Our Builder Members strive to provide homeowners with the best possible product and service. Unfortunately, problems sometimes arise. If this happens, we will happily work toward finding an equitable solution. We understand that your home is probably the most valuable and largest investment in your life. We understand that no problem is a small problem.
Warranty Claims and Claims Procedure
Your Possession Certificate outlines many crucial terms and conditions when submitting a claim. Please take the time to read the sections, CLAIMS PROCEDURE and CONCILIATION. If you do not know which coverage period your defect would be covered under or have additional questions, do not hesitate in calling us to discuss. If you contact us after your coverage has expired, we cannot assist, even if you were previously working with your builder to resolve the defects. Here are a few things to consider:
- A properly registered warranty claim is notification received by the Program office in writing from the homeowner within the applicable coverage period. For example, if you have a flooring issue, we must receive the claim within 1 year from your Date of Possession.
- There is ZERO cost to submit a warranty claim
- You may submit more than one claim. However, we recommend doing a review part-way through your coverage period, gathering together any items you notice as defective and send one concise list. The exception to this is with structural defects. If you notice a defect in the 'load-bearing portion' of your home, you must notify your builder and the Program within 30 days of identifying the possible defect (within the structural coverage period).
- Review your Possession Certificate for exclusions to the Warranty (section 1 and 3) and our Construction Performance Standards before submitting a claim. (ex. driveways are excluded)
- Discuss your concerns with your builder first. (You may submit a warranty claim even if you are currently working with your builder. Read more below.)
- Send your claim in writing with the following information:
- Your name (let us know if you are a subsequent owner)
- Full address of your home
- Enrollment #, if available (located on the top right corner of your Possession Certificate)
- Name of your builder
- Daytime phone number
- Numbered list of the items you wish to claim as deficient
- Details for each claimed item (location in the home; nature of the problem) along with supporting information (videos/photos; 3rd party inspection report; correspondence with the builder).
- Please refrain from including slanderous comments about the builder in your notice to us as your claim will be shared with the builder and potentially any 3rd party involved in investigating your claim. If you would like to share any concerns above and beyond the details of the defect, we are happy to discuss these over the phone or via separate correspondence.
Talk to your builder first
If you notice a few issues, the best place to start is by contacting your builder. Your builder is obligated pursuant to the Warranty to fix warrantable defects in workmanship and materials identified within the applicable coverage period, and we find that most builders are more than willing to fix a warrantable defect without our involvement. Remember - building homes is their livelihood, and without satisfied customers their business suffers. If you and your builder agree on the required repairs and repairs are being done in a timely manner, there is no need to contact us to open a claim. However, during this first step, take note of the remaining time in your coverage period, the number of items to be fixed, and the nature of the defects. While the repairs themselves do not need to be completed within the coverage period, the Program office does need to have your claim received before the expiry of your coverage period - should you need our assistance in the event that your builder fails in their obligations. There is no harm in submitting a claim even if you are currently working with the builder and you simply want peace of mind that the claim is properly registered in the unlikely event that you and your builder reach a disagreement and you need assistance from the Program. A warranty claim does not apply any negative 'marks' against the builder, as long as they are following their responsibilities in completing the required repairs.
Once your claim is received, we will review the information provided. If we have any questions we will contact you immediately. Otherwise, we will send correspondence to your builder requesting his or her position on the matter. You can expect a phone call or email from us shortly after this. At this point we should know the builder's position and can provide further guidance from there. If the builder is willing to fix the problem without further investigation, we will inform you of this and ask the builder to contact you to arrange a mutually convenient time to begin repairs. If needed, we will direct you and your builder regarding what is covered and what is not. Should there be a matter that requires a detailed review (where we determine that pictures/video is not sufficient), we may contact you to make arrangements to do an inspection of the defect at your home. If you have advised us that you are currently working with the builder or there does not appear to be any dispute regarding required repairs, we will likely step back and let you and your builder continue with the repair process and arrange to follow-up with you within a few months. Either way, we will continue contact with you and your builder on an as needed basis until the repairs are completed appropriately.
On occasion, the Program may not be able to successfully mediate the claim and there may be a dispute over coverage or the appropriate repair. When this occurs, the Program offers dispute resolution. Conciliation is used for 1-year or 2-year warranty claims and the Program's Technical Committee oversees structural claims.
Should the Program be unable to resolve a dispute between the builder and homeowner regarding 1-year or 2-year coverage items, either party may request Conciliation. Conciliation is a more formal process where the Program appoints a 3rd party inspector to conduct a thorough investigation and issue a report to the homeowner and builder. The report outlines actions required and establishes deadlines for completion of the work. If the builder fails to comply, the Program will complete the work according to the Warranty. The decision of the conciliator is final and binding on the builder, the Program and the homeowner. Generally, conciliation can be requested no later than 60 days following the expiry of the 1 or 2 year coverage period, depending on your applicable coverage. Please refer to your Possession Certificate under CONCILIATION for more information. (Note, that in certain circumstances the Program may, at its sole discretion, extend this request period as long as the warranty claim was registered with the Program within the coverage period.)
Typically, conciliation is used when either party is in disagreement with the outcome of a claim submitted or when a dispute cannot be settled by the mediation process. If you wish to request Conciliation, please advise our office and we will forward to you the form you will need to fill out to initiate this process. Along with the signed Request for Conciliation form, the homeowner must submit a fee in the amount determined by the Program. This fee is considered a deposit. If 50% or more of the items in dispute are found to be of valid concern (covered under warranty) and are therefore in favour of the homeowner, the fee is then returned.
For defects considered to be a Major Structural Defect, the Program will consult with its Technical Committee should a claim be disputed. Should the Committee declare the item to be 'not covered' or unable to make a conclusive decision, you may be required to submit an Engineer Report to further your claim.