Real Estate

Conant supports fixing new home warranty program

By Mia Clarke, AdvocateDaily.com Associate Editor

Creating a separate regulator for builders of new homes is a “step in the right direction on many fronts,” Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant tells The Lawyer’s Daily.

But Conant, partner and head of the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP, says there’s still “a lot of unanswered questions” about the government’s plan to revamp the Tarion Warranty Corporation.

“I’ll give you an example,” he tells the online legal publication. “When they talk about separating the warranty administration and its builder and vendor functions, that makes perfect sense. I think it’s a positive step.

"But we have to see how that’s going to be structured. Who’s funding what? Who’s going to be on the board of each? What role will consumers, buyers and stakeholders have? What role will developers and builders have in those two organizations? What are going to be the mandates? What are going to be the operating procedures? There’s a lot we don’t know yet, but the concept of separating is a good idea.”

In a press release, Bill Walker, the minister of government and consumer services, says the system is “broken.”

“That is why I am pleased to announce that we are taking decisive action to put the people of Ontario first by transforming Tarion and strengthening consumer protection,” Walker said.

He also announced a new round of consultations to “explore whether to break Tarion’s monopoly by introducing multiple warranty providers — a system that is available in other provinces. Walker said he hopes to have a decision later this year,” reports the Toronto Star.

Conant tells The Lawyer’s Daily there’s a public perception of bias with Tarion because it’s funded solely by developers.

“I think we need more information about developers, or the development and the developer behind it, for the public,” he says.

Conant would also like to see Tarion’s deposit process improved.

"The problem we’re facing is when that money is being released to developers," he says. "There’s a whole process of disputing construction and disputing whether it’s warrantable or not and trying to get the developer to fix deficiencies. This is a whole regimented process under Tarion.”

Conant says that while Tarion "sometimes can work well, there’s big room for improvement.”

To Read More Armand Conant Posts Click Here