Understand your condo's warranty
(NC)—In 2012, Ontario's condominium market accounted for more than one third of the new homes purchased in the province. Affordability, lifestyle preferences and a lack of available land for new home construction have all contributed to the condo movement.
Condo ownership offers many potential benefits including desirable amenities and reduced maintenance. Newly built condos also come equipped with warranty coverage for both individual units and the common elements, such as the pool, parking garage, roof, and exterior cladding.
Your condo's warranty is provided by the builder and backed by Tarion. In addition to deposit coverage, you may be entitled to compensation for a delay in closing if proper notice has not been given. Coverage is also provided for unauthorized substitutions of items agreed to in the purchase agreement, defects in the electrical, plumbing and heating systems, issues with water penetration, violations of the Ontario building code, and major structural defects.
A Homeowner Information Package, provided by your builder, explains what is and isn't covered in your individual unit, how to make a claim and when to involve Tarion. As the owner, you are responsible for submitting warranty claims in relation to your unit.
Any warranty claims related to your condominium's common elements will be dealt with by your condo board - a group of unit owners elected to run the condominium corporation on behalf of all unit owners. It is important for board members to be educated about the process for making common element warranty claims. The first step is to establish and identify a designate who will act as the condominium representative if a warranty claim is made. The board may also choose to have a property management company fulfill this role.
Once a designate has been appointed, the representative should schedule a meeting with Tarion to discuss the common elements warranty. There are specific terms for the first and second year warranties and for the major structural defect warranty which is in effect for seven years.
Any potential items that you notice relating to the common elements should be reported to the condo board for further investigation.
Your condo board will arrange for a post-construction performance audit. This audit is used to determine major deficiencies in the common elements and report them to the builder and Tarion. Once a claim is submitted, the builder will have 18 months to complete the required repairs. The condo corporation then has 60 days to contact Tarion and request an inspection if any of the warranted items have not been resolved.
After the inspection, Tarion will issue a report listing any items that are covered under warranty. The builder then has 90 days to complete any outstanding work. If this does not occur, Tarion will settle the matter directly with the condo corporation.
Information to help you better understand your warranty rights is available online at www.tarion.com.
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