Ontario’s government has a continued plan to strengthen protections and promote trust and confidence for the people of Ontario when they are investing in one of the biggest purchases of their lifetime — a new home.
Today, Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, introduced proposed legislation through the Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act that would overhaul the Ontario new home warranty and protection program, reforming Tarion Warranty Corporation, while reducing the role of builders to make it more focused on consumers. This comes only a week after the second reading of the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, which will also strengthen consumer protections for home buyers.
“When consumers get the keys to their new home they should feel confident their home has been built properly, and that any defects will be taken care of in a timely manner,” said Thompson. “Home warranties and protections need to keep homeowners safe, and ensure homes are built well.”
The province is also proposing changes to improve on the single administrator model for warranties and protections delivery, provide a better dispute resolution process and deliver new measures to promote better built new homes, such as providing the warranty administrator with greater ability to scrutinize builder applications and conduct inspections before a homeowner moves in.
In response to the Auditor General’s 2019 Special Audit of the Tarion Warranty Corporation, the government is making significant improvements to make the program more responsive to the needs of homebuyers. The government requested an implementation plan for Tarion, acting on 29 of 32 recommendations, just over a month after the report was released.
“Our government recognizes that Tarion has not done nearly enough to fulfill its responsibilities to protect buyers of new homes,” said Thompson. “It is why we are rebuilding the program from the ground up, focusing on consumer protections, transparency, and access to information, and governance.”
Administrative authorities like Tarion Warranty Corporation are responsible for delivering critical programs and services. By strengthening key oversight, governance and transparency requirements for administrative authorities, Ontarians can trust they are delivering critical programs and services.
- The Auditor-General released a special audit of Tarion Warranty Corporation in October 2019, that included recommendations on strengthening operations at Tarion.
- Tarion Warranty Corporation currently has responsibility for administering the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act that was passed in 1976. The act deals with new home warranties, protections and builder and vendor regulation.
- New homes must be enrolled in the statutory home warranty and protection program.
- In 2018, 63,009 new homes were enrolled in the warranty and protection program — 53 percent of which were condominium units. In 2018, 5,563 builders and vendors were registered with Tarion.