There are several changes to the developer’s processes and documentation stipulated under Tarion that came into effect on February 1, 2021. A number of articles have been written to draw developers’ attention to these changes; however, this alert is to inform the purchasers as to some of the most important changes and new entitlements that they should be aware of when entering into the agreement of purchase and sale for a newly built freehold home and/or a condominium unit.
The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) was designated as the regulatory authority, effective February 1, 2021, under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 and removed same authority from the Tarion Warranty Corporation (however, all matters related to homeowner warranty protections remain the responsibility of Tarion). The regulation and licensing of vendors and new home builders in the Province of Ontario is now the responsibility of the HCRA.
The HCRA increased new licence registration and late renewal fees effective February 1, 2021. Tarion’s new home enrolment fees will be reduced by $55 per home to partially offset this increase. This is positive news for the purchasers as typically they cover the enrollment fee.
PURCHASE AGREEMENT DOCUMENTS:
For any purchase agreement signed on or after February 1, 2021, new Addendum forms dated October 7, 2020 were developed and approved. There are different forms for freehold homes, condominium units, and new homes in a parcel of tied land. Please note that even thou there are no substantive changes, there are still a few small revisions to reflect the new regulator. The applicable addendum (applicable in terms of most recent date and the form) must be included with every agreement of purchase and sale and completed in full.
As a reminder, the new Addendum goes along with the Condo Information Sheet that became a mandatory first page to all condominium agreements of purchase and sale for sales launched on or after January 1, 2020, as well as other documents mentioned below.
WARRANTY INFORMATION SHEET (hereinafter referred to as “WIS”)
All agreements of purchase and sale signed on, or after, February 1, 2021, have a new requirement for a WIS to be attached to provide accommodating warranty information at the time of sale, including information about the new home warranty provided by their builder and backed by Tarion, deposit protection, and PDI. The WIS is available in six version and the applicable version (either freehold homes, condominium units, contract homes, condominium conversion units, vacant land condominiums, and new homes in a parcel of tied land) needs to be attached to your agreement of purchase and sale.
CONDOMINIUM BUYER GUIDE (hereinafter referred to as “CBG”)
As you could probably guess from the title of the document, the CBG is only applicable to condominium units. The agreement of purchase and sale is not binding until the CBG has been provided to the purchasers. It is advisable to all condominium purchasers (whether resale or pre-construction) to review the CBG which is available here to obtain more clarification with respect to condominium ownership and the condominium purchase process.
TARION’S LEARNING HUB
As of February 1, 2021, the Homeowner Information Package (HIP) will no longer be available on Tarion’s website. In the past, the builders were encouraged to provide a link to the HIP to purchasers. As of February 1, 2021, they are encouraged to provide a link to the Learning Hub instead which is available here. More specifically, the Homeowner Learning Hub is an online hub on Tarion.com where homeowners can access individual learning modules and other materials which will provide them with comprehensive information relevant to various stages of the home/condominium unit buying process.
OPEN COMPLAINTS TO TARION
All pending complaints regarding professional standards of builders and vendors, except for the warranty issues filed with Tarion before February 1, 2021, will be transitioned to the HCRA for review and completion.
All new complaints against a licensed builder or vendor can be made here. However, all the inquiries regarding potential defects with your new home should be directed to Tarion.
The content provided is for informational purposes only and in not legal advice. Do not rely on this content to make legal or business decisions. Always seek professional legal advice relevant to your situation.