Consumer Protection: Partnerships are the Backbone of Success
When investing in a new condominium, you want to know that your new home will be properly built, safe to live in and covered by a new home warranty if anything goes wrong.
Tarion plays a role in fulfilling those expectations — but we don’t work alone. Like any thriving industry, partnerships are often the backbone of success.
Historically, the many different parties in the new home building industry have worked together on a number of issues like protecting buyers from illegally built homes, radon awareness and emerging trends. Take for example, the falling condo glass issue that has been prominently featured in the media since around 2011.
Once it became apparent that this was more than an isolated incident and involved various building projects by different builders, the City of Toronto and building industry association members requested an expert panel to tackle the problem.
The panel, comprised of industry partners like engineers, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, municipalities from across the GTA, building science experts, condo builders and Tarion, requested an emergency change to the Ontario Building Code. The revised standard required glass balcony guards to be both tempered and laminated so they would act like a windshield on a car and stay together if breakage occurred.
Whether your new home is a house or a condo, getting it from sales brochure to a standing livable structure involves a complicated system of standards, permits, inspections and finally, warranty coverage. Proper protection for you, the homeowner, throughout this process requires coordination and cooperation from Tarion and two of our long-standing partners – the Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) and the Ontario Homebuilders’ Association (OHBA).
So it’s fitting that after a long history of informal collaboration, Tarion recently joined with the OBOA and OHBA to formalize this relationship and announce the creation of the Ontario Building Partnership.
While each organization plays a different role within the industry, we share a commitment to increase consumer confidence, enhance the new home ownership experience and continue to ensure Ontario’s home building industry is regarded as a world class leader.
So how does this partnership benefit you, the home buyer? Among other things, it means we will be expanding our efforts to advocate for a province-wide model to protect home buyers from illegal building, collaborating on consumer education and homeownership issues and working on establishing more consistent building standards across the new home building industry.
Ontario’s home building industry is changing at a rapid pace. As those changes occur, it is more important than ever that we are all are aligned in protecting consumers. After all, your new home or condo is likely the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. We want to make sure you purchase with confidence and we are proud that this partnership brings together three industry leaders who all share this commitment.
HOWARD BOGACH is president and CEO of Tarion Warranty Corp., a private corporation established to protect the rights of new homebuyers and to regulate new home builders.