  • Create a work plan to deal with the items listed on the warranty claim;
  • If needed, contact the homeowner for clarification on the issue(s) and/or make an appointment to inspect the issue(s);
  • Ask the homeowner for details about the defects. For example: if a claim form refers to squeaks ‘throughout’ the flooring, the builder should ask exactly where the squeaks are;
  • Use the Ontario Building Code and Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines as primary resources when determining if the defects in question are covered under the warranty;
  • If an item points to a deeper issue, investigate its cause (using specialized trades or consultants if necessary) and the appropriate solution;
  • Communicate to the homeowner your intent to resolve or not resolve the items;
  • If the item is not considered to be covered by the warranty, provide an explanation to the owner and be prepared to provide supporting information; 
  • Respond to questions from the homeowner; 
  • Schedule repairs during business hours at a time that is mutually convenient and agreed upon in advance; and,
  • Resolve the items covered by the warranty before the repair deadline.

Resolving Warranty Items

You must resolve items that are covered under the warranties in one of two ways: 

  • Repair (or offer to repair in the case of a homeowner not accepting the repair) each item in a manner which satisfies the warranty obligation; or,
  • Provide cash compensation (or offer to provide cash compensation in the case of a homeowner not accepting the offer) which satisfies the warranty obligation.

Support from Tarion

If you encounter difficulties in your efforts to resolve items or you have a disagreement with the homeowner over warranty coverage, Tarion may be able to provide some assistance. Click here for more information.

It is important that you document your efforts to resolve items in accordance with Registrar Bulletin 4.

Unresolved Warranty Items

If you do not resolve items by the end of the repair period or the homeowner is not satisfied with your method of resolution, the homeowner may contact Tarion to request a conciliation

 

Warranty Claims Process For Condominium Common Elements

The condominium corporation is the owner of the common elements of a condominium project and is responsible for making common element warranty claims to you.

Below is a general overview of the common elements warranty process, which is outlined in full detail in Registrar Bulletin 2.

Note: Vacant land condominiums and common element condominiums are not entitled to statutory warranty coverage.

Warranty Claims

The condominium corporation may contact you at any time and is encouraged to work with you to resolve warranty items. 

Condominium corporations may also submit a standard warranty form made available by Tarion. Alternatively, condominium corporations may submit Performance Audits (within the meaning of the Condominium Act) to you which will be treated as a warranty form.

Below is a list of the standard warranty forms and when they can be submitted by condominium corporations:

  • First-Year Common Elements Form: Anytime during the first year after the date of registration.
  • Second-Year Common Elements Form: Anytime after the first anniversary of the date of registration and up to the second anniversary.
  • Major Structural Defect Common Elements Form: Anytime after the second anniversary of the date of registration and up to the seventh anniversary.

Performance Audit Tracking Summary

Condominium corporations must submit a Performance Audit Tracking Summary along with each warranty form they submit to Tarion. The Performance Audit Tracking Summary is a tool designed to track the progress of the items that the condominium corporation has submitted to Tarion as part of its warranty claim. 

Both you and the condominium corporation are required to provide periodic updates (usually every 90 days) as to the status of each of the items listed in the Performance Audit Tracking Summary. You can access the Performance Audit Tracking Summary online through BuilderLink.

Builder Repair Period

For items listed on a First Year Common Elements Form, you have an initial repair period of up to 18 months from the first anniversary of the Registration Date of the Condominium Project to repair or otherwise resolve all warranted items. 

For items listed on a Second Year Common Elements Form, you have an initial builder repair period of 6 months from the second anniversary of the Registration Date of the Condominium Project to repair or otherwise resolve all warranted items.

Note: Some common elements and situations demand longer or shorter timeframes, such as exterior work and emergency situations. See Registrar Bulletin 2 for more information about exceptions to the regular warranty repair process. 

Builder Responsibilities

Your responsibilities after receiving a warranty request are as follows:

  • Review the warranty claim form (or Performance Audit);
  • Create a work plan to deal with the items listed on the warranty claim;
  • If needed, contact the homeowner for clarification on the issue(s) or to make an appointment to inspect the issue(s);
  • If an item points to a deeper issue, determine its cause and propose a reasonable solution;
  • Communicate to the condominium corporation your intent to resolve or not resolve the items;
  • If the item is not considered to be covered by the warranty, provide an explanation to the condominium corporation and be prepared to provide supporting information;
  • Respond to questions from the condominium corporation;
  • Resolve the items covered by the warranty before the repair deadline;
  • Update the Performance Audit Tracking Summary on an ongoing basis (every 90 days) to advise which items have been resolved, which items will be resolved, and which items will not be resolved.

Support from Tarion

Tarion is available on an informal basis to provide information to the builder and to the condominium corporation at any time.

If, in Tarion’s opinion, you or the condominium corporation are not acting reasonably to resolve warranty claims, Tarion will hold a mandatory meeting with both parties which may result in a conciliation inspection.

