Home Alone: “I thought Tarion was my friend”

The article below is a must-read for new home/condo buyers in Ontario.  Please take a minute to read the excellent guest column published in The Toronto Sun (27/11/15.), by former MPP Rosario Marchese.

Many consumers have found out how hard it is to deal with Tarion, only when its too late.

Real estate agents and lawyers know surprisingly little about the Tarion warranty, its limitations, and its propensity to take the side of builders when homeowners discover defects.

If you discover construction defects in your newly-built home…..

Consumer's Reform Tarion

… and we’re not talking paint smudges on mirrors, but serious HVAC or Building Code violations, you may find yourself facing Tarion and the builder with their experienced lawyers fighting you in court (the License Appeal Tribunal, LAT).

Several cases I’ve witnessed make you think the homeowner’s actually the bad guy, and the builder had nothing to do with building the home.  “I don’t have to pay attention to Building Code”, scoffed one builder under oath to acquiescent faces of Tarion’s and his own lawyer.  The adjudicator in this case actually said on record: “The Ontario Building Code is not really relevant to Tarion”.   These are the same people who guarantee consumers a new home “free of defects in workmanship and materials”, under Ontario law.

Consumers hope the review of Tarion, recently announced by Minister Orazietti appointing respected judge Douglas Cunningham as reviewer, will be the silver bullet.

The system needs to solve problems, not create more at the taxpayer’s and new home buyer’s expense.

Minister Orazietti has oddly stated publicly he thinks the review will validate Tarion has having good consumer protection measures. Why do a review then?

He’s a politician, so this might be political posturing, an attempt at face-saving, since his government has known for over a decade there are serious problems with lack of transparency and accountability at Tarion.

I thought Tarion was my friend“, explains one homeowner. Then you find them heavy-lawyering you, shielding the builder from accountability for his defects. You’re home alone.

Consumers hope for justice, finally.  A fair, transparent, balanced, and public investigation, with a full examination of the consumer experience, not Tarion’s version of it.

We sincerely hope we won’t be left with Home Alone 2.



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3 responses to “Home Alone: “I thought Tarion was my friend”

  1. Very well said!
    Tarion removed our basement window and refused to reinstall it properly -as recommended by their own engineer! Of course the LAT saw not a thing wrong here folks…

  2. nicole lalonde

    I actually thought Tarion would resolve the blatant OBC builder violations issues of which we had such undeniable evidence. After having attempted to ” work with the builder” as so emphatically stressed by Tarion,,. I advised the builder, as a last resort that ” we are going to have to file a claim with Tarion ….” did not fizz him one iota …. after 6 years, I know why …..

  3. This is an excellent article by long serving MPP Rosario Marchese. In our case at the LAT the main objective for Tarion’s lawyers was not to enforce the Ontario New Howe Warranty Plan Act, the Building Code Act, the Consumer Protection Act or any other laws. Their main objective was to get the builder off the hook at any cost for infractions to any laws period. Thank you Rosario Marchese and Barbara Captijn for helping to exposing this!

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