Tag Archives: Tarion Warranty Corporation


Are you covered for weather damage to your home?

Latest News

Are you covered for weather damage to your home?

Under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, warranties do not apply to damage resulting from an act of God

These days the news is full of reports of extreme weather, both here at home and around the world. This past summer we had strong winds, heavy rainfall and even tornadoes – and it’s hard to know what weather surprises the winter may hold.

When extreme weather happens, it’s not unusual for homeowners and builders alike to call Tarion asking whether storm-related damage is covered under the warranty plan or is considered an “act of God” and excluded from coverage.

Under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, warranties do not apply to damage resulting from an act of God. An act of God is a natural event that is unexpected and unavoidable and causes damage that is beyond the control of the builder. Examples include tornadoes, earthquakes and extreme winds.

New homes that are designed and built to Ontario Building Code standards are expected to withstand Ontario’s normal weather conditions – like ice, snow, high winds and heavy rains. This means that the act of God exclusion only applies to extraordinary occurrences or conditions of nature that could not have been reasonably foreseen or guarded against.

For example, a high wind is not an act of God unless it is of such exceptional strength that no builder in Ontario could be reasonably expected to anticipate its force.

So where does that leave you if you’re a new homeowner whose home has been damaged by an ice storm, heavy snowfall or high winds? You should contact your builder, who in turn should inspect the damage to determine if warranty coverage applies. If it’s not covered, you may be able to make a claim for it under your home insurance.

If a homeowner reports damage after a weather event and the builder believes the act of God exclusion applies, the onus is on the builder to prove it. For example, if roof shingles on a newly built home flew off on a windy day, the builder would be required to replace the shingles unless the builder can prove the shingles were installed properly and became detached only because there was an extraordinary wind.

As we contend with Mother Nature’s extremes, what constitutes normal Ontario weather may change and so may the requirements for building homes to withstand it.

In the meantime, if you have questions about your warranty coverage or the act of God exclusion, you can contact Tarion.

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




Featured Products


Accessible Customer Service Is The Law

Latest News

Accessible Customer Service Is The Law

As a builder, you may have installed handrails, widened doorways or lowered countertops to make a home more accessible for a homeowner. But have you made your customer service accessible too?

Whether your interactions happen over the phone, in a sales office, on a construction site or within a home, it’s important that you are aware of your customers’ needs and do your best to meet them.

Accessible customer service is not just nice to have, it’s the law. Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, or AODA, businesses are required to comply with the Accessible Customer Service Standard.

So how do you adopt AODA principles as part of your day-to-day business? It begins with getting to know your customers and not making assumptions about what they can or cannot do or what they do or do not need. Disabilities and accessibility issues may present themselves in many different forms and it’s up to you to work with your customers to determine how best to accommodate them.

At Tarion, we are committed to ensuring that we deliver services that are integrated, accessible, and respect the dignity and independence of each individual.

I’ve heard numerous stories of how our staff has put this commitment into action by addressing the accessibility challenges of homeowners. For instance, by bringing a sign language interpreter to a conciliation for someone who was hearing impaired, or offering assistance with filling out warranty forms for someone with vision loss.

It’s important to be aware, however, that not all disabilities will be visible. While a person in a wheelchair or someone with a seeing-eye dog have accessibility challenges that are easier to identify, someone with a learning disability or a mental health issue may also require special accommodations. We have had situations in which Tarion representatives and the builder’s staff needed to wear gloves during an inspection to avoid physical contact with a homeowner’s possessions. In another case, we assigned a dedicated staff person to help a homeowner with a severe brain injury in filling out forms, communicating with the builder and scheduling repairs.

Customer service is only as good as its accessibility. There is no one size fits all approach – it’s about meeting and accommodating your customers’ needs whatever they are.

As a warranty provider, we not only hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to accessibility, but we expect the same from our contractors. To that end, we offer a training guide with tips and examples for our Tarion approved contractors. It’s a great resource and I encourage you to have a look if you are curious about ways you and your trades can increase the accessibility of your services. The guide, as well as Tarion’s accessibility policy and resources, are available at tarion.com/about/accessibility. You can also reach out to your Stakeholder Relations Representative if you have any questions about meeting a customer’s accessibility needs or how Tarion may make accommodations during the warranty process.