Unresolved Warranty Items

If you do not repair or resolve all warranted items listed on either a First Year or Second Year Common Elements Claim Form during the initial builder repair period, the condominium corporation may contact Tarion and request a conciliation. 

Both you and the condominium corporation must pay a fee for the conciliation. The conciliation fee for builders is $3,000.

You will be given a further 90 days after the date the condominium corporation requests the conciliation to repair or resolve all of the claim items that are covered by a warranty.

Conciliation

Conciliation is a process where Tarion assesses the items on a warranty form and decides whether they are covered under the warranty set out in the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Conciliation may also be used to assess:

  • Whether Tarion agrees with the way a repair was done or offered to be done by the builder prior to conciliation; and/or
  • Whether Tarion agrees that a settlement offer by the builder prior to conciliation is reasonable.

This page provides a general overview of the conciliation process, which is outlined in full detail (including exceptions to this general overview) in Registrar Bulletin 1.

Conciliation Inspection

A conciliation may include an in-person inspection at the home/common elements or a virtual inspection to which you are invited. The inspection is conducted by a Tarion Warranty Services Representative, who is an impartial decision maker.

During the conciliation inspection, the Tarion representative may ask questions, make observations, take photographs, or bring in a specialist to help with an investigation. All of this is to make sure Tarion has the information it needs to assess the items.

Builder Responsibilities

Your responsibilities before the conciliation inspection include the following:

  • Continue to address and resolve warranty claim items;
  • If items are in dispute, work with the homeowner/condominium corporation to reach a resolution; and,
  • Provide Tarion with all documentation supporting your position on any non-warranted items, or any Exceptions to Chargeability outlined in Registrar Bulletin 4.

Your responsibilities during the conciliation inspection include the following:

  • Explain why the condition of the item exists; and,
  • Explain why the condition is not covered by the warranty or why it has not been resolved.

Conciliation Assessment Report

After Tarion completes its conciliation, we will send you and the homeowner/condominium corporation a copy of our Conciliation Assessment Report. The report will tell you whether the items we assessed are covered under the warranty and if so, need to be resolved by you.

If the report contains items that Tarion has determined are not covered by the warranty, you are not required to take any further action on those items.

If the report contains items that are covered by the warranty, you will have a final 30 days to resolve them in the case of freehold homes, or 90 days in the case of condominium common elements. If any of the warranted items remain outstanding at that time, Tarion will work with the homeowner or condominium corporation directly to resolve them and invoice you for the amount of the compensation or cost of work plus an administration fee of 15 per cent and applicable taxes.

Tarion may conduct a Claim Inspection at the home or common elements to determine if any of the warranted items remain outstanding. At the Claim Inspection, Tarion may consider:

  • Whether Tarion agrees with the way a repair was done or offered to be done by the builder;
  • Whether Tarion agrees that a settlement offer by the builder is reasonable; and/or
  • What, if any, compensation or repair the owner is entitled to receive from the builder or Tarion.

Challenging a Tarion Assessment

If you disagree with the findings of a Tarion assessment – specifically whether an item is warranted or a conciliation is chargeable – you may be able to dispute the findings at the Builder Arbitration Forum (BAF)

The BAF is a contractual arbitration process to deal with warranty related disputes between builders and Tarion in a way that is impartial, timely, affordable and final.

Conciliation Consequences

If Tarion conducts a conciliation and issues a Conciliation Assessment Report finding that at least one item (whether a defect in workmanship or materials, or a delayed closing or occupancy claim) is covered by the warranty, there is a consequence to you called a chargeable conciliation.

This page provides a general overview of chargeability, which is outlined in full detail in Registrar Bulletin 4. For more detail about chargeability as it applies to delayed closing or occupancy claims, refer to Registrar Bulletin 6-F (for freehold homes), Registrar Bulletin 6-C (for condominium units), or Registrar Bulletin 6-P (for homes built on a parcel of tied land). 

Note: For information on how the rules surrounding chargeability have been adjusted as part of Tarion’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Chargeable Conciliation

When Tarion decides that a conciliation is chargeable, two things happen: 

  • You will pay Tarion a fee for having to conduct the inspection; and,
  • Your company’s record on the Ontario Builder Directory (administered by the Home Construction Regulatory Authority) is updated to reflect that you have received a chargeable conciliation. The chargeable conciliation is a measure of your performance and stays on your record for 10 years.

Chargeable Conciliation Fees

Chargeable conciliation fees are $1000 plus applicable taxes for freehold homes and condominium units and $3000 plus applicable taxes for condominium common elements.

Exceptions to Chargeability

Not all conciliations where Tarion finds warranted items are chargeable. A conciliation is “non-chargeable” if you can show that you could/would have complied with your customer service obligations but were unable to do so through no fault of your own. 

