Greater deposit protection coming for Ontario’s new homebuyers
Buyers of new homes in Ontario will soon have greater deposit protection upon a new policy and regulation proposed by Tarion coming into force.
Based on extensive public feedback last spring, Tarion is proposing to increase deposit protection for non-condominium freehold homes from the current $40,000 to 10 per cent of purchase price to a maximum coverage of $100,000 and a minimum of $60,000.
The minimum threshold of $60,000 coverage ensures that all non-condominium freehold homes will have increased coverage under this proposal; this means that non-condominium freehold homes with a purchase price below $600,000 will have up to $60,000 in coverage.
The proposed changes are contained in a draft policy and regulation that Tarion posted today on Tarion.com for public comment. This proposal has also been posted on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry.
The new deposit protection coverage is expected to be in place in January 2018.
As well, if Bill 166, the Strengthening Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2017 is passed, then upon Royal Assent the current deposit protection under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWPA) would be extended to include other payments such as those made for upgrades and extras.
The proposed policy and draft regulation will be posted on Tarion’s website and on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry for 45 days. We encourage consumers and others to visit Tarion.com or Ontario’s Regulatory Registry to read the regulation and provide feedback.
Deposits with respect to condominium dwelling units are not part of the proposed changes because condominium dwelling units already enjoy significant protection: any deposit amounts are protected by the trust provisions of the Condominium Act, 1998 as well as by coverage under ONHWPA of up to $20,000.
Currently, deposits for new non-condominium freehold homes are protected under the ONHWPA up to a maximum of $40,000.
Deposit protection levels, under ONHWPA, for non-condominium freehold homes and condominium dwelling units were last changed in 2003 and the Ontario housing marketplace has changed dramatically since then with the escalation of new homes prices across the province.
In 2016, Tarion publicly committed to a review of deposit protection for Ontario’s new homebuyers. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services also publicly stated its desire for Tarion to move forward with a review in this current marketplace.