Plans to shake up the new home warranty program in Ontario have been welcomed by the provincial real estate association.
Legislation has been put forward by Ontario government Minister of Government and Consumer Services Lisa Thompson 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.
The proposal comes a week after the second reading of the Trust in Real Estate Services Act.
If passed, the proposed Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act would further strengthen homebuyers’ protection.
"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 home owners safe, and ensure homes are built well."
Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association has welcomed the proposed legislation.
“OREA is pleased that the Ford Government is acting upon the Ontario Realtors’ recommendation to establish a builder code of conduct,” he said. “A code of conduct that applies to all employees of a home builder, in particular salespeople and establishes a higher standard for honesty, integrity and professionalism to govern all interactions with homebuyers. Ontario’s 80,000 Realtors have followed a similar Code of Ethics since 2002.”
Under the proposals, Tarion Warranty Corporation as the single administrator of new home warranties, would be given greater powers to scrutinize builder applications and make inspections before a homebuyer moves in.
"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."