Understanding the Tarion Warranty Coverage : Essential Guide for Ontario Homeowners 2024

If you are considering having a home built in Ontario, you probably have heard about the Tarion Warranty Corporation. The Tarion Warranty Coverage offers essential protection for all buyers of new freehold homes, condominium units, etc., in fact, all types of homes enjoy coverage provided they are NEW. Coverage for contract homes is also part of the program. Tarion ensures that all builders meet their warranty obligations and act in a professional manner. In this short guide, we’ll explore statutory warranty coverage periods, the warranty process, and the benefits it provides to Ontario homeowners. We’ll also discuss the importance of choosing a reputable builder and how to ensure your new home is protected by the warranty.

You may have heard of recent changes in the building industry where Tarion has been further divided into a licensing wing HRCA and Tarion itself remains as the warranty wing. HRCA is the new entity that oversees builder licensing and builder registration with the goal of deterring illegal builders and raising the bar in customer service, construction standards, corporate responsibility, and educational requirements for builders who desire to follow best construction practices operating within the law.

tarion warranty coverage

Understanding the Tarion Warranty:

Tarion has various types of warranty coverage and as mentioned above covers all new homes in Ontario, with the exception of self-built homes. Administered by Tarion, the warranty offers three levels of protection:

  1. One-year warranty: This covers defects in workmanship and materials, as well as violations of the Ontario Building Code.
  2. Two-year warranty: This ensures the home is watertight, covering defects in the building envelope and any issues related to water penetration.
  3. Seven-year warranty: This covers major structural defects, protecting homeowners from significant issues that could affect the safety and integrity of their homes

Legal Requirements:

Under Ontario law, all new homes must be enrolled in the Tarion warranty program. Builders and vendors must also obtain a license from the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HRCA) and adhere to the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017, including its Code of Ethics.

The HRCA is responsible for licensing and regulating builders and vendors, ensuring they meet professional standards and ethical requirements. In recent years, the HRCA has stepped up its enforcement efforts, penalizing builders who fail to enroll homes in the warranty program or act unethically.

Benefits of the Tarion Warranty:

The Tarion warranty offers several benefits to Ontario homeowners:

  • Consumer protection: The warranty ensures that builders and vendors are held accountable for their work, providing homeowners with recourse if they encounter ongoing issues with their new homes that aren’t being properly attend to. Some notable protections are:
    • No Unauthorized substitutions
    • purchase agreements must conform to Ontario Law
    • Condominium project common elements are covered
    • Some homeowner incidental costs are covered

  • Financial security: Tarion holds a deposit from the builder and requires a personal undertaking, offering a financial backstop in cases where builders fail to address warranty claims. Further financial security:
    • Deposit protection
    • limitations to adjustments in the purchase price
    • delayed occupancy compensation

  • Piece of mind: Knowing that your new home is protected by the Tarion warranty can provide comfort and reassurance, allowing you to focus on enjoying your new home.
    • only licensed builders are permitted to build new homes in Ontario
    • a defect in materials is covered and so is dishonest builder conduct! Any defects under warranty must be repaired within a certain time period or a conciliation inspection can be requested by the homeowner and a claim inspection follows.

Choosing a Reputable Builder:

When selecting a builder for your new home, it’s essential to conduct thorough research:

  1. Speak with past customers: This can offer insights into the builder’s responsiveness to homeowner concerns and their commitment to addressing repairs quickly and efficiently.
  2. A builder with a membership in the Local Home building association is an additional indication that the builder is established and takes their craft seriously.
  3. Consult with local realtors: Realtors can provide recommendations based on their knowledge of local builders and their reputations in the community.
  4. Look for a robust warranty program: Reputable builders will not only offer the Tarion warranty but may also provide additional warranty coverage that surpasses the minimum requirements.

A Tarion warranty is not only a legal requirement but also an essential protection for new homeowners in Ontario. By choosing a reputable builder who adheres to the warranty program and goes the extra mile to satisfy their customers, you can ensure your new home is built to better standards and backed by the necessary protections.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Tarion Warranty:

What is covered under the Tarion warranty?

The Tarion warranty covers defects in workmanship and materials, violations of the Ontario Building Code, issues with the building envelope, water penetration, and major structural defects. The coverage is divided into three parts: one-year, two-year, and seven-year warranties.

What is the purpose of the Tarion warranty?

The Tarion warranty protects new homeowners in Ontario by ensuring that their homes are built to high standards and that builders are held accountable for any defects or issues that may arise during the warranty period.

What is the 30-day Tarion warranty?

The 30-day Tarion warranty allows homeowners to report any defects or issues with their new home within 30 days of taking possession. This period is part of the one-year warranty that covers defects in workmanship and materials, as well as violations of the Ontario Building Code. Certain extensions and enhancements have been made to this coverage. To keep up with Tarion’s latest changes homeowners are registered to receive current warranty info

What is not covered by Tarion?

The Tarion warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, damage caused by improper maintenance or homeowner negligence, secondary damage resulting from defects, and defects or damages caused by natural disasters or acts of God.

What is the 7-year Tarion warranty?

The seven-year Tarion warranty covers major structural defects that could affect the safety and integrity of the home, such as significant cracks in the foundation, major issues with structural load-bearing elements, or roof-related problems.

Who applies for the Tarion warranty?

The builder is responsible for enrolling the home in the Tarion warranty program and following Tarion’s protocols up to completion, possession, and beyond.

Who needs a Tarion warranty?

All new homeowners in Ontario, with the exception of those who build their own homes, are required by law to have a Tarion warranty.

What does the warranty cover?

Tarion warranty covers defects in workmanship, materials, and structural issues. Tarion has performance guidelines on its website. For instance cracks in basement walls are covered and can be repaired by the builder but basement slab cracks are not covered unless the slab actually displaces. A major structural defect is covered up to 7 years from occupancy. There is also financial coverage such as a deposit protection mechanism to protect you from losing your deposit. There is also compensation for delays caused by the builder. Tarion’s website has full details of the many items covered.

What voids a Tarion warranty?

A Tarion warranty may be voided if the homeowner fails to properly maintain the home, performs unauthorized alterations, or causes damage due to negligence.

Are all new builds covered by Tarion?

All new builds in Ontario, with the exception of self-built homes, are required by law to be covered by the Tarion warranty.

Is the Tarion warranty mandatory?

Yes, the Tarion warranty is mandatory for all new homes in Ontario, except for self-built homes.

How much warranty should a builder give?

A builder in Ontario is required to provide the Tarion warranty, which includes one-year, two-year, and seven-year coverage. Reputable builders may also offer additional warranty coverage that surpasses the minimum requirements.

How long is a new build warranty?

The Tarion warranty for new builds in Ontario includes one-year, two-year, and seven-year coverage for various aspects of the home, such as workmanship, materials, and major structural defects.

What is a Tarion claim?

A Tarion claim is a formal request made by a homeowner to Tarion for assistance in resolving a warranty issue with their new home when the builder has not adequately addressed the problem.

Does Tarion cover water damage?

The Tarion warranty covers water damage resulting from defects in the building envelope and issues related to water penetration, as part of the two-year warranty coverage. However, water damage caused by homeowner negligence or improper maintenance is not covered.