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



Featured Products


Radon gas in your home a threat to your health

Latest News

Radon gas in your home a threat to your health

As a homeowner, you understand that a build up of carbon monoxide in your home can be dangerous and you’ve installed a carbon monoxide detector as an early warning system. But did you know radon gas is also a potential hazard to your health?

Since November is National Radon Action Month, I thought it would be good opportunity to share what every new homeowner should know about radon.

Here are five basic facts:

  • Long-term exposure to excessive radon can increase the risk of lung cancer.
  • Almost every house in Canada has some radon. Concentration levels can vary widely from area to area and even among different homes in the same neighbourhood.
  • Radon is created by the breakdown of uranium found in rock and soil. When it escapes from the ground and mixes with the air, it is diluted to very low levels.
  • With proper ventilation, radon will dissipate causing no problems at all. Unfortunately, enclosed spaces without good airflow – such as basements and crawlspaces – can develop dangerously high radon levels when the gas becomes trapped.
  • Radon is not the result of a defect in the way a home is constructed. There is no way to determine if radon is going to be a problem before a home is built and most homes are not tested after they’re built.

Similar to carbon monoxide, radon can be detected and measured. You can measure radon using either a do-it-yourself radon test kit or by hiring a radon measurement and mitigation professional. The gas is measured in units called becquerels and Health Canada has set 200 becquerels per cubic metre as the safe limit for radon in a home.

If you’re an owner of a new home and you have excessive levels of radon, the good news is that your statutory warranty includes coverage for a full seven years. In fact, Ontario is the only Canadian jurisdiction that covers radon remediation in the statutory new home warranty.

To be eligible for coverage, radon levels must be tested over a threemonth period and whether you use a radon professional or a do-it-yourself radon test kit, both must be certified through the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program.

Test results showing levels in excess of 200 becquerels should be submitted to Tarion along with the applicable warranty form.

To learn more about radon and your warranty coverage, you can visit Tarion.com or watch our new video on YouTube. If you have questions about how to make a warranty claim, you can contact us at 1-877-9TARION or email CustomerService@Tarion.com.

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



Featured Products


Keeping homebuyers satisfied

Latest News

Keeping homebuyers satisfied

By Howard Bogach

If you’re buying a car for the first time, you’ll do your research – read reviews, talk to other owners of the brand you’re interested in and visit dealerships. But once you’ve made the purchase, your decision on whether to buy that brand again will be determined not only by the quality of the car itself but also by the purchase and after-sales experience.

It’s the same with a new home. If you are a builder, the relationship with your homebuyer may begin in the sales office but it lasts for the full seven years of warranty coverage and beyond. The goal is to have it be an experience that your buyer will want to repeat or recommend to family and friends.

An informed homebuyer has a greater likelihood of being a satisfied homeowner. Many new homebuyers have never bought a pre-construction home before so they rely on the expertise of the builder to help them through the process of choosing a floorplan, selecting finishes and making the countless other decisions required.

As the warranty authority, we have seen disputes arise from what is essentially a difference in expectations over something like tile or breakdowns in communication that could easily have been avoided with better follow-up.

This is where Tarion can help. Education is a key part of our mandate and we offer a variety of education sessions for builders that covers everything from best practices in customer service and Pre-Delivery Inspections to individualized workshops based on homeowners’ survey feedback.

We also offer specialized training on Builder Bulletin 19 and 49 for condo builders, as well as delayed closing and occupancy training.

Builders aren’t the only ones who can benefit from our training sessions. Tradespeople are key to a builder’s quality control and so we encourage builders to invite their trades to hands-on tutorials, like Understanding Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines, where, using a model home, Tarion staff walks attendees through how defects are measured and assessed for warrantability.

When warranty issues do arise, it’s important that both homeowners and builders understand how the process works. We have recently created a new warranty process guide that outlines all the steps in the claims process including at what points homeowners or builders can request dispute resolution assistance. This tool is available to builders via our BuilderLink portal and will be incorporated into our regular Tarion overview training sessions.

I often say that a new home is one of life’s biggest purchases – and we want to help builders ensure that buyers are satisfied with both the purchase and the ownership experience. Our Stakeholder Relations Representatives can deliver a variety of current education sessions for you and your trades/suppliers. Contact your representative to learn more about how they can be customized to your needs, or to book a session.

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corp


Featured Products


Consumer Protection: Invaluable Feedback From New Homeowners

Latest News

Consumer Protection: Invaluable Feedback From New Homeowners

Builders who rank the highest in survey of new homebuyers are chosen as finalists and recipients of Tarion’s Homeowners’ Choice Awards

How often have you weighed in on a customer service experience or purchase? How often do you check out reviews before you decide on a product or service?

