Tag Archives: Tarion

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Consumer Protection: Ensure Your Home Is Warrantied

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Consumer Protection: Ensure Your Home Is Warrantied

Searching the Ontario Builder Directory ensures your new home is being built legally and is covered by the provincial warranty program

Most of us do a great deal of research before we make a big purchase. If buying a car, for example, we’ll check out manufacturer websites, read consumer reports on reliability and performance and drop by dealerships to talk about available features, colours, gas mileage, financing and more.

When you’re buying a new home, the Ontario Builder Directory can be a valuable tool for researching your builder.

The Ontario Builder Directory (OBD) allows you to see if your builder or vendor is registered with Tarion and legally permitted to build or sell homes in Ontario. You can also look up their contact information and related companies under which they operate, how many homes they have built and the communities where they build.

You can also see their track record – have they been a recipient or finalist of a Homeowners’ Choice Award (which are determined by homeowner surveys), or has Tarion had to resolve warranty claims on their behalf?

We’re continually looking at ways that we can make the OBD more useful. In 2017, we made it mobile friendly and added a number of new functions, including the ability to search not only by company name but also by company director or officer.

But we didn’t stop there. We recently added another new feature that allows users to search for individual homes by municipal address or lot and plan number, which is useful for those who want to confirm if a home is enrolled with Tarion and eligible for warranty protection.

Search results are updated daily and include:

  • Homes that are enrolled;
  • Enrolled homes that are under construction but not yet occupied;
  • Homes that are currently under warranty;
  • The warranty start date and end date for each home currently under warranty.

This new enhancement will not only help those looking to buy a new home, but also others who help with the homebuying process, such as real estate agents and lawyers. It will also go a long way in helping municipal building departments in their efforts to prevent illegal building by allowing them to confirm whether particular homes or addresses in their communities are enrolled in the warranty program.

Buying a new home is a big decision and a big investment. It makes sense to do your research – not only into what type of home you might want but also which company you want to build that home. To check out the Ontario Builder Directory, visit Tarion.com.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corporation.

Tarion.com

Facebook.com/TarionWarrantyCorp

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Consumer Protection: Protecting Your Rights When Signing on the Dotted Line

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Consumer Protection: Protecting Your Rights When Signing on the Dotted Line

While our attention spans are shrinking, the legal documents that we have to sign to participate in an activity, access a service or purchase a product seem to be getting longer. Who among us hasn’t scrolled down to the ‘Agree’ button or signed on the dotted line without reading all the fine print?

When it comes to buying a pre-construction condo, however, it’s important to understand exactly what both parties – buyer and seller – are committing to and under what conditions that agreement can be terminated. Over the past few months, there have been situations in which developers have cancelled condominium projects leaving buyers disappointed and wondering why they were allowed to do it.

Mirabella Condos by Diamante.

A decade ago, there weren’t a lot of rules on what conditions vendors or builders of condominium projects could put into purchase agreements and the conditions themselves could be scattered throughout the document, making them difficult to find.

In 2008 however, Tarion introduced an addendum to be included with every purchase agreement for both homes and condominiums. The purpose of the addendum is to not only restrict the conditions under which builders can terminate agreements early but require them to take ‘all commercially reasonable steps’ to satisfy those conditions. For example, if one of the conditions is zoning approval, the builder would need to have completed all the steps necessary to try to obtain those approvals in a timely manner.

The addendum also requires builders to give buyers information about zoning and construction as well as occupancy dates and conditions under which these dates could be changed. An added benefit to homebuyers is that the addendum collects all this information, and the conditions governing the agreement, in one place so they are easier to review.

Although it cannot eliminate all the risks involved in purchasing a pre-construction condo, the limitations and level of disclosure that the addendum requires helps protect condo buyers and inform them of the risks. But this doesn’t replace the importance of having your purchase agreement reviewed by an experienced real estate lawyer.

A new home is one of life’s biggest investments. The more you know before you enter into the deal, the better equipped you’ll be to protect your rights or at least understand the risks associated with signing on the dotted line.

