Improvements to Ontario's New Home Warranty and Protection Program (ONHWPA Phase 2)
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act
Summary of Decision:
The Ontario government has taken further steps to strengthen consumer protection for buyers and owners of new homes in Ontario. The changes will improve the dispute resolution and new home warranty and protection claims process, as well as strengthen the role and independence of the ombudsperson (the New Home Ombuds). To do this, the government has amended the general regulation and created a new mediation regulation under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWPA).
These regulations support phase two of the overhaul of Ontario's new home warranty and protection program, making it more responsive to the needs of consumers.
A new regulation under ONHWPA requires Tarion to participate in mediation about warranty claim disputes if a claimant requests it and certain specified conditions are met. Amendments to the general regulation have been made under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWPA) that will:
• clarify how new home warranty and protection claims should be made as a part of a simplified process,
• require Tarion to provide claimants with the most recent copy of written technical or expert opinions it has received from a third party about the specific warranty claim when it issues a warranty assessment report, and
• specify duties of the New Home Ombuds, with a focus on consumer issues.
The regulation change that specifies the duties of the the New Home Ombuds took effect on April 1, 2021. The other changes came into effect on July 1, 2021.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
No new direct compliance costs were created for businesses or consumers related to the regulation changes under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWPA).
Regulations to support legislative changes to make the warranty claim process simpler resulted in no new costs or burdens. This is because the regulations align with existing practices, for example that claims must be made in writing. Similarly, the mediation process for warranty claims resulted in no new costs for builders or vendors and may lead to cost savings for homeowners by avoiding more costly legal proceedings. Specifying duties of the New Home Ombuds in regulation also does not create new costs for homeowners, builders or vendors.
December 15, 2020
Summary of Proposal:
The Ontario government is committed to overhauling Ontario's new home warranty and protection program, including making it more consumer-focused and supporting new consumer protection priorities, such as enhancing the dispute resolution process and delivering new measures to promote better built new homes.
The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is proposing regulation changes under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act to enhance the dispute resolution and new home warranty claims process and to respond to recommendations made by the Auditor General. Proposed changes include:
• making the warranty claim process easier by clarifying how a warranty claim should be made as a part of a simplified process;
• establishing in regulation a mediation process for warranty claim disputes; and
• specifying duties of the ombudsperson (the New Home Ombuds) that include a focus on helping consumers.
The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services welcomes your feedback and encourages anyone interested to provide comments on this proposal. You may submit your comments through the Regulatory Registry or via email to NewHomes@ontario.ca.
56 Wellesley St. W., 6th Floor, Toronto ON, M7A 1C1
July 1, 2021