Protecting your rights as a homeowner

When you’re buying a new home, it’s easy to suffer information overload, especially for first-timers. Few people have any sense of the sheer number of details homeowners must account for prior to moving in, including financing, insurance, services and taxes. It’s easy for your new home warranty to get lost in the shuffle, but if anything should happen to go awry it’s the most important tool you have. Here’s how Tarion helps you get the most out of your warranty.

Your handy Homeowner Information Package

Every new homeowner should receive a Homeowner Information Package from their builder. It is also available on Tarion’s website. It outlines the warranties that protect new homeowners for up to seven years and $300,000 in coverage, as well as the warranty claim process.

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As of June of this year, our team had already fielded 23,960 phone calls, 10,734 emails and 1,064 online chats

The Tarion Team is here to help

Most builders will take the time to explain your warranty coverage—but some do not. Fortunately, Tarion has an outstanding customer service team that is always ready to help. As of June of this year, 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 works. According to our call centre reps, the two most common questions we receive from new homeowners are: “When can I report issues with my home?” and “How do I do it?”

Use MyHome to help manage your warranty

The first year of home ownership is a critical time to report any problems you have with the construction or function of your home. You can submit two forms in the first year after you take possession of your home: one within the first 30 days, and one within the last 30 days. Some types of deficiencies are covered under warranty for only one year, so missing these deadlines could mean missing out on warranty coverage.

Tarion vets every registered home builder in Ontario to ensure they have the technical competence, resources and knowledge to build and sell new homes and provide warranty service. But it’s still important for new home buyers to be vigilant. Catalogue any deficiencies in your home on the warranty forms that you can submit to Tarion through MyHome, our online portal for managing your warranty.

Keeping a written record is key

Unfortunately, we find some homeowners are reluctant to submit warranty forms to Tarion because they are concerned that this will have a negative impact on their relationship with their builder. In school we were taught that being a ‘tattletale’ was a bad thing. But what our customer service reps often find themselves explaining to homeowners is that a warranty form provides a written record of issues in your home so that you have a recourse if your builder does not resolve them. Without this record, you increase your risk of being left in the lurch. Only the kind of builder that might attempt to pull a fast one in the first place would be upset by a homeowner doing their due diligence and submitting a warranty form.

Every day we work with new homeowners to answer questions, resolve issues and help ensure their homes are safe and protected. Fortunately, in most cases matters don’t escalate beyond offering advice. But if the situation gets complicated, you’ll be happy you kept up on your forms. As one happy homeowner said after being helped out of a sticky warranty situation, “we cannot emphasize enough the fact that Tarion staff went above and beyond for us and for that we are very grateful.”