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. Tarion.com

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BUILDER PROFILE: Plaza

BUILDER PROFILE: Plaza

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BUILDER PROFILE: Plaza

The Tarion Highrise Builder of the Year is launching two exciting new condo projects, continuing its commitment to excellence

Plaza, the Tarion Highrise Builder of the Year for 2018, is not only recognized for its zero deficiencies in virtually every suite, but also for their outstanding customer service. This award focuses solely on customer service, based on feedback from homeowners before, during and after move-in to their new home.

The company has garnished a reputation for quality construction together with high level standards in its buildings, and is known for offering home buyers some of the best locations in Toronto.

This year will be no exception as Plaza prepares to launch two exciting new condo projects in two of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods, Bloor West Village and North York. Like other Plaza projects, these two developments will be on transit lines.

Plaza knows from feedback gathered from its buyers that subway access is a priority for them, says Scott McLellan, senior vice president at Plaza. These buyers also want the advantages that come with living in walkable neighbourhoods.

Plaza’s Jane and Bloor site will offer an opportunity to live in popular Bloor West Village with its retail shopping and is within walking distance of the city’s famous High Park and many other parks.

“This one is exciting and it’s a different kind of market,” says McLellan. “I think we are going to see a lot of move-down buyers. It’s almost considered South Etobicoke and is in the Humber View, South Kingsway area. There will certainly be demand from empty nesters who want to downsize from large homes in the area, but I also see young professionals making a buying decision here as it will be metres from the Jane St. station. There will be a significant retail component along Bloor, keeping with the tradition of Old Bloor Village with shops you can walk to.”

“We have seen buyers who are purchasing two and three-bedroom suites, anticipating future family living, as well as a lot of 50-year-olds, knowing they’ll need space,” says McLellan. “Empty nesters want space for the grandkids to stay.”

Residents will enjoy living in a lively neighbourhood with an eclectic mix of 400 shops, restaurants, schools and services. It’s where you can shop for clothing boutiques, browse for a favourite read in a book store or for artwork in a local gallery, or enjoy an espresso or tea at a café or bakery. The Village boasts a rich array of dining choices, with restaurants dedicated to Vietnamese, Italian, Thai, Polish, Greek, vegan foods, to name just a few. Bloor West Village is the site of many events throughout the year, including the world’s largest Ukrainian Festival, Bloor West Street Fest and Santa in the Village.

With all the neighbourhood has to offer, it also has the distinction of being on two transit lines: the current Bloor-Danforth subway line and the coming LRT line that will run along Jane St. from Pioneer Village Station to Jane Station.

For buyers who prefer the uptown North York lifestyle, Plaza will be launching a 420 suite condominium at Yonge and Finch, with everything one needs to live a well-rounded urban lifestyle. The Finch subway, buses and close proximity to Highways 401 and 404 make getting anywhere a breeze. Just a short distance away is the Yonge Sheppard Centre, a major shopping centre that is undergoing a $300 million upgrade, and Mel Lastman Square, a public park with open space, a garden court, outdoor amphitheatre, fountains and reflecting pool, the location for many annual community events.

“This building will offer an affordable ownership alternative for those who want to stay in the Willowdale area,” says McLellan. “We have designed 75 per cent of the suites to be two-bedroom units or larger.”

North York is a city within a city, with excellent shopping, entertainment venues, numerous restaurants and cafes and parks. Along Yonge Street, it gives the vibe of sophisticated, bustling metropolis, yet a more tranquil atmosphere can be found just a few blocks away along quiet residential streets.

Buyers at both of these coming projects can expect more than exceptional locations. Since 1982, Plaza has been committed to providing a high level of standard quality in every condominium it builds. Plaza was among the first developer to include finishes such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, marble bathroom counters, porcelain tile, engineered hardwood and halogen lighting as standard features.

For more information about Plaza or its coming projects, visit PurePlaza.com.


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Consumer Protection: The Homeowners’ Choice Awards

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Consumer Protection: The Homeowners’ Choice Awards

In the world of movies, an Oscar is considered the pinnacle of achievement. And yet, recipients are not chosen by the movie-going public but rather by movie industry insiders. In contrast, the People’s Choice Awards are voted on by the public who actually watch the nominated movies and TV shows.

The Homeowners’ Choice Awards are like the People’s Choice Awards for builders. In fact, they are the only awards that give Ontario new homeowners the power to have their builder recognized for outstanding performance.

A new home is one of life’s biggest investments and a homeowner’s relationship with their builder lasts long after the keys change hands. This is why customer service is so important. A happy homeowner is the best advertisement for any builder.