In a world where abundant information is easily accessible, consumers have come to expect that their opinions matter and that they don’t have to go into a purchase blind.

Buying a home is no exception. As one of life’s biggest – and sometimes most complicated – investments, it makes sense to take advantage of the experience of others before you sign a purchase agreement and put down a deposit.

Tarion understands that information is power, and that’s why we survey more than 50,000 new home and condo owners each fall about their experiences buying and owning a newly built home or condo.

We ask about the entire process: from the signing of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, through construction and the pre-delivery period, to aftersales service. Owners can weigh in on both their builder’s customer service as well as Tarion’s.

The best part of this survey is that the results are useful for consumers, builders and Tarion.

The builders who are rated “tops” by those who fill out the survey become finalists and recipients of Tarion’s Homeowners’ Choice Awards. This information is added to their record in the Ontario Builder Directory on Tarion.com, where future buyers can see it when they are doing research to find a builder.

Builders, meanwhile, use the results to improve their customer service. When there are enough completed surveys on a particular builder, that builder will receive an individual report with their results and we work with them to identify where they can make improvements.

The surveys are very useful for Tarion, too.

The results help us measure how well we explain the new home warranty, communicate with homeowners, deal with warranty claims and resolve issues. This feedback has led to many changes: improvements to how we deal with disputes; the addition of new features to the Ontario Builder Directory and to MyHome, the portal that allows homeowners to manage their warranty online; and the creation of new tools like Home Explorer to help homeowners better understand our Construction Performance Guidelines.

If you have taken possession of a new home in the past year, keep an eye out for the survey. It will come to you by email or post mail.

And please take the time to complete it. Your feedback will benefit you and other homeowners, as well as those planning to purchase a new home in the future.

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




Featured Products


Consumer Protection: Document All Deficiencies

Latest News

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


Featured Products


Consumer Protection: How Do You Know What’s Covered By Your Warranty?

Latest News

Consumer Protection: How Do You Know What’s Covered By Your Warranty?

The first year of homeownership is a critical time to report any problems

When you are buying a new home, you want everything to be perfect. Unfortunately, things can — and do — go wrong. Whether it’s something relatively minor, like unfinished trim around your bathroom door, or a potentially major issue like a crack in your foundation, your new home warranty is there to protect you.

Once you sign your purchase agreement, you should receive a New Homeowner Information Package from your builder. It will outline the package of warranties that protects new homeowners for up to seven years and $300,000 in coverage.

But how do you know if your faulty light switch or unfinished driveway is covered by warranty? It’s not always easy to tell, but our award winning customer service team is here to help answer your questions

As of June, our team had already fielded 23,960 phone calls, 10,734 emails and 1,064 online chats. Approximately two-thirds of all these inquiries came from homeowners, many of whom needed advice on how their warranty work.

When I talk with our call centre reps, they tell me that one of the most common questions they receive from homeowners is, “How do I know if items are covered by the warranty?”

Your new home warranty consists of one-year, two-year and seven-year warranties that cover various elements of your home’s construction. If you don’t know whether an issue will be covered under your warranty, you can consult the Construction Performance Guidelines, which are available on Tarion.com or via MyHome, Tarion’s online portal for managing your warranty. You can also call or email us to ask.

The first year of homeownership is a critical time to report any problems you have with your home. You can submit two forms in the first year after you take possession – one within the first 30 days and one within the last 30 days.

While Tarion’s acceptance of your form does not automatically mean that everything on the form will be covered by your warranty, it does provide a written record of your issues. This is why we recommend that you include everything on your form.

As a new homeowner, you obviously want to maintain a good relationship with your builder. If you’re worried about submitting your form, you should remember that you’re not being a tattletale – you’re protecting your rights.

Responsible builders will address warranty issues in a timely manner but if your builder doesn’t, the forms you submit help us help you.

The Tarion team is here to ensure your new home is safe and protected.

Our reward is comments like these from one happy homeowner: “Thank you so much for handling this so quickly. We appreciate the excellent customer service you have always given us!”

Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corporation. His column appears five 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


Featured Products

Great Gulf

Editor’s Choice: Great Gulf

Latest News

Editor’s Choice: Great Gulf

Going beyond the necessary to insure its purchasers

Great Gulf began in 1975 with a belief that we weren’t just building homes, but creating spaces. From breaking ground at our first lot, to becoming one of North America’s most respected home builders — we’ve come a long way. Great Gulf is now introducing a new standard to its homebuyers by purchasing insurance coverage on the full amount of their deposits.

Only the first $40,000 of a deposit on a freehold house purchase is currently covered by Tarion Warranty Corporation.(1) Recognizing that in today’s residential real estate market the average deposit usually exceeds this amount, Great Gulf has decided to purchase, at no cost to the homeowner, Westmount Guarantee Services Inc.’s Westmount Protect deposit insurance(2) on the balance of each new home deposit.

Peace of mind now comes standard when insuring your full deposit on a new Great Gulf home. A first in Ontario, Great Gulf and Westmount Guarantee Services are partnering to provide Westmount Protect deposit protection insurance with each new home purchase transaction. This program will be launching immediately with the new Westfield community location in Brampton.

“We’re always looking for new ideas and new innovations to provide our home buyers with the best possible options,” explains Christopher Wein, president of Great Gulf. “We pride ourselves in building homes to the highest possible standards of quality and design while ensuring that our purchasers have peace of mind when making a major investment commitment. We are delighted to offer this advantage to our customers so that they may benefit from the serenity of knowing their initial investment is protected.”

(1) Tarion Warranty Corporation administers deposit protection as provided under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.

(2) Westmount Protect deposit protection insurance is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Company of Canada.


Go online to learn about Westfield and other Great Gulf communities.



Featured Products

Some things to know before buying a new home or condo

Some things to know before buying a new home or condo

Latest News

Some things to know before buying a new home or condo

(NC) — There’s no doubt that condominiums are an increasingly popular choice for new homeowners. In 2016 alone, more than 22,600 new units became homes for Ontarians who are looking for the condo lifestyle and amenities. If you’re thinking of joining them, a good first step is to understand the difference in responsibility between what you own and what all the building’s unit owners share.

A benefit of purchasing a new condominium is the mandatory warranty that is provided by your builder and backed by Tarion, the warranty’s administrator. There’s a separate warranty for your individual unit and another for the building’s common elements. Your unit’s warranty provides coverage for deposit protection and delayed closing before you move in. After you take occupancy, it covers defective materials, building code violations and unauthorized substitutions of items agreed to in the purchase agreement.

Your builder is required to provide you with a homeowner information package, explaining what is and isn’t covered in your individual unit, how to make a claim and when to involve Tarion. As owner, you are responsible for understanding and managing the warranty that comes with your unit and to submit warranty claims on a timely basis.

All condos come with some common elements — like roofing, parking, exterior cladding and some mechanical systems. The homeowner package should clearly outline which are considered common elements.

The common element warranty is managed by your condo’s board of directors or delegated to a property manager. The board is made up of a group of unit owners who are elected to run the condominium corporation on behalf of all owners.

The board must arrange for a post-construction performance audit, which will determine if there are any major deficiencies in the common elements. If there are, the board should report them to the builder and to Tarion.

Any warranty claims relating to the condominium’s common elements must be dealt with by the board of directors, but as a unit owner you should report any common element issues to the board in writing.

If a warranty claim must be made, some boards will identify a designate who will act as the condo’s representative; others may choose to have a property management company fulfill this role. Once a claim is submitted, the builder has 18 months to complete the required repairs.


While the builder provides the Tarion warranty, its cost is often passed on to the new homebuyer. But this one-time fee, ranging from $385 to $1,500 depending on the value of the home, gives you significant value for your money. You’ll receive as much as seven years of warranty protection to a maximum of $300,000 per home or condo unit.

The warranty program has milestones to address specific issues that can arise after you have moved in to your new home. Here is a simple breakdown of the main coverages:

One-year Warranty

This warranty applies for one full year beginning when you first take possession and even if the home is sold during this time. It requires that your home has been constructed in a workman-like manner and is free from any defects in materials used. It also requires that your home is free of Ontario Building Code violations and is fit for habitation. In addition, the warranty protects against unauthorized substitutions.

Two-year Warranty

This warranty begins on the date you take possession of your home, or occupancy of your condo unit. It provides protection against water penetration through the basement or foundation walls, or through windows, doors and caulking because of defects in materials or workmanship.

