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October 23, 2021

Is Ontario's new home warranty program up to scratch?

Did you buy a new home in the last year? Are you happy? Or do the pipes rattle every time someone turns on the shower.

If you got something to say, then watch your mailbox or inbox in the next week or so for the opportunity to rate your builder.

Sent out by Tarion, the private corporation that regulates Ontario builders and provides warranties on new houses and condos, the surveys are used to provide feedback on builder customer service and new buyer satisfaction.

But don't expect that anybody will be really listening, says one disgruntled home inspector, who feels Tarion is not as responsive as its mandate suggests.  

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But they should be, says Toroto realtor Charles Hanes, who argues that many consumers are not as agressive as they might be. 

"Many buyers don't realize that the Tarion Warranty is something that you have contracted directly with Tarion to have to protect you. If you look in your "disbursements" at closing you will see the fee (usually around $850) and in accepting your money, Tarion actually contracted to protect you," he says.

But even then, there are lots of unhappy buyers who feel that Tarion has let them down.

“Tarion is much more interested in protecting the builder than the consumer,” Carol and Dale Egan told the Toronto Star last year after their custom-built home's high-efficiency furnace burned through four motors in four years. 

What about you? Are you a satisfied new home buyer? If there were issues, were they resolved quickly by the builder? Was Tarion of any value to you? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...