Each year, Tarion gives Ontario home buyers the opportunity to rate their builders’ performance before, during and after they move into their new home. We sent surveys to 56,929 new home buyers and more than 11,500 weighed in with their opinions and chose the recipients for outstanding customer service in four categories: Small, Medium, Large Volume and High-Rise. To see a full list of the finalists, visit Tarion.com

The following were our 2018 Homeowners’ Choice recipients:

  • Small Volume Category: Kolody Homes, Belle River
  • Medium Volume Category: Talos Custom Homes Ltd., Richmond
  • Large Volume Category: Hayhoe Homes, St. Thomas
  • High-Rise Category: Plazacorp Investments, Toronto

In the entertainment industry, there are also lifetime achievement awards given to those whose exemplary commitment and accomplishments have stood the test of time. We have our own version – the Ernest Assaly Award — that goes to the builder who demonstrates a longstanding commitment to not only creating a quality home for their customers but also nurturing the people who build that home and investing in the community that surrounds it.

Like a lifetime achievement award, a builder can only earn this honour once and the recipient is chosen by a committee from a shortlist of builders who meet the rigorous criteria required to be invited to participate. This award recognizes the highest level of excellence in Ontario home building while honouring the legacy of Ernest Assaly, a highly respected leader in the residential building industry who was Tarion’s first Board Chair.

The recipient of the Ernest Assaly Award is: Tridel, Toronto.

Tarion congratulates all the 2018 award recipients for achieving greatness in the eyes of their customers and, by doing so, instilling confidence in the new home buying experience across Ontario.

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.

Tarion.com

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Consumer Protection: Ready For Occupancy

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Consumer Protection: Ready For Occupancy

Your PDI is an opportunity to note anything that’s missing, damaged or not working in your new home

If you chose to buy a preconstruction home instead of a resale home, it’s probably because you were looking forward to everything being brand new and finished just the way you want it.

Unfortunately, come moving day, some new homeowners find that their home may not be entirely complete. Regardless of whether it’s missing fixtures, finishes or perhaps even flooring, it’s an unexpected surprise.

Homeowners who find themselves in these situations are understandably frustrated and disappointed – and they want to know who is responsible. Often, they turn to Tarion for answers.

Tarion administers the Ontario new home warranty program, which sets out the minimum warranty standards and repair timelines that builders are expected to adhere to. Homeowners have a number of protections under the program, including delayed closing compensation, deposit protection and construction warranties that last for up to seven years.

Ontario Building Code (OBC) standards are set by the province and enforced by municipal building departments. Municipal building officials issue building permits and conduct scheduled inspections at various points during construction, primarily focusing on major components of the home – for example, the plumbing and electrical systems – and the safety features.

For a home to be deemed ready for occupancy, it must meet the minimum standards for occupancy as dictated by the OBC and it requires that a home be substantially complete and ready to use for its intended purpose. It also lays out the minimum systems and safety-related features that must be completed before occupancy can take place. If a home meets those standards, the municipality must grant an occupancy permit.

So, “ready for occupancy” and “finished” do not necessarily mean the same thing. We understand that this can be frustrating for homeowners and are exploring opportunities to work with the industry through Ontario Building Partnerships to increase public education around the current occupancy standards. This was, in fact, one of the issues covered in our recent webinar with representatives of the Ontario Building Officials Association and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association.

Your Pre-Delivery Inspection — or PDI — is an opportunity to note anything that’s missing, damaged or not working in your new home. This list serves as a record of the state of your home and a to-do list for your builder. You can also contact your municipal building department if you believe there may be violation of the Ontario Building Code. You should make sure to report any remaining issues to Tarion on your 30-day or year-end warranty form.

So, if your home is unfinished when you take possession, there is help available to get your issues addressed. To learn more about the warranty coverage and how Tarion can help, visit Tarion.com.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corporation. His column appears 10 times a year in HOMES Magazine. For more information about how Tarion helps new homebuyers, visit Tarion.com or find them on Facebook at Facebook.com/TarionWarrantyCorp

 

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Four reasons to buy a new home

Four reasons to buy a new home

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Four reasons to buy a new home

When you’re in the market for a new home there are many tough decision to be made.