The warranty also covers defects in materials or workmanship in the electrical, plumbing and heating systems in your home, as well as defects in work or materials that cause detachment, displacement or deterioration of the exterior cladding, such as brickwork or siding.

Finally, the two-year warranty protects against violations of the Ontario Building Code that affect the health and safety of homeowners.

Seven-year Warranty

This warranty covers major structural defects and begins on the date you take possession of the home and ends on the day before the seventh anniversary of that date. It protects against defects in materials and workmanship that adversely affect a load-bearing part of your home’s structure, causing it to fail or significantly affect your ability to use the house as your home.

In most condominium projects, warranty coverage also includes the shared areas of the building, referred to as common elements. This coverage is addressed by the condominium corporation and provides up to $50,000 of protection per condo unit to a maximum of $2.5 million.


You’ve found the newly built home you’ve been looking for and are ready to make one of the biggest purchases of your life. But do you know how to protect your new home?

Before you sign an Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS), consider these tips. Review the APS with a real estate lawyer to ensure you understand exactly what is included in the price of the home. If you are buying a condominium, review the disclosure statement to understand which items are part of your unit and which are considered common elements. Make sure everything that is agreed upon is reflected in writing.

If construction has not started on the home or condominium, find out when the builder will begin and how you will be notified if there is a delay. Be sure that you and your lawyer document all details regarding deposits and delayed closings or occupancy. A standard Addendum is required to be included in the purchase agreement. It provides additional information, as well as your rights concerning delays in construction. It is important to review this document with your lawyer.

At the signing of the purchase agreement, you will likely be required to provide a deposit for your home. Understand that deposits on freehold homes are protected up to a maximum of $40,000 by Tarion. Condominium deposits are covered for up to $20,000 by Tarion and deposits over $20,000 are protected by the trust and excess deposit insurance provisions of the Condominium Act, 1998.

Ask when you will be contacted to make selections for interior and exterior finishes. Each builder has a different policy for finalizing selections.

Ask your builder who to contact about scheduling your pre-delivery inspection and when it will take place.

Ask about the builder’s after-sales service policy and who to contact should an issue arise. Ask who to contact in emergencies, too.

Read about the warranty that comes with your new home and understand what to do if you think you have a claim.

Sign up for MyHome, the portal where you can manage your warranty online, at




Featured Products


Home Warranty : Tarion

Latest News

Home Warranty : Tarion

Just moved into your newly built home or condo? There’s an app for that

For every stage in the new homebuying process, there’s an app to make life easier. Looking for new home listings? Researching the best mortgage rates? In need of home decor ideas? You can get it all done on your phone. But for Ontario’s new homebuyers, there’s one app that may be the most important of all: Tarion’s MyHome app helps you manage your new home warranty with ease.

If you buy a new home in Ontario, your builder must provide a warranty that is backed by Tarion. Almost everything inside and outside your home is covered in the first year. The major distribution systems such as heating and plumbing are covered for two years, and major structural defects are covered for seven years.

So, while you are figuring out the perfect place to hang your family photos, grab your phone, download the MyHome app, and take note of any defects well before you start searching for the studs.


  • Take and upload photos: As you settle into your new home, take a look for anything that is not working, improperly installed or incomplete. If you find any defects, take a photo with your phone and upload it using the MyHome app. These photos will accompany your warranty form.
  • Stay on top of important warranty dates: Perhaps one of the most important parts of managing your warranty is making sure you don’t miss any deadlines. The MyHome app will send you notifications when your warranty deadlines are coming up.
  • Record voice notes: Who needs a keyboard anymore? With the new MyHome app, simply record a voice note if you want to add information to your warranty form. The app will convert the note to text so your builder and/or Tarion, can review the issue.
  • Fill out and submit warranty forms: Did you know that back in the day, homeowners would mail, fax or even hand deliver warranty forms to Tarion’s office? Now, you can submit your warranty forms through the app – absolutely no paper needed! (Of course, you are always welcome to drop by the Tarion offices if you are in the neighbourhood.)
  • Schedule, reschedule and cancel Tarion inspections: The Tarion MyHome app makes it even easier to manage your inspections. Whether you want Tarion to come over and inspect the defects in your home, or you have resolved the issues and no longer need Tarion’s help, it’s all at the swipe of your fingertips.

Tarion’s MyHome app is available for Apple and Android devices and can be used with Tarion’s online warranty service, also called MyHome.

MyHome app
Want to learn more?

Visit Tarion’s website. Tarion.com


Featured Products