New home buyers in Ontario are very fortunate. First, the vast majority of new home warranty issues are successfully resolved between the homeowner and the vendor or builder without Tarion even getting involved. That makes lots of sense since it is the vendor’s warranty to begin with. Tarion is here to help in those instances where the vendor cannot or will not meet their obligations. Which, thankfully, is a minority situations. When we do become involved, the great majority of those situations are also resolved. Why? A great combination of passion, experience and training.
A recent story from one of our warranty service representatives based in eastern Ontario highlights the value of trust, patience and experience that says everything is not as it appears to be. In fact, if an impatient homeowner looking for a quick end to his warranty claim had had his way, he would have received the approximately $3,500 cash settlement he originally wanted and not the more than $200,000 repair job his home needed.
The impatient homeowner
Bob, not his real name, submitted a Major Structural Defect (MSD) claim to Tarion for a leak in his home that he believed was due to the improper installation of his new home’s roof shingles and flashing. When Bob first sent in his claim, he also included a third party report that estimated the roof repair would cost about $3,500. But the report also contained some additional information that made our Tarion representative suspect that there was a larger issue in Bob’s new home.
Our representative worked hard to reassure Bob that the evidence was pointing to a larger issue that needed to be explored. Tarion’s expert report provided important new information but it was still not definitive.
Red flags and suspicions
Bob’s third party report had also noted that there were some issues with the home’s stucco siding. Experience told our representative that the leak in Bob’s roof would not likely cause the stucco siding problem as identified in the report. In fact, our representative was so convinced that something else was going on that he called for a second expert opinion to report in on the matter. That took more time of course, and it had Bob starting to worry that this was all just an attempt to avoid paying the warranty claim altogether. Our representative worked hard to reassure Bob that the evidence was pointing to a larger issue that needed to be explored. Tarion’s expert report provided important new information but it was still not definitive. So, our representative called for specialists in mould and stucco wall installation to investigate as well.
Bob had been worried about the early delay in resolving his warranty claim, now he was becoming increasingly impatient. Our representative worked hard; not just to reassure Bob about the process but also to understand the real issue with Bob’s home.
Patience is a virtue
According to our representative, water leaking from Bob’s roof would not, by itself, cause the damage being reported with the stucco wall. What’s more, as additional expert information became available, the more serious the stucco situation appeared to be. Bob began insisting his warranty claim simply be paid out. All he wanted was the original estimate of $3,500 plus a few hundred dollars more to repair some cosmetic deficiencies with the stucco wall. Our representative was equally tenacious. He assured Bob that he would see every report and asked him to be patient and to trust the process.
The truth comes to the surface
The final report confirmed our representative’s suspicions. The stucco siding had been improperly installed and the latest expert investigations revealed structural damage including rot and mould, all of which had been perfectly hidden behind the stucco. Had Bob proceeded with any of the earlier repairs he insisted on, his new home’s structure would have continued to deteriorate and decay without him even knowing.
Good things come to those who wait
When the walls of his home were finally opened up and Bob could see the real extent of the damage, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Tarion received estimates on properly repairing Bob’s home and finally settled the claim.
The repair to Bob’s home ended up costing over $200,000. Needless to say, Bob was very relieved that Tarion didn’t settle his initial claim without doing its homework first. Bob was also extremely thankful for our representative’s patience, passion and experience.
- Submit MSD claims on time and include as much information as possible. Remember, it was Bob’s third party report that led our representative to consider a larger warranty problem.
- Communicate regularly with the Tarion representative handling your claim and be patient when it comes to all necessary investigations.
- Tarion has many roles, but its primary function is to protect you and your investment.