When you’re in the market for a new home it can be a tough decision. Do you head to the sales office of a local builder or check out resale homes? Here are some reasons to buy a brand new home:

The latest technology

Homebuilding has seen significant changes in construction techniques and new technology over the last 10 years. New homes today come with efficiency features such as tankless water heaters, high-efficiency condensing furnaces, low-flow showerheads, Energy Star appliances, high-performance windows and smart thermostats. This means today’s homes and condos are easier on your utility costs and the environment while providing you a home that is as tech-savvy as you are.

Registered builders versus DIY

New homebuilders in Ontario need a licence to build. In fact, it’s the law that they be registered with Tarion, the regulatory authority. This means that builders must meet financial and technical tests before they can build homes, providing you with some peace of mind about your investment.

An older home, on the other hand, may have changed ownership several times, which could mean it’s seen many years of DIY fixes or renovations that may not meet the current Ontario Building Code. Older homes may also have more hidden issues like faulty wiring, illegal alterations and use of older materials.

Best-in-class warranty

Almost every new home or condo in Ontario is covered by a new home warranty with up to $300,000 in coverage. From the moment of possession, almost everything the builder provides, inside and out, is covered in the first year. The major systems inside your home, including heating and plumbing, are covered for up to two years and major structural defects are covered for up to seven years.

Customized finishes

A newly built house or condo gives you the opportunity to customize it to your tastes before it’s even built. Depending on the builder, you can often choose wall colours, design and colour of cabinets and countertops, types of fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom, floor finishes and the style of interior trim throughout your home. Find more tips at tarion.com.

WHAT EVERY HOMEBUYER NEEDS

Buying a new home is exciting, but also a lot of work. It involves a whole series of decisions beginning with setting your budget all the way to picking out bathroom tiles. Wouldn’t it be great to have a trusted advisor to help?

MyHome Planner is a free app that offers the reliable advice, information and organization skills you need at each step of the home buying process. It’s like a best friend, new home expert and personal assistant all rolled into one.

One of the first big decisions to tackle is where you want to live. The app can help you research builders and where they are proposing to develop new homes or condos. It also gives you access to Tarion’s Ontario Builder Directory so you can see how long a builder has been in business, how many homes it has built and whether there have been any warranty claims.

Once you know where you want to be, the fun part comes when it’s time to choose the house model and customize it with fixtures, countertops and other finishes to create the home of your dreams. The app can help with scheduling, reminders and valuable information that will help to ensure nothing is forgotten.

When it comes time for the Pre-Delivery Inspection — a walk-through of your completed home with the builder prior to taking possession — you need to identify issues such as damaged or incomplete items.

But do you know what to look for or what questions to ask? The app can coach you with tips, videos and resources that will help you through the process. It can also help you learn about your new home warranty. Find more tips at tarion.com.

TOP FIVE TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS

Buying your first home can be exciting, but it is important to realize the slew of new responsibilities that come with owning property. Tasks that a landlord would take care of are now on your plate. Here are some to keep in mind:

Neighbourhood by-laws

Many communities maintain regulations, such as maximum heights for fences, hedges and trees; building permits for decks; and rules for the construction of fire pits. To avoid an accidental misstep, check out the neighbourhood by-laws when you are moving.

Maintain smoke alarms According to the Canadian regulations, smoke alarms must be installed outside of each sleeping area and on each level. Maintenance of these devices include testing them every month, cleaning and changing their batteries as directed by the manufacturer and replacing any that are over 10 years old.

Check seldomley used bathrooms

Grime and dirt build-up can cause your faucets and toilets to malfunction or get damaged. Avoid this by running the taps and flushing the toilets of guest bathrooms occasionally.

Curb appeal

Don’t forget to maintain your outdoor property as well. Take pride in your new home with a well-manicured yard. This may not be everyone’s favourite chore, but Stihl’s Lithium-Ion Homescaper Series can help in easing the load with lightweight and powerful tools making the job much easier.

Emergency fund

Now that you own your home, you are solely responsible for any and all repairs. These can be costly, and often come by surprise. Avoid an unplanned financial burden by keeping an emergency fund for household maintenance and repairs. Find more information about helpful tools online at stihl.ca.

