How we work

We review complaints from homeowners to determine whether they have been treated fairly.

  • We get your permission to access your Tarion file and we review it with your concerns in mind. We look at what’s been done to resolve the problem, and we provide advice and guidance to help you resolve your concerns.

  • We examine all documentation and ensure that we have a thorough grasp on the situation. We then speak with Tarion staff to get their perspective. We analyze what we've found out to determine if there are any fairness issues.

  • Once our determination is made, we share the findings to both the homeowner and Tarion. If we find that the homeowner has been treated unfairly, we will recommend Tarion act to remedy the situation.

  • We will follow up with Tarion to ensure that accepted recommendations are implemented.

The New Home Ombuds office reviews three aspects of fairness.  If one of these aspects is missing, it results in unfairness. The three aspects are: 

 

How we do it icon procedural How we do it icon substantive How we do it icon relational
  • Procedural
  • Substantive
  • Relational

Procedural fairness is about how a decision was made:

  • Did the homeowner have enough information to understand the process and to advocate for themselves?
  • Did Tarion provide reasons for the decision it reached?
  • Was the decision reached in a reasonable amount of time?

Substantive fairness is about the decision itself:

  • Did the person making the decision have the authority to do so?
  • Was the decision based on relevant information?
  • Was the decision oppressive?

Relational fairness is about how the person affected by the decision was treated:

  • Was the decision maker open and approachable?
  • Was the person affected by the decision kept informed of the progress of the process?
  • Was the person affected by the decision treated with respect?
Open accordion Close accordion Does the New Home Ombuds advocate for consumers?

We do not advocate for either consumers or Tarion. We review complaints impartially to determine if there are fairness issues. By promoting fairness, we are able to improve Tarion's processes, procedures, and policies. These changes benefit the consumer.

Open accordion Close accordion I’m not happy with my warranty assessment. Can the New Home Ombuds change it?

No. Our Office does not make or change warranty decisions. We can, however, assess if a Tarion decision was reached fairly. If it was not, we will recommend a remedy which may involve Tarion reassessing the item.

If you believe that Tarion's decision was made in an unfair way, you can submit a complaint to our Office here.

To dispute a warranty assessment, you can appeal Tarion's decision through the License Appeal Tribunal.

Open accordion Close accordion How can the ombudsperson be impartial when she’s part of Tarion?

As an internal ombudsperson, the office preserves independence from Tarion through a strong Terms of Reference and by having file storage, reporting, and budgeting protocols that are different from those of Tarion staff.  The Office reports not to Tarion management, but to the Board of Directors.  We proactively view each complaint impartially. This approach is key to ensuring that our evaluations are fair. Our staff are dispute resolution specialists who are committed to the core concept of fairness and are skilled at adopting a neutral mindset when evaluating concerns.

Open accordion Close accordion What concerns can the Ombuds office help with?

Our office is mandated to respond to fairness disputes between Tarion and a homeowner. The types of concerns that are common for us to review include: unreasonable delays, lack of communication, lack of transparency about process, unfair treatment.