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Tarion introduces new information gathering process

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Tarion introduces new information gathering process

Condominium developments come in all shapes and sizes. Some are built brand-new from the ground up while others may incorporate part of an existing foundation or other pre-existing elements. There are rules around how much of an existing structure can be used for the building to still qualify as a new build, and therefore be eligible for warranty coverage provided under Tarion Warranty Corp.

Some builders may proceed with a construction project without enrolling it with Tarion, believing that a pre-existing foundation means their units are not eligible for warranty coverage. Depending upon the situation, this may be a wrong assumption and purchasers of these units could be missing out on the warranty protection they’re entitled to.

As the regulator of the new home building industry, Tarion investigates potential cases of illegal building. And illegal building includes situations in which new construction projects – condominiums or freehold homes – are not enrolled with Tarion.

Last year, we had a case that involved a condo development in cottage country that was built on an old factory foundation. Our Compliance & Investigations team determined that the existing foundation was too small for the project not to be considered a new build. Thanks to our investigation, the project was subsequently enrolled and the unit owners were able to have the peace of mind that their investment now had warranty protection.

Investigations like these often begin with tips from homeowners, municipal building departments or builders themselves.

In the past, we used a hotline where callers could leave voicemails with tips and, if desired, these tips could be anonymous. Unfortunately, we couldn’t act on some of the leads because there simply wasn’t enough information provided. To initiate an investigation, our team needs details such the address of the home or condo development, stage of construction, name of the vendor or builder involved and so on.

To improve our customer service, Tarion is introducing a new process to help ensure we are able to gather all the details we need to open an investigation. Callers will be able to talk to a trained member of the Compliance & Investigations team via a dedicated number. By asking a few simple questions, our staff can collect the information Tarion needs to begin investigating the concern. Callers who don’t want to provide their names will still be able to remain anonymous.

But illegal building leads aren’t the only reason to give our team a call. Compliance & Investigations also deals with other compliance related issues, such as concerns about builder conduct.

We want consumers to have the peace of mind that their homes are being built by someone they can trust and to know that their investment is protected. If you have a concern about your builder or about possible illegal building activity in your area, I encourage you to call toll-free 1.877.982.7466 x3833. You can also email investigations@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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