From News Canada


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Consumer Protection: Purchasing Pre-Construction

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Consumer Protection: Purchasing Pre-Construction

When you purchase a preconstruction condominium, you expect your home will look just like the sales brochure promised. Unfortunately, some condominium owners end up moving into buildings that are still under construction and into units that are missing their carefully chosen finishes or lacking features needed to make them comfortable to live in.

Condo owners who find themselves in these situations are understandably frustrated and disappointed – and they want to know who is responsible. Often, they turn to Tarion for answers.

It’s important to understand that when it comes to determining when a condo is ready for occupancy, that responsibility lies with the municipality. Municipal building departments are responsible for enforcing the Ontario Building Code (OBC) and certifying that condo units meet the legal standards for occupancy. Although municipalities enforce these standards, they are set by the provincial government.

Municipal building officials also conduct inspections at various points during construction, primarily focusing on major components of the unit – for example the plumbing or the heating/air conditioning systems – and the safety features.

The OBC sets the minimum standards for occupancy and if a unit meets those standards, the municipality must grant occupancy. The OBC requires that a home be substantially complete and ready to use for its intended purpose. It also lays out the minimum systems and safety related features that must be completed before occupancy can take place.

As we’ve heard from some of the condo owners who have contacted us, a unit that is deemed ready for occupancy isn’t necessarily completely finished.

In some cases, finishing in your unit may occur after you move in. We understand that this can be a frustrating experience and are exploring opportunities to work with the industry through the Ontario Building Partnership to increase public education around the current occupancy standards.

Recently, Tarion, together with the Ontario Building Officials Association and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association, were joined by 350 viewers during a webinar to discuss ways we are all working together to build consumer confidence in the new home buying experience. Unfinished homes was one of the issues we explored.

If you have questions about the state of your unit, you should first contact your builder. You can also contact your municipal building department if you believe there may be OBC violations. And as always, you should be sure to make a record of any incomplete work during your Pre-Delivery Inspection and be sure to report any unresolved issues to Tarion on your 30-day and year-end warranty forms.

So, while no one wants to find themselves in an unfinished condo, there is help available. To learn more about the warranty coverage on condos and how Tarion can help, visit Tarion.com

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.

Tarion.com

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Consumer Protection: Document All Deficiencies

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Consumer Protection: Document All Deficiencies

Most new homes will require some adjustments after move-in and Tarion is there to help

When you move into your new home, you hope that everything will be perfect. However, in reality, some aspects of your home may require fixes. In most cases, new homeowners and builders work well together to get the repairs done so that owners can fully enjoy their homes.

But what happens when you and your builder disagree on whether the items that need to be repaired are covered under the warranty?

That’s when Tarion can step in. We can help you settle disagreements about warranty coverage when you and your builder are unable to do so. There are a few steps you need to take to ensure we can help you.

First, you must submit a warranty claim to Tarion within the proper timeframe using one of our forms. The forms include the 30-day form, the yearend form, the second-year form and the major structural defect form.

One of the easiest ways to submit a form is through MyHome, Tarion’s online portal (there’s also an app) that owners of newly built homes can use to manage their warranty.

Once you register with MyHome, you can find the proper form for your warranty claim, fill it out and submit it easily from your computer or mobile device.

After you submit the claim, your builder has a specific number of days, called a repair period, to resolve all the items on your form that are covered by the warranty.

If your builder doesn’t fix all your warranty items by the end of the repair period, you can request conciliation. This is a process in which Tarion decides whether the items on your warranty claim form are covered under the warranty.

Conciliation may include a visit to your home, or what we call a desk assessment – a review of all the documentation related to the claim. You should provide all evidence – documents, photographs, videotapes, etc. – that you want Tarion to consider when assessing your claim.

A Tarion Warranty Services Representative, acting as a neutral and impartial decision maker, will review your documentation, determine if the items on your claim form are covered under the warranty and issue a report that explains Tarion’s decision. If Tarion agrees that your claim items are covered, your builder is given a final 30 days to resolve them. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll resolve your claim directly with you.