The following are situations in which a conciliation could be determined to be non-chargeable:

  1. Denied access: You made reasonable efforts to address the warranted item but the homeowner unreasonably denied access to repair the warranted item(s).
  2. Reasonable repair refused: You were committed to resolving the warranted item and proposed a reasonable repair. However, the homeowner disagreed with one or more aspects of your plan, such as timing, scope, or method.
  3. Reasonable cash settlement refused: You tried to the resolve the warranted item through a reasonable offer of monetary compensation which the homeowner did not accept.
  4. Evidence of prior satisfaction: You decided to take no further action on an item based on documentation indicating that the homeowner was satisfied with a prior repair or resolution.
  5. Re-introduced item or new issue: You did not have a reasonable opportunity to address the warranted item because: a) it was not described accurately enough by the homeowner (including with regard to your obligation to speak with the homeowner to clarify the issue); b) the item was removed from a homeowner’s list and later re-introduced; or c) in the course of repairing or replacing the item, a new and different defect arises, that you were unaware of, but agree to address at or before the conciliation.
  6. Shortened or no builder repair period: You were not given reasonable time to address the warranted item either because Tarion decided to abridge the repair period through no fault of your own, or because Tarion failed to provide notice of the claim or conciliation to you.
  7. Warranty decision overturned by the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT): The homeowner’s appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal resulted in a reversal of Tarion’s warranty decision. 

If you believe that an exception applies to your situation, you must advise Tarion and provide evidence of the exception prior to conciliation. The specific evidence required to support an exception to chargeability is outlined in Registrar Bulletin 4.

Please note that if Tarion determines that an exception applies and the conciliation is not chargeable, you are still responsible in almost all cases for resolving the warranted item(s). 

 

 

Warranty Support For Builders

​Tarion is committed to helping you fulfill your warranty obligations to homeowners and condominium corporations. In addition to the Construction Performance Guidelines, which provide advance guidance on how Tarion will decide disputes over warranty coverage, we offer several avenues of assistance.

Customer Service Team

If you would like further assistance on a particular file, you can contact Tarion’s Customer Service Team. Members of the Customer Service Team can provide various forms of assistance in the time leading up to and after conciliation. The Customer Service Team can be reached by calling Tarion's general number, 1-877-982-7466.

Technical Desk

Tarion’s Technical Desk consists of experienced Warranty Services staff who can provide in-depth warranty information for specific issues. If you have questions about whether an item is a warranted defect or would like guidance on an appropriate method of repair, we encourage you to contact the Technical Desk well in advance of your builder repair period expiring. The Technical Desk can be reached by calling Tarion’s general number, 1-877-982-7466, and asking for a Technical Desk Representative.

Early Intervention/Mediation

The Early Intervention/Mediation process is designed to help when you are experiencing difficulties in resolving warranty issues. Early Intervention/Mediation may be beneficial in situations involving:

  • An insurmountable impasse with the homeowner;
  • A dispute over aspects of warranty obligations and coverage; or
  • The belief that either party is not operating in good faith, which can include acts of intimidation or other forms of harassment.

An Early Intervention is a meeting conducted by telephone or in person that includes you, the owner, and a Tarion representative. The intent of this meeting is to review the warranty process, the roles and responsibilities of all parties, and to encourage you and the owner to work together to resolve issues.

In cases where there is a small number of issues outstanding, a mediation process can be offered as Early Intervention.

If successful, Early Intervention/Mediation can eliminate the need for conciliation. 

Tarion does not determine whether an item is covered by the warranty at any time during this process and no Conciliation Assessment Report is issued. As a result, Early Intervention/Mediation cannot lead to a chargeable conciliation against you.

The Early Intervention/Mediation process is confidential and off-the-record. If it fails and you proceed to conciliation, the information related to it is not made available to the Warranty Services Representative who will conduct the conciliation.

You can request an Early Intervention/Mediation at any time during the repair periods by writing to Tarion’s Director of Customer Service.

 

 

 

 

Builder Arbitration Forum

Please Note: Effective September 11, 2020, Tarion implemented a new policy to proceed with BAF arbitrations virtually through Zoom, or in writing, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To read the full notice, click here. To view the BAF Virtual Hearing Guide, click here

A builder who disagrees with the findings of a Tarion assessment - specifically whether an item is warranted or a conciliation is chargeable - can dispute the findings at the Builder Arbitration Forum (BAF).

The BAF Rules have been revised and updated following a recent review of this process. The BAF Procedural Rules, Registrar Bulletin and other materials referenced on this page apply only to conciliation inspections requested on or after October 31, 2013.  These revised and updated documents are available through the links below.

For BAF appeals that involve a conciliation requested prior to October 31, 2013, please contact the Administrative Appeals Coordinator at baf@tarion.com.  The coordinator will provide the appropriate materials, such as the previous Builder Bulletin 41, procedural rules, and necessary forms. See Registrar Bulletin 08 for additional details about the Builder Arbitration Forum.

Documentation

The documents included in this section provide both a general overview and detailed account of the rules and procedures governing the Builder Arbitration Forum.  For a list of arbitrators, please contact the Administrative Appeals Coordinator at baf@tarion.com. ​

  1. BAF Procedural Rules
  2. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)​​
  3. Arbitration Application Package

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