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 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.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The ministry is seeking stakeholder input to better understand any cost savings or any administrative costs to business associated with the proposed regulation changes.
Changes are being proposed to the dispute resolution and warranty claims process that may result in cost savings to consumers. Regulations to support legislative changes to make the warranty claim process easier could help small condominium corporations by clarifying that in most cases they would not need to prove the cause of their warranty claims, for example by acquiring expert reports and services. Mediation would lead to additional opportunities for consumers to obtain settlements of warranty claim disputes, as well as potential legal and administrative cost savings for consumers associated with avoiding litigation of warranty claims at the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
No new direct compliance costs are expected for businesses related to the proposed regulation changes under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWPA).
Regulations to support legislative changes to make the warranty claim process easier are not expected to result in any new costs or burdens. This is because the regulations align with existing practices, for example that claims must be made in writing.
Similarly, the proposed mediation process for warranty claims is not expected to result in new costs for builders or vendors and could result in cost savings for homeowners by avoiding more costly legal proceedings. The mediation process would not affect existing requirements for builders to reimburse Tarion for the cost of addressing new home defects covered by statutory warranty under ONHWPA. Specifying duties of the ombudsperson (the New Home Ombuds) in regulation would not bring new costs for homeowners, builders or vendors.
December 15, 2020
Comments Due Date:
February 12, 2021
56 Wellesley St. W., 6th Floor, Toronto ON, M7A 1C1