Some homeowners are worried that working with Tarion on their unresolved claims will affect their relationship with their builder. However, you need to protect your investment and your warranty rights. So, if you can’t agree with your builder about repairs to your new home, know that we’re here to help.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corporation. His column appears 10 times a year in HOMES Magazine. For more information about how Tarion helps new homebuyers, visit Tarion.com or find them on Facebook at Facebook.com/TarionWarrantyCorp

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Consumer Protection: A Cancelled Project Doesn’t Leave You Out of Pocket

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Consumer Protection: A Cancelled Project Doesn’t Leave You Out of Pocket

If you check out Toronto’s skyline, you’ll see cranes – lots and lots of cranes. They’re a sign of the times in today’s condo construction boom. While the frenzied market we saw for detached homes in 2017 has calmed down a bit, the demand for condos has continued to grow as people see them as the only affordable option.

While there seems to be no shortage of willing condo buyers, however, there is a shortage of preconstruction condos available for sale. Unfortunately, this is due in part to development projects taking longer than expected to be built, or some being cancelled altogether.

There may be many different reasons why some developments don’t ever get constructed – for example, the builders might lack sufficient capital or fail to obtain the necessary zoning or permits. Whatever the cause, a cancelled project can leave purchasers without a home to look forward to. The good news is that it shouldn’t leave them out of pocket.

Under the Condominium Act, if a condo project is cancelled, purchasers are entitled to receive their entire deposit back, including any payments made for extras and upgrades. This is because the builders are required to put these monies in trust or provide alternative acceptable security. If a project is terminated and for some reason the deposits and other amounts are not repaid by the vendor then condo buyers are eligible for protection from Tarion up to $20,000, plus certain accrued interest.

If you’re buying a pre-construction condo, there is always a risk that the project could be delayed or cancelled. There have even been cases where purchase agreements are terminated and then the condos are constructed at a later date.

That’s why it’s important for potential buyers to know that under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, a builder must attach an Addendum to every condo purchase agreement that requires them to disclose the status of the zoning approval and construction. It also limits what kind of early termination conditions that they can impose in the purchase agreement and obligates them to use reasonable efforts to meet these conditions before they can cancel the project.

There are consumer protections in place to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to complete a condo project, but it is important to understand your rights as a purchaser if it does not. If your purchase agreement is terminated through no fault of your own, you should get your money back within 10 days. If you don’t, Tarion is here to help.

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. Tarion.com

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Consumer Protection: Fraud Prevention Month Keeps Buyers Aware of Any Problems

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Consumer Protection: Fraud Prevention Month Keeps Buyers Aware of Any Problems

Not only does March herald the beginning of spring, it’s also Fraud Prevention Month. And as new home construction ramps up with the warmer weather, we want buyers to be aware that illegal builders may be at work as well.

To help protect homebuyers, fines for illegal building were recently increased under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.

The increases are significant: As of the beginning of the year, individuals found violating the law can face fines of as much as $50,000 – up from $25,000 – as well as imprisonment of up to two years less a day, twice the previous jail time. Corporations building new homes will face the heaviest penalties, with maximum fines of $250,000, up from the previous $100,000 fine. Their directors and officers can also be fined up to $50,000.

The increases in fines and jail time are intended to act as a deterrent for illegal builders who may compromise the safety and functionality of your new home, not to mention tarnish the reputation of the entire industry.

So what constitutes an “illegal” builder? The definition applies to any builder who enters into an agreement of purchase or sale or a construction contract for a new home and is not registered with Tarion. It’s also illegal to start building a home or condominium without first enrolling the project with Tarion.

Choosing a legal builder is important and I can give you a number of good reasons why.

As part of their registration with Tarion, legal builders have to pass a written test on the Ontario Building Code and prove that they have the technical competence and financial means to produce a well-built home. Legal builders and vendors also respect the legal requirement to enroll the new home or condo in the warranty plan.

Purchasers of new homes are entitled to deposit protection and delayed closing compensation, a one-year warranty on work and materials and Ontario Building Code violations, a two-year warranty on defects e.g., water penetration, and seven years for major structural defects.

If the home is built illegally, there are at least two concerns. The homeowner is less likely to know their warranty rights. Also, homeowners could end up with a building that may not even be safe to live in or be financially responsible for problems that occur later on.

To be on the safe side you should always check the Ontario Builder Directory on Tarion.com for information on licensed builders.

In line with Fraud Prevention Month, if you believe a builder is not licensed please call the Tarion anonymous tip-line at 1.800.786-6497. All information remains confidential.

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.

Tarion.com

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