The New Home Ombuds 2021 Annual Report is now available!

Click here to view it 

 

If you have any questions or comments about the Annual Report, please contact the Ombuds at

jmoriarty@newhomeombuds.ca.

WELCOME TO THE NEW HOME OMBUDS OFFICE

If you think Tarion has treated you unfairly, we are here to help.

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Who we are icon

We are an independent, impartial and confidential office that promotes and protects fairness within Tarion

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  • Guidance icon
    Guidance

    We provide information and advice to help homeowners navigate Tarion's processes and make referrals where appropriate.

  • Resolution of Fairness Disputes icon
    Resolution of Fairness Disputes

    We receive, review and seek to resolve complaints, to ensure that Tarion treats homeowners fairly.

  • Recommendations icon
    Recommendations

    We make recommendations to resolve fairness disputes and promote fair treatment.

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Case Stories

  • Unfinished basement with furnace

    Decision Letter

    Mr. M told us that, from day one, his furnace gave off a banging noise whenever he turned the heat on high. He had reported the concern to Tarion, and it was investigated as part of his Year-End conciliation inspection. However, the furnace did not make unusual noise while the Tarion representative was on site. Tarion went to the home a further two times to inspect during the winter months, and each time found the furnace to be functioning normally and heard no unusual noises. Tarion could find no defect and so the furnace was assessed as “not warranted”.   Mr. M disagreed and requested a Decision Letter so that he could appeal Tarion’s assessment decision to the License Appeal Tribunal. Mr. M. received the Decision Letter, but he developed health concerns that prevented him from submitting the Appeal application within 15 days of receiving the letter, a requirement of the Tribunal process.   Once Mr. M. had recovered sufficiently, he asked Tarion to re-issue the Decision Letter. As over a year had gone by since it was first issued, Tarion declined to do so. This is when Mr. M called our office.  We reviewed the file and found that Mr. M’s health issues presented a reasonable explanation for missing the 15-day window for filing the Appeal application and for the delay in requesting that the Decision Letter be re-issued. We recommended that Tarion reissue the letter.  A new Decision Letter was issued, and Mr. M again had the option to appeal Tarion’s decision to the Tribunal.  

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  • Two people talking seriously

    New Home Ombuds as a Coach

    One of the office’s key responsibilities is to receive and review complaints. This means that we often take calls from homeowners who are extremely frustrated and stressed and who may not be able to clearly articulate their issues. When this happens, we try to help homeowners shape their concerns in a solutions-focused framework. Sometimes, we act as a coach.   We recently received such a call, from a very angry homeowner. Mr. B explained, in a very escalated manner, that he had spoken with several Tarion staff, and he did not feel that they had listened to and addressed his concerns. He said that his most recent interaction had ended with the Tarion staff member ending the call because he had been yelling at them.   Our office listened to and summarized Mr. B’s concerns. He said that cold drafts were coming into his home during winter months. He also said that he has trouble managing his anger at times.   We explained that Tarion has a zero-tolerance policy on verbal abuse and defamatory or derogatory remarks directed at Tarion staff. We clarified that this meant that Tarion staff would end a call if the homeowner yelled or swore at them.   During our conversation, we advised that Mr. B would need to manage his anger when interacting with Tarion staff. We suggested that if he felt that he couldn’t explain his concerns over the phone in a calm manner, he had the option to provide them in writing.   Following our call with him, Mr. B followed the suggestion to communicate through email and Tarion attended his home the following week to investigate the cold drafts.  

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  • Person Holding Clipboard

    Courtesy or Warranty?

    Mr. P reached out to the New Home Ombuds with complaints about his Warranty Assessment Report and the Warranty Services Representative who conducted the inspection. Mr. P stated that there were items which the builder had determined to be faulty and which he had agreed to repair.  However, at the inspection, these items were assessed to be not warranted.  Mr. P. believed that this demonstrated incompetence on the part of the Warranty Services Representative.   The Ombuds Office reviewed the file and determined that the Warranty Services Representative had inspected all items using the existing standards of Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines and the Ontario Building Code. The assessment process was found to be fair.   The Office advised Mr. P that the job of the Warranty Service Representative is to determine whether or not items listed on the statutory form are covered under the warranty, as outlined in the Ontario Home Warranties Plan Act.   The builder may be willing to repair items that are determined to be not warranted as a goodwill gesture to customers.  This happens frequently and is separate from Tarion’s assessment of warrantability.  The fact that the builder is willing to repair a non-warranted item does not mean that the Warranty Services Representative has made an error or displayed poor judgement.  

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