If There Are No Consequences, There’s No Deterrent

At a recent media event, June 20th, Howard Bogach, President and CEO of Tarion rather breezily stated: Virtually all new homes have some kind of defect.” 

And you think that’s no big deal? If you’re spending your life savings on a new home or condo, it sure is. Would you expect to hear from the President of General Motors, for example, that “virtually all” new cars he’ll sell you have “some kind of defect”? You’d chose another manufacturer.

But Mr.Bogach’s comment seems even more surprising since Tarion is the “regulator of the building industry” and the “licensor of builders” in Ontario. So you’d think he’d be concerned about trying to clamp down on those builders he licenses who cause the problems. Seems not. “Because the warranty fund pays for it“, he’s been quoted as saying to consumers who’ve asked.

Our question to Tarion: even if you warrant a defect, shouldn’t the builder still be at all times accountable to the licensing authority? Isn’t there a difference between “warrantability” and “accountability”? A defect might not be warranted because it was discovered after the deadlines, but the builder should still be held accountable for it on his record.

If there’s no accurate record of defects for the future home-buying public to see, if builders don’t have to pay for fixing their shoddy work, why should they stop short-cutting, squeezing sub-trades, or using low quality materials if they can maximize their profits with impunity? If there’s no deterrent to shoddy building, you’ll get… guess what… more  shoddy building. 

What’s the point of a “licensing authority” or “regulator of the building industry” with no bark or bite?

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