What to do if your newly-built home is delayed

Monday Nov 06th, 2017


Did you know, that approximately 50,000 new homes and condominium units are ready for possession every year across Ontario? That translates into thousands of people realizing their dream every day, although there are always some who are ready to move in but experience delays.

With so many stages involved in building a new home, delays in construction are not unusual – and while the purchase agreement includes specific dates for completion, there is always flexibility that allows those dates to change.

You do, however, have some protection when it comes to an occupancy delay. In fact, the new home warranty in Ontario, which is provided by your builder and backed by Tarion, is very comprehensive. The warranty includes protection for deposits, delays, and three separate construction warranties that last up to seven years.

If you are a new home buyer, here are some important things to know:

Delays may lead to compensation

Under the delayed closing and delayed occupancy warranty, your builder is required to properly extend the dates in your agreement if a postponement is anticipated. If your builder misses the critical dates outlined in your agreement, you may be entitled to compensation up to $7,500.

Observe deadlines for making claims

There are two windows of opportunity when making a delay compensation claim to Tarion. First, if a purchaser terminates their contract within the 30 days immediately following the outside closing/occupancy date, a claim must be made within one year of termination. Second, only after you move into a new home where occupancy has been delayed, can you make a delayed occupancy claim within the first year after you take possession of your new home.

Some exceptions apply

Caveats to the warranty depend on whether the delay was unavoidable and out of the builder's reasonable control. These include a strike, fire, explosion, 'act of God', civil insurrection, act of war or terrorism, or a pandemic. However, to rely on unavoidable delay claims and postpone occupancy timelines, builders must follow specific rules outlined by Tarion. These include when a builder must inform the homeowner; that the builder provide an estimate of how long the delay will last, and that they give written notice when the delay has ended.

The warranty protection on new homes is meant to provide buyers with peace of mind when making what is most likely the largest purchase of their lives. Keep in mind that the warranty is designed to ensure that builders deliver on their responsibilities and obligations and provide you with a safe and well-constructed home. If you're experiencing this type of delay visit Tarion.com for more information about the warranty.


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